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Outright League Championship Is Arlington’s To Lose

By Sean McGee
Special to HVSR

FREEDOM PLAINS – The Arlington High School girls basketball team was not going to let this one get away. Not like the last time they played Our Lady of Lourdes.

The Admirals knew in order to cement their spot as Section 1, Conference I, League A champions they had to get this one.

Arlington did just that, securing a 49-39 victory over the Warriors for a share of the crown – and now the outright title is theirs to lose.

Arlington will play its final league game of the season on Wednesday night at Ketcham. With just one league loss to Lourdes’ two league defeats, the Admirals can secure the league championship with one more victory no matter what OLL does in its game against John Jay.

This was Arlington’s senior night and the energy from the pre-game festivities carried over into the game for the Admirals, who jumped out to leads of 7-0 and 18-3.

Arlington outrebounded OLL throughout the game, creating many second- and third-chance opportunities – and it would be Arlington’s tenacious rebounding that would win them the game.

“We should have went after more offensive and defensive rebounds, we just weren’t boxing out,” said OLL guard Skyler Felice. “They were just out-rebounding us down at both ends.” Felice would score 13 points providing a spark in the second quarter, but with Ava Learn as the only other OLL player in double digit scoring with 10 points it would become impossible to erase a 15-point deficit after the first quarter.

Molly Stephens’ 25 points on her senior night would also propel Arlington to a victory. The shooting guard was unstoppable, hitting four three-pointers while attacking the basket as well. “We knew coming into this [game] that we were returning league champs,” said Stephens. “We just want to show what we can do.”

“You can’t really put into words, she is just one of those young ladies that you want your daughter to grow up to be like,’’ said Arlington head coach Kim Costello about Stephens. “She’s just one of those kids that you never want to lose. You wish they can stay seniors forever.”

Morgan Hammell added nine points for Arlington.

A three-point first quarter put the Warriors into a deep hole, yet they did not give up so easily. They too were fighting for a chance at the league title. After being down 18-3 starting the second quarter they managed to go into the half down 30-20.

The closest they would cut the lead to was six in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors could never seem to catch up.

“We were awful,” said a frustrated OLL head coach Al Viani. “No fight. The other team just took it to us, We played pitifully. I can’t say anything positive that came out of that game.”

Now all the Admirals have to do is beat Ketcham Wednesday to become back to back league champs.

“We have to take care of the ball, we have to hit some shots and our defense has been what has kept us in every game this year, so we have to continue to amp up the defense,” said Costello. “We just have to play Arlington basketball.”


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