Sports

Arlington boys basketball rolls to District seed

Andy Smith, 24, gets one of the Eagles numerous layins during the first half. - Travis Sherer
Andy Smith, 24, gets one of the Eagles numerous layins during the first half.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

EDMONDS — The Eagles left no doubt as to who belonged in the District 1 tournament.

With an 85-60 win in a play-in game versus Edmonds-Woodway Feb. 12, Arlington earned the final seed in the tournament.

“It’s been a whole season of work getting to where we are now, and all that work showed tonight,” said head coach Nick Brown. “If we play that way, we are right in the middle of districts.”

In the biggest game of the season, Arlington came out firing behind nine points by junior Griffin Ginnis, owning a 26-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Eagles maintained their lead into halftime with the score at 37-21.

While Arlington’s shooting was clearly the best it’s been all season, what stood out was its ball movement. The Eagles were able to throw the ball around as if there weren’t any defenders, finding open shots on almost every possession.

“We’re at the point now where I’ve turned the team over to them,” Brown said. “I’ve said, ‘Here you go. You guys know what to do.’ And I think they’ve responded.”

Ginnis improved upon his first half with 19 points in the final 16 minutes for a career and game-high 28.

“I was just feeling the touch,” Ginnis said. “And I was getting a lot of open shots. We were able to run a lot and Zach (Cooper) was doing a good job of finding people.”

At one point, Ginnis scored 10 consecutive points in the second half. He also made a career-high seven three-pointers.

At one point, the Eagles led by as many as 28, with the score 83-55 with three players scoring in double digits. Blake Petersen and Andy Smith scored 14 a piece to help Arlington score 80 or more the first time this season.

The Eagles have won three straight en route to six victories in their last seven games — a streak that started after losing 77-68 against Stanwood, which happens to be Arlington’s first-round opponent Feb. 17.

“This gives us a chance to show how good we think we are, which is right in there with teams,” Brown said of the District 1 tournament field. “If we play and shoot as well as we did tonight, anything can happen.”

While Griffin was the hero, a number of players had perhaps their best games of the season.

“Andy Smith is really starting to play and I saw him do all those little things to help us, you almost can’t see everything he does to help us win,” Brown said. “And Bo (Brummel) was great down in the key for us, rebounding and playing defense.”

It could be said that the Eagles played their best game of the season when they had to.

“Oh definitely,” Ginnis said. “Defensive-wise and with our ball movement — that’s better than we’ve been all season.

The Eagles finish the regular season a 13-8 record (9-7 Wesco North).

BROWN WINS COACH OF THE YEAR

Announced during the final game of the season, Arlington coach Nick Brown was voted Western Conference coach of the year by his colleagues.

As usual, the Eagles coach was more eager to talk about his players than himself.

“It’s a great honor, but without the players that I have, we couldn’t have the success we had this year,” he said.

Arlington finished in fifth place in the Wesco North standings, with a record of 9-7.

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