North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Prairie victory ends Arlington's season

 

February 28, 2018 | View PDF

Ken Waz

Arlington point guard Anthony Whitis fights for the ball as he looks to score on the fastbreak at Battle Ground High School on Feb. 24.

The Arlington boys basketball team travelled to Battle Ground High School to take on the Prairie Falcons in the Regional round of the State Tournament on Feb. 24.

After a solid regular season and a third-place finish in Districts, the Eagles came into the Regionals with a full head of steam. From the start of the game the Falcons got off to a quick lead before the Eagles were able to bounce back. Arlington managed to minimize the lead in the first quarter as they kept it within five, trailing 16-11.

In the second quarter both teams continued their high volume of shots from beyond the arc. With the long-range shots and high percentage looks the Falcons scored 19 more points while the Eagles scored 16. Going into halftime Prairie was able to increase their lead to 35-27.

Entering the second half the Eagles lost their big man, Ayodele Aribibola, to a lower leg injury. This injury hurt their defense in the paint and allowed for Prairie to increase their lead by four points through the third quarter. However, Arlington was able to secure their first positive quarter in the fourth as they outscored the Falcons 17-16. This wasn't enough for the Eagles to turn it around as Prairie advanced to the State Tournament with a victory, 65-54.

"We needed to hit better shots and contain their best player. We let the first half get away from us and when we bounced back in the second, it wasn't enough," said Arlington Head Coach Nick Brown.

Ken Waz

Arlington senior forward Jaren Cary plays tight defense on the Falcons shooter at Battle Ground High School on Feb. 24.

Arlington's junior duo of Anthony Whitis and Josh Gutierrez took control of the offense throughout the entire game. Whitis had the second most points in the game as he dropped 23 points while hitting three shots from beyond the arc. Gutierrez led the game in three-point shots as he hit four and totaled 14 points.

Griffen Gardoski and Jaren Cary also contributed heavily to the Eagles game plan. Gardoski dropped seven points throughout the game while hitting two shots from deep. Cary only had five points but managed to make up for that on the defensive end as he forced multiple turnovers and locked up the Falcons offense.

"All of the guys did really well and they left it all on the court. They bought in this year and we are looking forward to get back next season," said Brown.

With the loss, the Eagles' season is over. They finished with an overall record of 17-9 and will look to improve through the offseason to get even further into the postseason next year.

 

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