After semifinal appearance, Eagles aim for next step

ARLINGTON — In their first game of the season, the Arlington boys basketball team immediately avenged their last loss — a semifinal defeat at Barre Auditorium against Proctor.

The win is a good boost for the rest of the 2017-18 campaign, the first with coach Ashley Hoyt at the helm.

"Two starters from a year ago lead the Eagles in Jack Lane and Keyshawn King. Lane and King combined to average 19.3 points per game as Arlington went 16-7 last year and had a semifinal appearance

"Both Jack and Keyshawn are big leaders for us, especially Keyshawn," Hoyt said. "He leads by example every day in practice, works hard in every drill and he's the most vocal in terms of learning new things or talking on defense. He's more vocal then Jack, but Jack leads by actions, he has a high basketball IQ. The other guys feed off of them."

Chase Hoyt looks to be the primary ballhandler as the point guard.

"He can shoot from the outside and he distributes it well," Ashley Hoyt said. "He'll control the offense, so that means he'll see a lot of defensive pressure this year, but I know he's capable enough to handle that."

Matt Ritchie missed the opener and will miss another game due to a VPA suspension after he received a red card in the soccer playoffs. Hoyt said he'll be the team's sixth man.

"He's one of our best athletes, he's a good defender and a really strong kid," Hoyt said. "It's unfortunate that he's out, but he'll be back and helping our team."

One of Monday's starters was Davide Bradaschia, playing in his first basketball game. The exchange student was a big part of the soccer team as well.

"He's a great shooter and sees the court well," Hoyt said. "He loves to push the ball and he can shoot from the outside," Hoyt said.

Another new face is Kolby Wilkins, who had 13 rebounds in the first game.

"Kolby has been a very pleasant surprise, he's so strong with the basketball and he battles on defense," Hoyt said. "He loves to rebounds and he's a good on the ball defender. He's versatile so I can put him anywhere, he does whatever it takes on defense to stop guys from scoring. That's going to be a big asset for us inside."

The rest of the roster includes Bailey Cross, Lane Nolan, William Moore, Taylor Therriault and Noah Dietrich, who will be part of Hoyt's rotation as the season progresses.

Arlington's numbers for the entire program are high, with 14 on JV and more than 20 in the modified program.

"Our numbers have increased tremendously, especially at the middle school level," Hoyt said. "We have lots of sophomores and freshmen who have taken to the game and want to play and get better, it's great to see the numbers to develop the program and grow over the years."

Arlington's schedule is a tough one, starting with their opener against Proctor. They go to the Granville, N.Y. tournament, facing all larger teams. They also face Division III teams like Twin Valley, Green Mountain and Leland & Gray.

"I love the tough schedule, it'll get us ready for the playoffs and do some damage at that point," Hoyt said. "We talked as a team, we want to be in the top 4 in D4 and take it one game at a time, playing to eventually win a title."


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