ARLINGTON — It started tough for Arlington, but the boys basketball team eventually rallied big in the second half to defeat Shorewood 83-73 Jan. 31 in a Wesco 3A league game.
The Eagles entered the game without head coach Nick Brown who was out sick, and senior leader Sam Tregoning was inactive as well.
But assistant coach Nathan Davis thought the boys did just fine under his temporary leadership.
“It’s always kind of weird. It’s like you’re driving someone else’s car,” Davis said. “So it’s super uncomfortable. You don’t want to mess it up, but I thought the boys did great.”
Despite Shorewood coming in with a 1-17 record, the Thunderbirds gave the Eagles problems early. Arlington trailed as far behind as 10 points in the opening quarter, but fighting back only to be behind 16-12 going into the second quarter.
Arlington contended better with Shorewood in the next quarter, but the Thunderbirds still ended up on top 36-33 at halftime.
“We’re still just inexperienced and learning,” Davis said. “I think [Shorewood]’s just tough, very tenacious and very focused. They came to play.”
Arlington senior Drew Bryson scored a game-high 35 points, scoring most of his points in the second quarter including three 3-pointers, but coach Davis said he wanted to pass the ball more and pay better defense.
“We didn’t defend as well as we would have liked to,” he said. But in scoring, “we executed our plays really well in the third quarter.”
The adjustment translated to Arlington’s highest-scoring quarter, outscoring Shorewood 23-14.
Six-foot-three sophomore Griffin Gardoski became second in scoring with 19 points, landing important 3-pointers alongside Bryson, as well as scoring off rebounds to help Arlington win out the closing half.
It got interesting briefly in the fourth quarter when Shorewood came within 62-59 behind Arlington, but the Eagles came away with another run that was amplified by 3-point goals scored apiece by Bryson, Gardoski and junior Jaren Cary.
The win improved Arlington’s record to 10-8.