Sue Winger scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as second-ranked Mead of Spokane beat the Eagles 58-42.
TACOMA — The fun ride ended for the sixth-ranked Arlington girls basketball team Saturday night.
Foul trouble and poor shooting derailed the dream. The fight never left, but the Eagles simply didn’t have same magic.
Sophomore Sue Winger scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as second-ranked Mead of Spokane beat the Eagles 58-42 Saturday night in the Class 4A state championship game at the Tacoma Dome.
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Arlington’s unexpected advance to the title contest didn’t make the loss any easier to take. The Eagles, bidding for their first title since 1982, finished 22-5.
On the flip side, it was a bit of title redemption for seniors Jade Redmon and Mackenzie McPhee, who played as freshmen for a Mead team that fell 56-52 in overtime to Auburn Riverside in the 2010 championship game.
It was fitting that Redmon, a 5-foot-9 guard headed to Eastern Washington University, sank two free throws with 1:15 left to give Mead a 56-40 lead and give the school its fourth state title in girls basketball.
Mead trailed only once in three tournament games, 2-0 to Skyline in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
The Panthers previously won 4A titles in 1990, 1992 and 1996. They also had runner-up finishes in 2010 and 1991.
Both teams were lucky to escape their semifinal games with close-call victories. Arlington downed WesCo North rival Lake Stevens 66-64 in overtime, surviving Brittney Pahukoa’s tying three-point attempt at the buzzer in regulation. Mead, up 12 points going into the fourth quarter, stopped top-ranked Mount Rainier’s furious comeback to post a 51-50 victory.
This was Arlington’s first state berth since 2001, when Kayla Burt starred for the Eagles before heading to the University of Washington.
The Eagles looked tentative at the start and fell behind 8-2 with 1-of-7 shooting and frequent turnovers in the opening 6:04. They didn’t score their first field goal until 1:56 remained the first quarter, when Krista Showalter made a driving layin.
Arlington’s Jayla Russ hit a three-pointer just before the shot clock expired and the Eagles were down only 10-7 before Mead stretched its lead to 12-7 after one quarter.
Taylor Graham’s back-to-back three-pointers pulled the Eagles within 16-13 with 6:04 to play in the second quarter, but the Panthers stretched it back to 29-16 by halftime. Mead closed the first half on an 8-0 run with Ashlyn Lewey scored four points in the surge.
Russ, a freshman who came into the title game averaging 13. 5 points in the tourney, picked up her third foul with 2:04 remaining in the second quarter and was forced to sit. She had 23 points and six rebounds in the semifinal win Friday.
Arlington made just 4 of 19 shots in the first half and three of those baskets were from three-point land.
The 6-foot Russ picked up her fourth foul and went to the bench 1:08 into the second half, leaving Arlington without much inside depth. The 6-1 Lindsay Brown collected her third foul with 4:32 left in the third and the Eagles were really hurting on the interior without two starters.
ARLINGTON — Taylor Graham 4-9 0-3 12, Lindsay Brown 1-11 5-6 7, Krista Showalter 3-10 0-3 7, Jessica Ludwig 0-2 4-4 4, Jayla Russ 1-3 0-0 3, Lyndsay Leatherman 3-6 1-4 7, Marissa Swegle 0-1 2-2 2, Tracie Castanega 0-0 0-0 0, Serafina Balderas 0-0 0-0 0, Emma Janousek 0-0 0-0 0, Winter Brown 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 12-45 12-22 42.
MEAD — Sue Winger 7-14 0-2 16, Ashlyn Lewey 5-9 4-5 14, Delaney Junkermier 2-8 4-4 9, Cierra Dvorak 1-3 0-0 2, Kierstyn Russell 1-1 0-0 2, Mackenzie McPhee 2-5 2-4 6, Jade Redmon 3-7 3-4 9, Sydney Shanholtzer 0-0 0-0 0, Heleena Leifer 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan Douglass 0-2 0-0 0, Madeline Leslie 0-0 0-0 0, Kylie Bremner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 13-19 58.
Three-point shooting — Arlington 6-18 (Graham 4-8, L.Brown 0-3, Showalter 1-3, W.Brown 0-2, Russ 1-2); Mead 3-13 (Winger 2-5, Douglass 0-1, Lewey 0-2, Junkermier 1-5). Rebounds — Arlington 32 (L.Brown 7); Mead 37 (Winger 10). Assists — Arlington 8 (L.Brown 3); Mead 11 (Redmon 6). Steals — Arlington 2 (L.Brown, W.Brown); Mead 7 (Junkermier 4). Blocked shots — Arlington 1 (Russ, Ludwig); Mead 4 (Winger, Lewey, McPhee, Redmon).