After a 67-44 loss to Bishop Blanchet in the first round Thursday, the Arlington girls played the final two games like they’d been there before.
They edged Wilson 59-56 Friday, and held off a late run by West Seattle on Saturday for a 41-40 win and the Class 3A fourth place trophy – the school’s second state trophy in three years.
“I just challenged the girls to finish this the right way,” coach Joe Marsh said. “And I’m so proud of how they’ve responded over the last two days.”
The victory offered redemption for Arlington, which went two and out in the Class 4A tournament last season after taking 2nd in 2013.
Marsh said the Eagles played, in part, for senior Jessica Ludwig, who carried the Eagles through the postseason this year – Ludwig played the tournament all three years.
“It’s been a wild ride,” she said. “It’s just crazy how much our team has grown. Two years ago we were a completely different team, and last year was more of a preparation year. This year I think everything came together perfectly.”
Ludwig pulled down four rebounds against the Wildcats, but her teammates did the carrying this time. Junior Jayla Russ led with 12 points, while junior Serafina Balderas scored 10. Junior Gracie Castaneda added nine points and six rebounds.
With eight juniors remaining on the roster, Arlington is likely to make its fourth straight appearance next season.
West Seattle takes home sixth with the loss – the first girls basketball state trophy in the school’s history.