Behind the intimidating play of Deja Strother, the No. 3 Inglemoor girls basketball team forced its way to a 46-36 win over No. 10 Arlington at the state tournament Friday in Tacoma.
Standing in at all of 6-foot-4, Strother made her presence known not only on offense and defense, but in the transition game, setting bone-rattling screens that left Arlington players scrambling to get up off the floor.
“I made a deal; I am never coaching again unless I have a 6-foot-4 kid in the middle,” Inglemoor coach John Augustavo joked. “She makes all of the difference in the world.”
Strother, a junior, finished with 13 points, 12 blocks and 11 rebounds.
On the other side, Arlington could never find a rhythm. Scoring one point in the first quarter before rebounding to 15 by half, the Eagles then managed just 11 points in the second half.
Despite the low scoring output, 5-foot-8 sophomore guard Grace Castaneda led Arlington with a team-high 10 points and three rebounds.