Arlington clamps down on Poultney, earns sixth win

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ARLINGTON — Early in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's boys basketball showdown between Arlington and Poultney, the Blue Devils pulled within five points after trailing the entire night.

There was no panic in the Arlington huddle, only confidence that the Eagles could pull out a victory.

Hitting a handful of free throws down the stretch and holding Poultney to four fourth-quarter points was the difference in a 45-32 win at the Eagles' Nest.

Free-throw shooting was a key for the Eagles, as they hit 14-of-17 from the line, while Poultney was only 7-of-12.

"Free throws were huge, I mean, that's the game right there," said Arlington coach Chris Taft. "If we shoot poorly from the line, it's a much closer game."

After Poultney cut the lead to 36-31, Arlington's Darren Golden had one of the biggest shots of the night, a three with 2:41 to go to make it 40-31. On the next possession, Keyshawn King stole a pass and was fouled at the other end. He made both foul shots to give Arlington an 11-point lead in the blink of an eye.

"We had two huge stops with 5:30 left, I called a timeout and I said, 'We have to use our bread and butter and get stops. I put a good defensive lineup in and we got the stops and buckets on the other end," Taft said.

Neither team had a terrific shooting night, and Arlington led by 11, 26-15, at the break. In the third, Poultney started to make some headway against the Arlington defense, outscoring them 13-8 in the quarter to make it 34-28 heading to the final frame.

Arlington had three players in double figures, all tied for the team-high with 10 points — Jared Lacoste, King and Jack Lane. Lane, the sophomore, had all of his points in the first half as Arlington built a double-digit advantage. King added a team-high eight rebounds to his line.

"We had three in doubles, but that doesn't mention the guys off the bench, we have three guys and they could be different ones every night," Taft said. "Against a zone defense, the open guy gets the shot and you have to knock them down."

Golden added seven points including a big three-pointer in the fourth quarter.

Poultney's Rob Brill led all scorers with 13 points.

Arlington is 6-1 and hasn't played a team in its division yet this year.

"We have some tough teams in our division, so it won't get any easier when we do," Taft said. "It makes us battle tested. We've won some close games, that shows our maturity is at a high level."


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