Glacier Peak took off to an early lead and didn’t look back, beating Arlington 63-55 in district one semifinals.
Post Kayla Watkins led the Grizzlies with 18 points and seven rebounds. The 6-foot-1 Watkins is tough inside, but she also hit one of her two three-pointers all season. But Watkins gave all the credit to her teammates.
“My team got me the ball inside today, and I was thankful to be finishing today,” Watkins said.
That team ball mentality has been the key to No. 5 Glacier Peak’s success. Five players average over seven points per game, and tonight was no exception. Paisley Johnson had 15 points and five rebounds, Sadie Mensing added 12 points and five rebounds, and Kianna Garner chipped in nine points.
The last time Glacier Peak (21-2) played No. 6 Arlington (19-3) in December, the Grizzlies made an 11 point comeback in the fourth quarter to win. But Glacier Peak didn’t want to put themselves in the underdog position this time.
“We knew today that they would come after us, and we had to make sure we were matching their intensity,” said Glacier Peak coach Brian Hill. “We had to play great defense against them, because they can shoot, they can drive, they can score. They can do a lot of really good things.”
Thanks to a first quarter dominated by Watkins and Mensing, followed by a buzzer beater three-pointer from Garner, Glacier Peak led 20-14 going into the second quarter.
Despite a strong second half, the Eagles were unable to close the gap.
“They did a great job defensively on us tonight, and we struggled making shots, and it’s tough in a game like this if you don’t score,” said Arlington coach Joe Marsh.
Arlington’s Jayla Russ finished with 17 points for the Eagles, and Jessica Ludwig added 15.
Glacier Peak will play Lynnwood for the district one championship Saturday, 6 p.m. at Jackson. Glacier Peak beat No. 2 Lynnwood earlier this month 61-49. Arlington will play Stanwood at home in the consolation semis Thursday, 7 p.m.