PUYALLUP – Jayla Russ arrived in this game last year.
This time, she thrived.
And once again the Arlington girls basketball team upset Beamer of Federal Way Saturday in a 4A regional girls basketball game at Puyallup High School to earn a return trip to the state tournament.
Russ, a 6-foot sophomore, was the offensive spark in a defensive-minded game as the Eagles pulled off a 35-33 victory in overtime, delivering 15 points.
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“Jayla as a freshman last year had a coming-out party in this gym, had a great game, and she did it again tonight,” coach Joe Marsh said. “We needed every one of those buckets, and she came to play.”
Russ scored the only basket in overtime off a feed from Lyndsay Leatherman – a common theme in the game. Leatherman, Arlington’s lone senior, drew the defense out to her, then repeatedly threaded the ball inside. She finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Russ said she had two motivations in the game – and Leatherman was one of them.
“I just wanted to do it for Lyndsay,” she said. “I just wanted to go back to the (Tacoma) Dome.”
The eighth-ranked Eagles (20-4) rode last year’s momentum to the state-championship game, ultimately losing to Mead of Spokane.
This was more heartbreak for the No. 6 Titans (23-3), who clearly missed point guard Bria Rice, out with a chipped collarbone. They committed 26 turnovers and were held to nearly half their season scoring average.
“I think we put too much pressure on ourselves,” coach Corey Alexander said.
Megan Huff, the team’s only senior, finished with 13 points, all in the first three quarters. Quinessa Caylao-Do added 12.
Mount Rainier 76, Edmonds-Woodway 46
Stanford-bound senior Brittany McPhee piled up 28 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocked shots as the fourth-ranked Rams (23-3) reached the round of eight teams for the third season in a row.
The Rams looked like a team ready to improve on a pair of third-place state finishes the last two seasons, building a 35-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Brittany’s twin sister, Jordan, added 13 points, 11 rebounds and three steals.
Inglemoor 60, Puyallup 38
Despite having three starters either ill or dealing with injury, Inglemoor’s length again was too much for its opponent at Bothell High. The Vikings had little trouble with Puyallup in a victory that propels No. 3 Inglemoor into a state quarterfinal at the Tacoma Dome next Thursday.
“We don’t really think about it,” junior Deja Strother said of the health issues. “I think we’re just kind of pushing through it. I can’t imagine what it would be like to all be healthy.”
Lynnwood 75, Bellarmine Prep 33
Mikayla Pivec hit 11 of 16 shots from the field and finished with 28 points to lead the Royals to the easy win and advance to the round of eight. Pivec also collected a game-high 17 rebounds.
Jasmin Edwards scored 14 for Lynnwood (23-1) and Grace Douglas hit 4 of 6 three-point attempts for 12 points. Lynnwood, which led 47-19 at halftime, forced the Lions into 22 turnovers while committing just eight. Jasmine Holmes led Bellarmine Prep (17-5) with 12 points.
Correspondents Matt Massey, Doug Drowley and Terry Wood contributed to this report.