ARLINGTON – The phrase “can’t miss” sometimes refers to entertainment that is a guaranteed success.
But in basketball, “can’t miss” applied to the visiting Burlington-Edison boys basketball team in their 69-58 win over Arlington Dec. 20.
It seemed like the Tigers hit every 3-point shot they took in the first 1 1/2 quarters, which was nine, as they took a 37-23 lead midway through period two.
Along with not extending their defense out far enough, the Eagles also were hurt by giving up a couple of offensive boards, leading to easy put-back shots.
Arlington did have some highlights in the early going. Junior guard Anthony Whitis hit a 3, made a nice back-door pass to junior wing Griffen Gardoski and scored on an inbounds play. After falling behind 15-10, Eagle coach Nick Brown put in a whole new team, with senior wing Campbell Hudson hitting a couple of buckets and junior guard Caden Smith scoring after a steal. Yet Arlington trailed 28-16 at the end of the first quarter.
Senior wing Jaren Cary scored on a drive then junior post Ayodele Aribibola made a three-point play after grabbing an offensive board. Sophomore post Will Abram, who is 6-9, scored inside, as did Whitis after an offensive rebound. Max Smith, a 6-5 junior post, scored after an offensive rebound then scored again on a nifty pass from Whitis, but the home team still trailed 41-31 at the half. In the third quarter, B-E hit three more 3’s, but Arlington countered with 3’s by Whitis, Cary and junior wing Josh Gutierrez. Max Smith scored on yet another offensive rebound, and Hudson made a nice pass inside to Whitis as the gap closed to within 52-45 after three.
The Eagles trapping defense led to a number of foul calls, but in the fourth quarter B-E started missing them to keep the game close. Gutierrez scored after an OR and Gardoski scored after a steal. When Hudson hit a 3 the Eagles pulled to within 62-57 with a couple of minutes remaining. But that’s as close as they would get.
B-E’s two outstanding sophomores, 6-3 guard Jackson Reisner and 6-6 forward Wyatt Walker, led the winners with 25 and 19 points as they improved to 4-0.
Arlington, which dropped to 6-3, was led by Whitis with 12, Gardoski with 11, Guiterrez with 10, Hudson with 7, Max Smith with 6, Cary with 5, Aribibola with 3, and Abram and Caden Smith with 2 each.