Arlington takes on Squalicum in first round of 3A boys basketball district tournament

ARLINGTON — One of the goals set early on by Arlington boys basketball coach Nick Brown was for his young team to get to the 3A district tournament.

Arlington is qualified, but Brown doesn’t want to stop there.

“We want to go to regionals. We want to go to state,” Brown said. “I think a lot of people don’t give us a chance, but we don’t care. Our program has always been a team to overachieve a bit.”

Arlington closed out its final regular season game defeating Lynnwood 82-60 Feb. 8.

“We finally clicked on all cylinders in the second half, and it looked pretty good,” Brown said. “They’re a fun group to watch, and a fun group to coach.”

Though the Eagles started slow, Brown said it’s the best game he’s seen so far.

“I think that was the first time we really played as close to how good we really could play,” Brown said.

Before Arlington could take off with a rout, the Eagles had to stave off Lynnwood’s physicality which kept the first half close.

“We talked about defense after halftime,” Brown said. “We finally started doing it.”

Then as Arlington got into its shooting rhythm, the Eagles finally took flight midway through the third quarter and never looked back.

“We’re a rhythm team,” Brown said. “When we hit rhythm shots. We feel pretty good about them.”

Senior Drew Bryson led with a game-high 31 points. Bryson led in 3-pointers landing four, but other players landed crucial 3’s as well.

Hitting rhythm shots is all about the “feel,” even from players who are not typically regarded as shooters, Brown said.

“You can hear me probably saying ‘hit the shot before you can even take the shot,’” Brown said. “Because I can feel it. It’s feel that we have. When we’re shooting like that, we’re tough to defend.”

Arlington, seeded 12th, will host the 13th-seeded Squalicum in its first-round game of the district tournament, Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

“They’re real well-coached,” Brown said. “They’re going to be hard-nosed.”