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New look Arlington Eagles
ARLINGTON — This year’s Arlington boys hoops team couldn’t look any more different from last season’s.
Those looking for the highly skilled, finesse team that started five seniors and was knocked out of the Class 4A District 1 tournament last season will be left scratching their heads.
“We’re expecting to build from last year,” said coach Nick Brown, who graduated six players total. “But we’re going to be different. Last year we put up a lot of points — we were skilled and experienced. We might not score as many now, but we’re going to be physical and solid around the basket.”
Brown, entering his third season as coach, was as excited as he could be about his program, and said that he was getting the athletes needed to compete. Now it’s just a matter of getting the experience to win.
Lucky for him that he is returning three varsity juniors at key positions, starting with point guard Zach Cooper. Being a quick playmaker with the ability to shoot outside makes Cooper, who has been on the varsity roster two years, an integral part of the team.
“He’s got a motor that doesn’t end, and he’s just a knowledgeable player,” Brown said.
Receiving the ball from Cooper will be junior forwards Eric Carlson and Blake Peterson. Both physical, defensive post players should not leave Brown needing more rebounders, as they have the body types to push any Wesco Conference player around.
Brown also noted junior guard Griffin Ginnis as a much needed playmaker in an offense that will look to control the clock and limit possessions.
“He’s a deadeye shooter,” Brown said. “He’s the kind of kid who scores. We put the ball in his hands and watch what happens.”
Senior leadership will come from Andy Smith, Carson Davis, Isaac Ladines and Evan Robertson.
Robertson and Ladines have some varsity experience and Davis plans to use them as spark plugs to ignite the offense, while guards Smith and Carson Davis are the kind of players that do whatever is needed.
“Andy is one of those kids that is a solid athlete and does all the little things every team needs to win,” Davis said.
The Arlington coach considers Stanwood to be the class of the Wesco Conference, as well as Lake Stevens.
“I think Marysville is going to surprise some people, and I think we’re right in there — right in the thick of it,” he said.