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Arbor View girls showing early signs they’ll bid for first league championship

There are no girls basketball league championship banners hanging in Arbor View’s gym.

If the Aggies’ first nine games of the season, and especially Monday’s Northwest League opener, are any indication, it might be time to start picking a spot to hang one.

Always an also ran, Arbor View is serving notice it might be the team to beat in the revamped Northwest.

The latest example was a 63-28 rout of visiting Spring Valley in the league opener for both teams.

“I read a book by a coach once that said your goal always should be to win a state championship,” Arbor View coach Donna Gentry said. “I said that to the girls last year, but no one believed me. This year is doable. League, yes. Regionals, we’re hoping. We’re looking at our first banner, and then possibly our second.”

Arbor View (7-2) never has made the playoffs and has had only one winning season (14-13 in 2009-10). The Aggies were a combined 35-97 during the last five seasons.

But this is far from the same Arbor View squad, even though the team has no seniors.

“The girls’ commitment level is much better,” Gentry said. “We’re working on fundamentals. We trust and respect each other on and off the court.”

The Aggies scored the first six points Monday and never trailed en route to matching last season’s win total.

Ariona Gill had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Katrina Nordstrom came off the bench to score 17.

Dana Lewis supplied 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Aggies, who committed only five turnovers, a stark contrast to past seasons, when their turnover total often matched or exceeded their point total.

“We still have not gotten our best game from a few players, who are juniors and leaders and need to step up,” Gentry said. “We need consistency, and we need a positive consistency.”

The Grizzlies (0-5) were within 11-9 early in the second quarter, but Arbor View iced the game with a 27-3 run, capped by Gill’s basket in the paint with 6:04 left in the third.

Arbor View turned 24 Spring Valley turnovers into 24 points and had 32 offensive rebounds.

Jamie Fajardo and Jana Espiritu each had 11 points for the Grizzlies.

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