Eagles soar past Concord

ARLINGTON -- It just took a while for the seventh-seeded Arlington Memorial High School girls basketball team to get rolling, but once they did, it was all she wrote for the No. 10 Concord Wildcats.

Juniors Molly Elwell and Julia Lacoste combined for 45 points as the Eagles advanced in the Division IV tournament, 66-37, on Wednesday night.

"Just like anything else, we had to get a bit of confidence going and then things get rolling," said Arlington (11-10) coach Larry Andrews. "Even defensively, the press didnt work the first time, got on the same page the second time and it was effective."

Up 29-15 at intermission thanks to 16 points from Lacoste, Arlington let the No. 10 seed Wildcats hang around. A pair of 3-pointers from Kendra Darrell (9 points overall) sandwiched around a three from Elwell pulled Concord within 35-24 late in the third quarter.

Elwell led the way on the scoresheet with 23 points, while Lacoste had a double-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and five steals.

"We wanted to be moving up the floor and get going," Elwell said. "We had to make sure we executed [the press] and the defense got us some steals to pull away."

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles came alive and started to wear down the Wildcats, led by junior Brooke Hawley, who scored the final basket of the third quarter for Arlington and the first two of the fourth en route to 10 points, one of her better offensive games of the season. With Elwell and Lacoste, who combined for nine 3-pointers, hot from the outside, Hawley took up residence in the paint and made the Wildcats pay.

"With those outside shooters, we couldn't shut them down," said Concord (5-13) coach Karen Thomas. "Our guards were tired and we couldn't keep up."

Arlington pulled away with 29 points in the fourth quarter, with Elwell scoring 11 herself in a four-minute stretch. The future of the Eagles was also represented, as freshman Riley Lane added four points and four rebounds and eighth-grader Xandria Hoyt scored her first varsity basket.

"On the offensive end, we moved the ball a lot better and found the open man in the middle," Andrews said. "We practice not hiding behind the defender and that creates spacing. It's finally clicking."

The game started about 25 minutes late as Concord, coming down from the Northeast Kingdom.

"It took about four hours to get down [to Arlington] because of the weather," Thomas said. "[We] played a hard game, the score doesn't speak to how hard they played."

The Eagles move on to face Mount St. Joseph in the quarterfinals on Friday night -- a team Arlington has lost to twice this season -- and Elwell was matter-of-fact when asked about the matchup.

"It's hard to beat a team three times in one season," Elwell said.


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