Boys Basketball: Arlington hopes for breakout season

Five seniors return from last year’s varsity squad. From left, Will Heath, Tyler Busby, AJ Richardson, Lucas Larson and Cole Carpenter. -
Five seniors return from last year’s varsity squad. From left, Will Heath, Tyler Busby, AJ Richardson, Lucas Larson and Cole Carpenter.
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ARLINGTON — It can be tough to climb up though a league. Wesco North boys basketball is no exception.

After finishing squarely in the middle of the pack last year as a 3A squad, the Arlington boys hope to make a play for a district spot in their first year back as a 4A school. Arlington coach Nick Brown thinks his guys have the experience and have put in the work to make that kind of move through the standings.

“We’ve got a lot of experience and we’ve got playoff experience,” he said. “We had a great summer.”

The team played tournament basketball this summer seemingly anywhere they could find a game. The boys matched up against prospective league rivals in nearby tournaments at Lake Stevens. They faced regional teams in Ellensburg, Mount Vernon and Seattle. The Eagles even traveled to southern California to play tournament ball against California and Oregon programs at UC-San Diego.

“We ended up going to the championship in that bracket,” Brown reflected, describing an experience that gave the boys a look at a lot of different kinds of basketball.

“I think a lot of people missed us, we were pretty rag tag. We just had on practice jerseys. But we were one of the few teams that ran a lot of plays,” he added. “A lot of those teams are really athletic but they don’t run a lot of plays. It was nice for our kids to see how effective it can be.”

Arlington hopes to build their season on their summer experience and a strong senior class.

The boys are led by veteran starting guard Cole Carpenter, who has always been a major scoring threat for Arlington. Carpenter, along with senior Tyler Busby, is well-respected by rival coaches. Both players made last year’s all-Wesco North list.

Brown praised the leadership of both athletes, adding of Carpenter, “He’s just an uncommon presence on the floor.”

Seniors Lucas Larson, Will Heath and AJ Richardson also return after seeing some varsity time to help lead this year’s Arlington squad. Fellow senior Taylor Petit returns to the squad after taking his junior year off, while Brown is counting on sophomores Zach Cooper and Eric Carlson to contribute energy and minutes off the bench.

One new face on the Arlington bench should also have a subtle impact on this year’s squad — new assistant coach Jeff Bryson, who comes to the program after leading last year’s Darrington squad to the state tournament. Bryson transferred to the Arlington school district, in part, because his son is a freshman this year.

Brown has already felt Bryson’s impact.

“He’s brought a lot of energy and fun and insight to the team,” the intense coach said. “He lightens me up a little bit.”

The boys kick off their season Dec. 2 at home against Sultan.

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