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Arlington boys survive late Kamiak scare at districts
ARLINGTON — Any way you look at it, the Eagles have played their final game at home this season.
But the Arlington boys basketball team showed the home crowd what was possible in a 65-55 win over Kamiak in District 1 tournament action to put them within two wins of a state tournament berth.
“These guys came out and did what they needed to do to survive,” said Arlington coach Nick Brown. “Now we’ve got more work to do.”
Despite owning a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter, the win wasn’t without suspense, however, as Kamiak switched to a man-to-man defense and scored 14 unanswered points inside five minutes to make the score 55-50.
The Knights ran the same kind of dribble-drive offense all game, but the floaters they had been shooting all along just started falling.
“I think we got a little bit lax in the fourth quarter,” said Brown. “I think we thought we were thinking it was over, and it wasn’t.”
The Eagles knocked heads with the Knights in the first quarter and took away a 19-15 lead behind the play of Eric Carlson. The senior forward scored his team’s first eight points and 14 in the first half almost exclusively in the paint.
“They put their point guard on me and instead of fooling around I just took my first step to the basket every time,” said Carlson, who finished with a game-high 18 points.
The Eagles got a boost in the final seconds of both the first and second quarters on buzzer-beating 3-pointers from Terry Dawn and Griffin Ginnis to own a 36-25 lead at halftime.
Arlington extended its lead in the second half by pressuring Kamiak’s young guards and forcing a number of turnovers and off-balance shots.
“We talked about it at halftime and saw that their guards couldn’t handle our pressure,” said Dawn, a sophomore who finished with 16 points.
Kamiak actually got an open look for a 3-pointer in the final minutes of the game with the score at 55-50 but it was short. Arlington then scored on baskets from Carlson and Blake Petersen to put the game out of reach.
“I liked the shots we got (in the fourth quarter), they just weren’t falling,” said Brown.
Arlington needed a win against Lake Stevens Feb. 18 and then to defeat the third-place finisher out of the Kingco tournament Feb. 22 to earn a trip to the Tacoma Dome.