TACOMA – For most of the season Arlington existed under the radar. The Eagles played in WesCo 4A, a league many people around the area thought was down, and lost twice to No. 2 Jackson during the regular season.
But the Eagles started playing their best basketball at the end of the season, and they’ve proben this once and for all: They no longer can be considered an under-the-radar team anymore.
No. 10 Arlington used a big second half to pull away from No. 5 Richland 72-60 in Thursday’s Class 4A state quarterfinal game. The Eagles will play the winner of No. 2 Jackson vs. No. 4 Central Valley.
“Keep picking against us,” Arlington coach Nick Brown said. “Keeping picking. We love that. These guys are just phenomenal.”
Arlington led by just five at halftime, but the Eagles turned it on in the second half. Richland struggled shooting for most of the game, particularly in the second half.
Terry Dawn led Arlington with 23 points and 13 rebounds and asserted himself in many of the game’s key situations late. Noah Jones added 20 points and eight rebounds for Arlington.
The Eagles have lost only three games all season, including two to No. 2 Jackson, but they’ve shown that their record isn’t a mirage. Dawn’s three-pointer in the first minute of the third quarter put Arlington ahead by 16, the largest lead of the game, and the Eagles wouldn’t look back.
“We’re not the most talented team out there, but we really fight hard,” Brown said. “I thought we came out against a team that is close to us and made all the little plays happen at the end.”
Richland entered Thursday with only two losses, but the Bombers shot just 39 percent against Arlington. Nathan Streufert led Richland with 20 points and eight rebounds.