Meadowdale holds slim lead, tops Arlington

— image credit: DANIELLE SZULCZEWSKI Sports Reporter

ARLINGTON — With school and games cancelled due to weather, the Arlington boys basketball team must have clocked some quality time with the Will Ferrell basketball comedy “Semi-Pro.”

With one of the movie’s memorable lines stitched on the back of their warm-up jerseys this season — “ELE,” short for Everybody Love Everybody — the guys brought out the Flint Tropics’ patented play when they returned to the court against Meadowdale Dec. 30, scoring on the alley oop.

Trailing eight points at halftime, Arlington closed the gap against Meadowdale in the third and fourth quarters, coming within one possession of the lead on five separate occasions in the second half.

Though not a big three-point shooting team, three-point plays helped Arlington close the gap in the third quarter. Coming out of the half, senior guard Cole Carpenter drew a foul as he went to the basket, closing a 10-point gap to 31-24. Lucas Larson made the first of the Eagles’ two treys of the night to close the gap to six points. Midway through the third quarter, Tyler Busby also had a three-point play and Arlington trailed 37-36.

Arlington seemed poised to take the lead after Busby’s play when Larson grabbed a Meadowdale turnover, but the Eagles were unable to capitalize. Instead, Meadowdale’s Conner Hamlett, Arlington’s nemesis all night, scored and reopened the lead.

An alley-oop from Will Heath to Carpenter opened the fourth quarter and Arlington pulled the game tight again. But despite another trey from Larson and another three-point play from Carpenter, both in the last two minutes, Arlington was never able to gain a lead. With 35 seconds left, the Eagles were forced to foul for possessions. Late three-point attempts to tie the game fell short and ultimately, so did the Eagles, 57-54.

Hamlett had a game-high 20 points for Meadowdale, overshadowing the four Arlington players in double figures. Carpenter led Arlington with 15 points while Larson had 13, Busby 11 and Heath 10.

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