LAKE STEVENS — Arlington’s boys basketball team continues to frustrate head coach Nick Brown in the first half of its basketball games.
The Eagles, however, continue to make him proud when the games are over.
Arlington rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to defeat Lake Stevens 63-59 on Tuesday and remain unbeaten this season.
“We keep making the same mistakes over and over,” Brown said. “And that’s on me as a coach. I keep allowing them to shoot — one pass and shot in the first half. It takes a half for us to figure it out. And then finally we started playing defense and we started passing the ball and we started sharing the ball.”
The Eagles found themselves behind early thanks to the hot shooting of Lake Stevens’ Devin Stoen and Dakota Tomson. Both players shot 4-for-5 from behind the 3-point line in the first half as the Vikings made 10 first-half 3s and led 42-24 at intermission.
Brown said he figured the Vikings couldn’t continue to shoot the ball that well and Vikings coach Mark Hein said the hot shooting might have given his team too much confidence.
“They had 30 points from the 3-point line in the first half,” Brown said. “I said, ‘They aren’t going to do that all game.’ So we just stayed the course and kept going the way we wanted to go. My hats off to them, but my hats off to my guys. They went out there and they spilled their blood on the floor tonight and I appreciated that.”
Said Lake Stevens’ Hein: “I think in the first half we got lulled into a little bit of a false sense of security hitting so many perimeter shots.
“We had a lot of quick shots that went in and we thought it was going to be easy all night and of course (the Eagles) are a resilient defensive team and they battled back.”
After giving up 42 points in the first half, the Eagles’ defense held the Vikings to just 17 points in the second. After big individual first halves, Tomson and Stoen were largely held in check.
The Vikings made it difficult for Arlington’s Terry Dawn to get going offensively, but the Eagles had other players step up, especially in the second half.
Kaleb Bryson finished the game with 18 points and four 3s, Noah Jones had 14 and Bradey Brummel had 11. Dawn scored 14 points.
“We just played great together and we hit our shots,” Jones said. “We held them to (17) points in the second half and played great ‘D.’ It was just an all-around great effort in the second half.”
The Eagles used a 10-0 run down the stretch in the fourth quarter to turn a 56-49 deficit into a 59-56 lead. The run was capped by Bradey Brummel’s 3-pointer with 3:17 to play, giving the Eagles their first lead of the game.
For a team with aspirations for the Tacoma Dome this season, Brown said Tuesday’s win was important for his program.
“This is huge,” Brown said. “Lake Stevens is a quality program. They are a good team and we went into their house and stole one. It’s a great program. Mark does a great job. So I feel like for us to come in here and do that, it not only builds our confidence in each other and in ourselves, but it’s certain to build that trust that we need to have as a team.”
And on the other side is the Vikings, a team that at halftime looked well on its way to knocking Arlington from the ranks of the unbeaten and winning its first league game. Instead, the Vikings are a 1-3 team that let an opportunity slip through their hands.
“Well, of course right now we all feel like we got hit by a truck,” Hein said. “We let one slip away. But like I told the guys, we still have 13 league games to go. It’s a long haul and we can’t get too concerned about the ups or downs of the season. We have a long road ahead of us.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Lake Stevens H.S.
Arlington — Kaleb Bryson 18, Terry Dawn 14, Gavin Smoke 3, Noah Jones 14, AJ Passalaqua 1, Bradey Brummel 11, Nate Lewis 2. Lake Stevens — Dakota Tomson 15, Frazer Carpenter 0, Devin Stoen 22, Jared Rahn 7, Joe Hendrickson 3, Ryan Lian 0, Moussa Sanoh 6, CJ Lat 2, Brice Dodge 0, Tory Rothgeb 4. 3-point goals — Bryson 4, Smoke 1, Brummel 1, Tomson 4, Stoen 6, Rahn 1, Sanoh 1. Records — Arlington 2-0 league, 6-0 overall; Lake Stevens 0-1, 1-3.