Jayla Russ wanted the best possible parting gift for Jessica Ludwig. So she delivered 12 points to send Arlington’s lone senior starter out with a victory Saturday, 41-40 over West Seattle.
TACOMA — Jayla Russ wanted the best possible parting gift for Jessica Ludwig.
So she delivered 12 points to send Arlington’s lone senior starter out with a victory Saturday, 41-40 over West Seattle, giving the Eagles a fourth-place trophy at the Class 3A state girls basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome.
“This is like her last game, forever, and I just wanted her to enjoy it and really take it in,” said Russ, a 6-foot junior who buried a three-pointer to give the Eagles a 38-31 lead with 3:16 left. “I’m just so happy we won, because she deserves it. She’s worked her butt off all four years.”
Tiny guard Serafina Balderas — who admits she’s not really 5 feet tall like the program says — added 10 points, all in the final 10½ minutes, nailing 3 of 7 three-pointers. Ludwig failed to score in her final game, but was a key factor all season for ninth-ranked Arlington (24-4). The Eagles played without point guard Emma Janousek, who injured her left wrist in Friday’s win over No. 4 Wilson of Tacoma.
State Hoops 2015Boys:
- Boys brackets
- Federal Way has to wait a while to win 4A state title
- Garfield knocks off 3-time champ Rainier Beach, wins second straight title
- Third place feels pretty good for Eastside Catholic boys
- Isiah Brown's big game gives Lakeside claim to fourth place in 3A boys tourney
- In record-setting performance, Ty Gibson helps Issaquah boys take fourth
- Union proves too much for Woodinville in 4A boys tourney
- Girls brackets
- Gonzaga Prep beats Inglemoor in double overtime thriller, 57-52
- Mikayla Pivec's monster game leads Lynnwood to 3A girls title over Cleveland
- Beamer bounces back, takes third at 4A girls tournament
- Late stop helps Blanchet take third at 3A girls tournament
- Young Arlington girls squad takes fourth at 3A tournament
- Walla Walla gets big game from seniors to nab fourth in 4A girls tournament
West Seattle (23-6) finished sixth and claimed the program’s first state trophy.
“The girls should be proud,” coach Sonya Elliott said.
The seventh-ranked Wildcats missed their point guard, junior Gabby Sarver, during their stretch run after she went down with a knee injury in early February. They started well against Arlington, leading 14-10 late in the first quarter, but struggled offensively the rest of the way and wound up making just 8 of 20 free throws.
Emily Fiso, a senior transfer from Mount Rainier, scored 11 of her 16 points in the first half. Lydia Giomi, a 6-6 junior, finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.