By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — All Arlington boys basketball head coach Nick Brown needed to see before his team’s game against Mariner was in his players’ eyes.
What he saw was determination.
The Eagles rode a fast start and a big game from star Terry Dawn to beat the Marauders 63-51 in a first-round, 4A District 1 Tournament game and avenge a loss to the Marauders earlier in the season. The victory advances Arlington to a winner-to-state semifinal game on Friday against Edmonds-Woodway at Glacier Peak High School.
Back on Jan. 2, Mariner used a strong fourth quarter and Dawn’s foul trouble to beat the Eagles 54-49. Arlington came out Tuesday night like the wound was still fresh.
The Eagles scored on their first five trips down the court and forced Mariner into bad shots and a number of turnovers while jumping out to 15-0 lead. Mariner, which had four turnovers in its first six possessions, didn’t score until nearly five mintues into the game.
“The biggest difference was the eyes. In pregame I knew we were ready,” Brown said of his team. “The first time we weren’t. We had focus tonight.”
Once Mariner settled down, it started to chip away at the Arlington lead. Aided by the fact Arlington’s Bradey Brummel had to sit due to early foul trouble, Mariner’s Kiante Ahmad-Woods and Bayek Tutlam started hitting shots and actually got the Marauders to within a basked late in the second quarter. Ahmad-Woods and Tutlam scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the first half.
But Arlington got a pair of 3-pointers from Gavin Smoke and Kaleb Bryson and a basket from Dawn to finish the half on a 8-0 run. In the second half, Mariner didn’t get within seven as the Eagles slowly pulled away for the victory.
“We had some mental lapses, but the thing about this group when they get down like that and make some mistakes, they hunker down,” Brown said. “I’m real proud of them.”
Brown said he went back to the tape of the first game and broke down the game play by play.
“I had to see them against us,” Brown said. “I looked at that film and I didn’t look at a lot of other films because they dismantled us. I got outcoached and we got outplayed. We looked at some things they did last time and we took that away. We didn’t give up many good looks.
Brown also was quick to credit his assistant coaches — Jeff Bryson, Nathan Davis and Jason Klein.
“They’ve done an incredible job,” Brown said. “I get the luxury of having them all here. They do a lot of the breaking (film) down and they’re better at some of the stuff then I am.”
One thing Arlington took away this game was Tutlam. The Mariner senior wing scored 22 in the first meeting, including seven in the game’s final three minutes. Tuesday, he was held scoreless in the second half and didn’t get many open looks after halftime thanks to the defense of Dawn, who sat a lot of the first meeting because of foul trouble.
“I think a big difference tonight was Dawn not being in foul trouble,” Mariner head coach Tom Jensen said. “Give the credit to Arlington they drew up the defensive plan to play to their strengths and they did a good job.”
Dawn also was strong on the offensive end and on the glass, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The game highlight for Dawn was a four-point play in which he made a 3-pointer from the corner while being was knocked down. The senior calmly sank the free throw to give Arlington a 58-42 lead midway through the fourth quarter, all but sealing the game.
Arlington now finds the tables turned as it prepares to face an Edmonds-Woodway team in the semifinals that it beat 64-47 earlier in January. Brown for one said he wouldn’t take any other group of kids into what should be a great battle.
“Before the game I talked about in the old days you got these teams like Arlington, Darrington, Lake Stevens that go represent their town. I don’t feel we’ve represented our town like we can yet,” Brown said. “But I told them, ‘There’s no group I’d rather have around here than you guys to represent us.’ “
Mariner plays at Monroe on Friday at 7 p.m. in a loser-out consolation quarterfinal game.
At Arlington H.S.
Mariner 11 16 10 14 — 51
Arlington 22 15 15 11 — 63
Mariner—Bayek Tutlam 10, Kiante Ahmad-Woods 21, Amrit Singh 3, Cody Chrisman 2, Ali Al-Azadi 5, CJ Garrison 6, Deyon Robertson 0, Greg Whitaker 0, Colton Richardson 4. Arlington—Kaleb Bryson 11, Terry Dawn 20, Gavin Smoke 3, Shawn Adams 0, Nathan Aune 0, Noah Jones 14, AJ Passalaqua 2, Bradey Brummel 13, Ryan Walker 0, Nate Lewis 0. 3-point goals—Ahmad-Woods 4, Brummel 3, Dawn 2, Tutlam 2, Garrison 2, Bryson 1, Smoke 1, Al-Azadi 1, Singh 1. Records—Mariner 11-10 overall. Arlington 19-2.