Freshman Jayla Russ, thrust into action when senior Veronica Ladines broke her finger in practice after the start of district, exploded for 23 points and six rebounds as the sixth-ranked Eagles (22-4) reached their first state-title game since winning 3A in 1982.
The 6-foot Russ and Lindsay Brown, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds, helped Arlington rally from a 12-point deficit early in the third quarter in the semifinal showdown of top two finishers in the WesCo 4A North Division.
The Eagles survived a game-tying three-pointer from Lake Stevens’ Brittney Pahukoa as time expired in regulation, and outscored the ninth-ranked Vikings (20-8) in the overtime period. Pahukoa fouled out on a scramble play just 57 seconds into OT.
Pahukoa’s sister, Brooke, led Lake Stevens with 28 points and 14 rebounds.
Trailing 53-52, Lindsay Brown jab-stepped and faked a drive before delivering a go-ahead three-pointer from out top with 36.2 seconds left in regulation. Teammate Winter Brown added 1 of 2 free throws with 7.1 seconds to go for a 56-53 lead.
The two teams traded turnovers, Arlington making one final mistake in regulation with 3.3 seconds. After a Vikings timeout, the Eagles’ mistake gave Brittney Pahukoa just enough time to take the inbounds at midcourt , drive to the top of the three-point arc and launching the shot to force overtime.
It was the Eagles’ second win in three meetings between the two schools this season.