MARYSVILLE — When you have a Division 1 scholarship player on your team like RaeQuan Battle, it only makes sense that that’s who you go to down the stretch.
Marysville-Pilchuck did just that as Battle scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Tomahawks to a 60-52 win over Arlington Wednesday night.
While most of the area’s attention was on that game, Marysville Getchell had quite a game of its own at Stanwood, upsetting the home team 65-58. M-P plays at MG Friday night at 7:15. With the win and Stanwood and Arlington losing, the Tommies clinched the regular season league title.
Battle, the 6-foot-5 senior wing who will be play for the University of Washington Huskies next year, scored seven points in the first quarter as the home team took a 14-4 lead. Cameron Stordahl, a 6-4 junior wing, scored the other seven points for the Tommies as the Eagles were tentative on offense and plagued by turnovers.
Ethan Jackson, a 6-6 junior post, controlled the second period for the Tommies, scoring 10 of his 12 points. He hit a 3, scored off a fastbreak and on a backdoor play. After being completely off in the first quarter, Eagle Anthony Whitis scored six points, but Arlington still trailed 28-18 at intermission.
That changed quickly as Whitis, a 6-0 senior guard, hit two 3s within the first 35 seconds of the second half. Arlington’s 6-8 junior post Will Abram snared two offensive rebounds and scored off those, so when Whitis hit another 3 Arlington took its first lead of the game at 33-32 with still 3:05 left in the period. The Eagles expanded the lead to 38-36 at the end of the quarter after a 3 by 6-3 senior wing Griffin Gardoski and a drive by Whitis.
That lead was short-lived as 6-2 junior guard Luke Dobler connected on a 3 to open the fourth. The teams exchanged lead on 3s by Gardoski and Dobler before, after being quiet for 2 1/2 periods, Battle took control with 2:52 left in the game.
He scored inside, then hit a 3 just left of the key, then grabbed a key offensive rebound as M-P kept possession at a crucial time with the Tommies up 54-50. Gerit Deberry came up with a key steal for the Eagles, leading to a layup by Whitis. But Battle scored again with 31.8 seconds left to put the game out of reach. His block of a Whitis layup attempt with 14 seconds remaining only added insult to injury as a technical foul was called on Eagles coach Nick Brown.
“In all the confusion at the end (of the game), I gathered the boys and said, ‘You guys want to know my favorite part about that game?’” MP coach Bary Gould told The Herald. “I said it’s because Arlington came back, because now we can be battle tested.”
For the Tomahawks, 14-3, 11-0 in league, Dobler scored 13 points, as did Stordahl, who added seven rebounds. Whitis finished with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds. Gardoski added 15 points for the Eagles, 11-5, 7-3.
Other scoring for Arlington: Abram 8, Josh Guttierez 6 and Michael Tsoukalas 2.
Other scoring for M-P: Alec Jones-Smith 2, Aaron Kalab 1.
In Stanwood, the MG win moved the Chargers to 9-7, and dropped Stanwood to 12-4.
Malakhi Knight scored 24 of his game-high 39 points in the first half for the Chargers as they took a 33-26 lead. The home team came back to tie it at 46-46 after three quarters before the visitors pulled away.