ARLINGTON >> The Arlington Memorial High School girls basketball team gave Mount St. Joseph everything they had in the tank on Thursday night but couldn't keep pace with the Mounties in second half and fell to a 54-20 loss.
In the first half, the Eagles hung in tough with the number one team in Division IV.
After MSJ got out to a 9-0 run to start the half, thanks in large part to Jenna Eaton's two three-pointers, Arlington was able to get back into the game by getting to the free throw line.
That was the key to success on the night for Xandria Hoyt, who went three for three at the free throw line to start the game for the Eagles and helped Arlington pull within six of MSJ in the final few minutes of the first quarter.
With MSJ now up 18-5 midway through the second quarter, Hoyt again did damage at the line to help the Eagles hang around, going perfect at the line once again.
Overall, Hoyt finished six of seven from the free throw line. Couple that with a couple baskets from seniors Avery Bucchieri and Maggie Murphy, and Arlington only trailed MSJ by 14 going into halftime.
"In the first half we played with the best team in the state," said Arlington coach Larry Andrews. "We executed well on defense to keep their high powered offense in check and prove we can play with the best of them."
In the first minute of the second half, it looked like Arlington was going to give MSJ a run for their money after junior Riley Lane hit a three-pointer from the right wing to start the third quarter and made it a 24-13 game.
That would be the closest Arlington would get to MSJ for the rest of the contest, as the Mounties, led by their senior captain Monica Schmelzenbach, began to bring the hammer down on the Eagles' comeback chance.
Schmelzenbach scored 8 of her game-high 20 points in the third quarter and helped MSJ go on a 20-1 run to gain a 44-14 lead.
MSJ led 44-16 going into the fourth quarter after Katie Berger hit a shot at the buzzer for Arlington.
"In the second half we didn't execute our game plan both offensively and defensively," Andrews said. "We let them take control of the game and they ran away with it."
The Mounties continued their dominance in the fourth quarter, with Eaton hitting her third three-pointer on the night to give her 18 points in the game and they cruised to their 15th win of the season.
Hoyt had a team-high six points in the loss for Arlington. All of her points came from the free throw line.
The Eagles' offense only scored five points a quarter in the loss as well.
"I told them not to dwell on what happened in the second half and just remember that we hung in there with the best team in the first half," Andrews said. "I think it will show them that this loss wasn't as bad as score said it was and it will help build our confidence up for our next game."
With the loss Arlington falls to 6-10 on the season.
The Eagles will look to rebound from the loss in their next game when they host Whitchester Cooperative on Saturday at 1 p.m.