The Arlington boys basketball team hosted a play-in game against the Ferndale Golden Eagles for a chance to compete in the District One 3A Boys Basketball Tournament on Feb. 23.
Ferndale came out playing physical defense and created lanes on offense to slash toward the basket for high-percentage shots. The Golden Eagles dominated the first four minutes of the opening quarter as they created a 12-2 lead. Arlington rotated out a few pieces and began to attack the paint instead of taking shots from beyond the arc. By the end of the quarter, the Eagles tied up the game 16-16 after taking control with a 14-4 run. Through the rest of the half both teams battled back and forth as they worked each other down the floor. Heading into halftime Ferndale barely edged out Arlington as they led 30-29.
The Golden Eagles came out in the second half looking to extend their lead once again as they had another big run, 10-2, a couple of minutes in. After falling behind 40-31, Arlington started to find their fire again and refused to let the game get away. Through the rest of the third quarter they played with more energy and went on a 12-7 run to close the gap, 47-43, heading into the final eight minutes. Ferndale continued to play physical at the expense of racking up fouls, hitting 10 team fouls with 4:38 left in the game. The Eagles took advantage of the bonus and forced the issue as they continued to drive inside to force contact. Arlington was finally able to claim a 59-57 lead with 1:35 left on the clock, their first lead since the first half. With a few key trips to the line and back-to-back blocks on defense, the Eagles took the 63-61 victory and punched their ticket to the District Tournament.
“These guys played hard, did what we asked them to do and we’re ready to go. We haven’t been hitting our shots very well but if we can play good defense and get the win, then I’m happy with it. Right now, it’s all about ramping it up and putting our trust in each other to do what we have to do,” said Arlington Head Coach Nick Brown.
Arlington’s Ethan Martin, Jaden Roskelley and Will Abram made huge plays all over the court. Martin, sophomore guard, led all scorers with 29 points, one three-pointer and went an incredible 12 for 13 at the line. He also added five rebounds and two assists to his stats. Roskelley, junior forward, had one of his best games of the season as he came off the bench to score 14 points, one three-pointer, six rebounds, one assist and a steal. Abram, senior center, scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds, and was a force on the defensive end with five blocks.
The Eagles’ seniors contributed where they could with solid play from Joseph Schmidt, Colby Williamson and Ryan Brown. Schmidt had an off game from beyond the arc but moved well on defense and scored three points and two rebounds. Williamson came off the bench and played with energy as he also scored three points, one rebound and snatched two steals. Brown was steady throughout the game and finished with two points, one rebound and a steal.
Quintin Yon-Wagner, sophomore center, and Gavin Hawthorne, junior guard, came off the bench and played quality minutes when they were needed. Yon-Wagner played strong inside as he tallied four points, two rebounds and an assist. Hawthorne made one shot from beyond the arc for three points while adding on three rebounds and two assists.
Following their narrow loss to the Stanwood Spartans, 63-61, on Saturday, Feb. 15, your next chance to support the Eagles will be on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. They will take on the Marysville Getchell Chargers in the second round of the District Tournament.