Balanced effort drives Eagles

ARLINGTON -- To find some inspiration, all the No. 6 Arlington Memorial High School girls basketball team had to do was look at their male counterparts.

The boys traveled to Barre Auditorium for their semifinal on Wednesday night, with the girls in attendance. After Thursday's opening round performance, the girls might be on the way to Barre as well.

Arlington led by 23 at the half and cruised to a 54-33 win over No. 11 Mid Vermont Christian School at the Eagles' Nest.

"I think watching [the boys] might have put some fuel on the fire," said Arlington coach Larry Andrews.

The Eagles came out running immediately, putting the pressure on Mid-Vermont, who only dressed six players. Sophomore Julia Lacoste and senior Rayleen Sherman knocked down shots off of turnovers to give Arlington an early 10-point advantage. The Eagles (12-8) ended the first quarter up 16-5 as five players scored.

"The girls were wound up and ready to go," Andrews said. "They are, from top to bottom, very unselfish. They move the ball well and they're good at getting the ball to the open man."

The second quarter was more of the same for the Eagles as Lacoste took over. She hit two free throws, then drained a trey and a jumper on consecutive possessions to extend the lead to 20.

Lacoste ended up with 10 points, all in the first half, and 10 rebounds for a double-double.

"We couldn't run with them," said Mid-Vermont (8-11) coach Perry Seale. "We could match up somewhat, but their depth, speed and good shooting was tough to stop."

Arlington showed no signs of slowing down in the second half, either as sophomore Molly Elwell got into the act. One of the Eagles' leading scorers this season, Elwell knocked down treys on three straight possessions, each one farther back than the last. The final one gave Arlington a 42-15 lead. Elwell led the Eagles with 16 points.

"I was getting hot and started making them," Elwell said. "You have to have a good start to put them away."

Andrews said having a fast start to the second half was key.

"I told them, we can't have a letdown, keep the motor running and stay focused," Andrews said.

In the fourth, Arlington put in their subs and many contributed on the scoresheet, with nine players racking up points for the Eagles.

Sherman added nine points and nine rebounds.

"We're balanced, at any time, five girls can reach double figures," Andrews said.

For Mid-Vermont, junior Phoebe Seale led the way with 21 points. Her sister Anna had nine as they combined for 30 of the team's 33 points.

Arlington moves on to face No. 3 Craftsbury Academy on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the road. If the Eagles beat Craftsbury, they'll play Tuesday at the Barre Auditorium.


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