The Arlington boys basketball team hosted the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats for the ninth annual Coaches vs. Cancer game on Jan. 11.
The Arlington basketball program works with multiple donors and organizations every year to raise money for the American Cancer Society. With honorary coaches and packed stands, the entire community comes out to support the men and women fighting cancer every day.
“It’s very big for us to be able to host this game every year and we definitely made it very interesting for a minute there,” said Arlington Head Coach Nick Brown.
Arlington started out extremely hot as they were automatic from all over the floor and made the Wildcats take difficult shots from midrange. Through the first quarter the Eagles scored an impressive 27 points while allowing 17 to Archbishop Murphy. For the rest of the half the Eagles forced a lot of turnovers and only allowed six points before the half. Arlington went into halftime with a comfortable lead of 41-23.
Coming into the second half the Wildcats looked to be gaining some momentum as they started to sink shots and slowed down the Eagles on the offensive end. Through the third quarter Archbishop Murphy outscored Arlington 17-11 and closed the gap to 52-40. They continued to ride their momentum into the fourth as they got to within a six-point deficit, 61-55, with 2:58 left in the game. With the game on the line the Eagles caught fire once again and closed out the game on an 11-0 run. Arlington walked away with the 72-55 victory.
“Our defense wasn’t very good in the second half and we need to find a way to fix that consistency. These guys are gamers and I knew they weren’t going to let the team down when it came into the final minutes of the game. We’re winning games but we need to work on closing them out earlier,” said Coach Brown.
The Eagles had monster performances from their seniors Josh Gutierrez, Anthony Whitis and Griffin Gardoski. Gutierrez scored a game-high 21 points with two three-pointers, two rebounds and one assist. Whitis put up 18 points of his own, one three-pointer, three rebounds, one steal and a game-high six assists. Gardoski was right behind him with 16 points, one three-pointer, four assists, sevens rebounds and a game-high three steals.
Will Abram, Arlington’s junior center, used his 6’9” frame down low to grab three rebounds, tally one block and score eight points of his own.
If you want to come out and root for the Eagles their next home game will be against the Everett Seagulls on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 7:15 p.m.