Arlington boys take center stage at Coaches vs. Cancer game

Arlington senior Isaac Ladines, left, evades Lake Stevens defender Gunnar Ecklund, right, on his way to a layin. - Travis Sherer
Arlington senior Isaac Ladines, left, evades Lake Stevens defender Gunnar Ecklund, right, on his way to a layin.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

ARLINGTON — The Eagles saved their best performance of the year for their largest crowd.

In front of a near-packed house at home Jan. 28, Arlington defeated Lake Stevens 63-50 on senior night and took the poll position to the Wesco North title.

“I’ve only seen crowds like this at playoff games,” said senior guard Zach Cooper, who had 10 points. “But we love it.”

On top of it being a marquee matchup for the Eagles, it was Coaches Versus Cancer Night, and support overflowed the gym into common areas with people wearing pink and information tables Cascade Valley Hospital and Relay for Life representatives had set up to increase awareness and raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

“We wanted to get a big win here tonight for the can cer support, but also because I wanted everyone to see how good these kids are,” said Arlington coach Nick Brown. “And they showed it. They played an outstanding game and two communities got to see that.”

Despite a slow start — the Eagles didn’t score a field goal in the first five minutes — it was the seniors who got Arlington on track. With the game tied 12-12, Griffin Ginnis went on a tear, nailing four consecutive 3-pointers in the second quarter to help Arlington take a 24-15 lead.

“I felt on,” said Ginnis. “I felt like anything I threw up there was going in, so I just kept shooting.”

Ginnis scored 19 of his season-high 28 points in the first half, knocking down five treys in the process.

“I ran out of things to run for him,” said Brown of Ginnis. “And that’s never happened before in an offense where I’ve got 50 sets.”

Arlington held a 33-21 advantage at halftime, but saw it get chipped away by Lake Stevens, who went low to Gunnar Ecklund for a number of high percentage shots. The Vikings got to within four with three minutes remaining, but Arlington’s underclassmen put on the finishing touches, starting with a tip-in from sophomore Terry Dawn who hit a 3-pointer two possessions earlier. Dawn finished with five points and nine rebounds. Also, junior post Bo Brummel stepped back and connected from downtown for his only points on the night put the game out of reach at 55-46 with a minute remaining. Brummel also had 10 boards.

“We’re just a really deep team,” said Brown. “Everybody says that we’re graduating everybody from this team, and these seniors are absolutely great — I love them — but we’ll be right in it next year with these guys.”

The win puts Arlington at 11-2 in conference play (14-4 overall) and atop the standings with just a matchup with Monroe Feb. 2 to decide which team earns the title.

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