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Arlington takes on tough Wesco North
Its a good year to be Arlingtons head boys basketball coach as Nick Brown will quickly point out. The cupboard is stocked with returning players, including some of last years top performers. The team has a good blend of size and speed and should compete favorably in a packed Wesco North conference.
Caleb Scarth leads the way for the Eagles. The 6 3 Scarth is a physical presence inside, who is solid on the boards.
Calebs coordination is catching up to him, said Brown. Hes a beast.
Alongside Scarth on the frontline will be Tyler Busby. The 6 2 Busby plays both inside and out and Brown expects him to be a key scorer on the team.
Tyler is very court savvy, with a good knowledge of the game, said Brown. He does a lot of the little things to help a team win.
Shooting guard Cole Carpenter also returns for the Eagles, giving them another outside threat. Brown calls Carpenter a pure scorer with a great understanding of the game.
Six-foot tall Lucas Larson will be the starting point guard, someone Brown will look to for on-court leadership.
Lucas gained a lot of strength since last season. Hes worked hard in the off-season, said Brown. Hes a solid point guard, a good passer, and a strong rebounder. He helps us get into our offense.
Also returning will be Brandon Gunter and Brad McPherson. Gunter is a unique athlete who brings athleticism and quickness to the guard position. McPherson plays five inches taller than he is according to Coach Brown. McPhersons determination down low allows him to guard much taller players.
Hes so strong and works so hard, said Brown. His motor is the best motor weve got. He goes and goes.
The team tested itself this summer in a variety of tournaments, including one undefeated stretch at Anacortes that saw the Eagles take down perennial power Mercer Island as well as some league competition.
We like to get out and run if possible, said Brown. We found last year that we also need to execute in the half court. All good teams find a way to stop their opponents from running. We have to execute our motion offense.
Brown plans on installing some new wrinkles into the motion this year.
Wed like to run around five passes to get a good shot. We want the ball to touch as many hands as possible on the offensive end.
He also would like to keep teams guessing by changing his defenses frequently.
Well run a mixture of man-to-man and zone. Occasionally Ill throw a gimmick defense out there to confuse teams. As the year goes on well add some more looks.
The team still faces the stiff challenge of Wesco North competition. For Arlington, confronting the tough 4A teams early will toughen them up for the 3A playoffs.
Its always hard playing in this league, said Brown. People forget we compete against 4A opponents night in, night out. In the district tournament last season against 3A teams we had a lot of success. I always believe we can compete with everybody, but I have great respect for the other teams in this conference.
Its going to take good execution for the Eagles to reach their conference goals. Brown envisions his team in the top half of the league, but it wont be easy to get there.
There are good coaches and good athletes at all of these schools, said Brown. Were going to have to shoot the ball well this year to have success.