Sixth-seeded Arlington lost to second-seeded West Rutland twice during the regular season, but Tuesday night the Eagles won when it mattered most, using a 16-6 edge in the second quarter to build a lead they would never relinquish in a 59-49 upset win over the Golden Horde in the semifinals of the Division IV high school girls basketball tournament at Barre Auditorium.
Senior Rayleen Sherman led the Eagles with 23 points, including 9-for-12 from the free throw line. Sophomores Julia Lacoste (14 points) and Brooke Hawley (10) also keyed the upset for Arlington (14-8), which will take on top-seeded Proctor (20-2) at noon in the state championship game.
Eighth grader Brooke Raiche led the 21-2 Golden Horde — which won the two previous meetings with the Eagles by 25 and seven points — with 14 points. Samantha Lacz (stet) scored 13 for West Rutland and Mikayla Dambrackas and Morgan Raiche scored 10 points apiece.
The teams were tied at 15 after eight minutes before Sherman scored six points to key a 16-6 surge in the second quarter for a 31-21 lead at the half.
The Eagles’ lead swelled to 40-23 with 5:59 left in the third before West Rutland went on a 12-0 run to end the quarter and close to within 40-35.
The Golden Horde closed the gap to 45-41 with 4:40 left, but Sherman had a three-point play and then hit both ends of a one-and-one to seal the win.