TACOMA – This question is for Arlington High School girls basketball fans.
Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
The good news? OK.
Joe Marsh recently was named Coach of the Year in the Wesco 3A, and four guards on the team received individual honors.
Sharp-shooting junior Sierra Scheppele was named first team all-league, while sophomore all-around standout Josie Stupey was named to the second team. Both sophmore Hailey Hiatt and freshman Keira Marsh received honorable mention honors.
The bad news is the girls were ousted from the state tournament at the Tacoma Dome Wednesday, falling to West Seattle 50-45.
The loss certainly was nothing to be ashamed of. The Wildcats have players destined for NCAA Division 1 teams. Grace Sarver will attend Washington State while Meghan Fiso will head to Michigan. And neither of them was even the team’s leading scorer as Jasmine Gayles scored 23 points. Sarver had 11 and Fiso was held to 5. The Eagles, on the other hand, are young and inexperienced with no previous state experience.
Even Marsh said they overachieved his expectations this year. He thought a league title might be a year away heading into the season. “This experience is going to pay off for us down the road, and that’s really all you can ask,” he told The Herald.
Hailey Hiatt scored 16 points, and Josie Stupey added 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Arlington, which finished its season 17-7.
The Eagles had a 13-9 lead after the first quarter, but West Seattle outscored them 19-8 in the second period to take a 28-21 halftime lead.
Arlington used its aggressive 2-3 zone defense to claw back into the game. The Eagles scored the final five points of the third quarter to stay within reach, then gradually chipped away in the fourth, with Hiatt’s 3-pointer making it a one-possession game at 46-44, and Stupey’s free throw getting Arlington within one with 1 minute, 20 seconds remaining.
But then Arlington was called for an intentional foul while trying to stop the clock. West Seattle received two shots and the ball, effectively ending the game.
West Seattle did post of its damage in the paint, outscoring the Eagles 28-16. Arlington didn’t have its best shooting night, hitting on just 13 of 51 shots, and they were only 4 of 26 from 3-point land. Keira Marsh was just 2-for-11 from the field and 1-for-8 behind the arc. Stupey made 9 of 10 free throws to help in a 15-for-21 team effort.
They had 10 steals, led by Scheppele with four, and 32 rebounds, with Abby Schwark leading the way with eight.
Other scoring: Marsh 8, Schwark 5, Makenzie Gage 2 and Schepple was held to just 1. The eighth-ranked Eagles’ loss to ninth-ranked West Seattle was a trend that went on all day with the favorites being knocked off.
No. 11 Snohomish upset No. 6 Seattle Prep 42-39; No. 15 Edmonds-Woodway shocked No. 8 Bethel 54-45; and No. 12 Roosevelt stunned No. 5 Peninsula 60-56.
To get to Tacoma, the girls lost their regional state game at Battle Ground to No. 1 ranked Prairie 55-46.
They had to face another college-bound player, Cassidy Gardner, who is headed to Portland State. She hit 8 of 15 shots, 5 of 10 from 3-point range, to lead Prairie with 25 points.
Prairie never trailed after Brooke Walling gave the Falcons an 11-9 first-quarter lead. Walling scored 11 points and had three blocked shots.
Prairie led by as many as 15 points twice, including 51-36 with 3:29 to play. Arlington made a run at the end to make the score respectable.