After watching Lake Stevens and Arlington on Tuesday my thoughts are more of confusion.
The game was a tale of two halves. Lake Stevens dominated the first half behind 10 3-pointers, including four a piece from Devin Stoen and Dakota Tomson. But the Vikings were outdone in the second half by a great defensive effort from the Eagles, who rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to win 63-59 and remain unbeaten on the season.
So I guess I have to start off with the winning team. Despite a poor first half, the Eagles were very impressive to comeback and win the game. And by improving to 6-0 on the season, their body of work remains impressive. However, a troubling thing was that first half -- and not just for me. Eagles coach Nick Brown said that his team has turned in a few less than stellar performances in the first half of games so far this season. But just as impressive is their ability to persevere and continue to win.
The Vikings did a good job defensively on Terry Dawn, but the Eagles proved they had several other players who could step up. Kaleb Bryson scored 18, including four 3s, Noah Jones scored 14 and Bradey Brummel chipped in with 11. But it was really the defense that won the game for Arlington. After giving up 42 points in the first half, the Eagles allowed just 17 in the second half.
Since this was a game on the road against a team in Lake Stevens that is much better than its record (1-3), the Eagles have proven that they are going to be around for the long haul this season. It appears they just have some kinks that need to be worked out.
The Vikings are more of a mystery and could be a bit more of a work in progress. The good news for Lake Stevens is that they are loaded with talent. Tomson and Stoen are both go-to players for the Vikings that can produce. They are surrounded by players like Jared Rahn, Tory Rothgeb and Moussa Sanoh, who all have the ability to shoulder some of the offensive load.
The thing is, Tomson and Stoen are going to shoot lights out the way they did in the first half every game. They didn't even maintain that clip for the entire game this time around. The Vikings rely a lot on the three and need more production from their post players. But this is a team loaded with seniors and led by Stoen and Tomson I have no doubt that they will continue to improve throughout the season.
After leading nearly every minute of the game, this was a devastating loss for the Vikings. But coach Mark Hein knows what he is doing and I'm certain he will make sure his team doesn't overreact to this loss. I expect the Vikings to be ready to play their next time out and by the end of the season, we should be talking less about devastating losses and more about the playoffs.
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