By T.J. Cotterill
It took Arlington High’s coach Joe Marsh less than two minutes to use his second timeout of the second half as Lake Stevens pushed its lead to 12 points.
He laid into his team the first timeout, then did so again 40 seconds later, directing his concerns at his Idaho-State bound senior Lindsey Brown for most of it.
“He told us we, as seniors and leaders, needed to step it up,” Brown said. “That it was our chance to shine.”
What Marsh didn’t realize was that it was a freshman’s time, too. Brown and freshman forward Jayla Russ helped lead a furious second-half comeback to send the game into overtime, then held off the Vikings in the extra period for a 66-64 Arlington victory against its 4A WesCo rival – securing the Eagles’ first trip to the state championship game since 1982.
Russ scored a career-high 23 points. She came in averaging 5.4 points per game and had scored double-digit points only three times before. Brown added 14 points and 12 rebounds including some big plays down the stretch to pull the Eagles away.
“Just to come from … wait a second …” Brown said as she stepped back to take a breath and gather her thoughts. “Just to have my seniors behind me and to have a girl like Jayla Russ, as a freshman, scoring a game-high, it means so much to me to win it with this group of people.”
Arlington trailed 39-27 less than two minutes into the second half before using a 16-5 run to pull back into the game.
Lake Stevens’ News Tribune all-state player and Boise State-bound forward Brooke Pahukoa scored a game high 28 points and added 14 rebounds, but the Vikings were held without a field goal with 3.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, trailing 56-53.
But Brittney Pahukoa, Brooke’s twin sister who is also going to Boise State next year, charged up the right side, crossed to her left and sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie it up and send the game into OT.
“You just wish that was only a two-point lead,” said Lake Stevens coach Randy Edens.
Brittney Pahukoa fouled out with 3:03 left in OT and Arlington never surrendered its lead. Lake Stevens was searching for its first championship appearance in school history.