ARLINGTON — It might have been the first game of the season, but the Arlington Memorial High School boys basketball team looked like they were in mid-season form on Thursday night.
The Eagles cruised to a 65-46 victory over Bellows Falls in their season opener.
Arlington started off the game scoring the first seven points, thanks to two fast break layups from Keyshawn King and a three-pointer — one of five in the game — from senior Brandon Gamble.
"We established the pace that we want to play at, and that was a huge factor in how well we played," said Arlington coach Chris Taft. "Everybody on the team contributed towards the win and as a coach I love seeing that."
Leading 21-13 going in the second quarter, Arlington was able to pull away to a double digit lead at the half, thanks to the play of senior Austin Hawley.
The senior captain scored 7 of his 11 first half points in the second quarter, including knocking down a huge three pointer to end on for the Eagles.
Hawley picked up right where he left off in the second half, scoring the first six points for the Eagles in the third quarter.
"I was feeling pretty good out their all night," Hawley said. " It felt great to have good night out their to start off season and help get the win for the team."
After Bellows Falls pulled within 15, Hawley ended the comeback with his third 3-pointer on the contest, finishing him a game-high 20 points on the night.
"We really wanted to give the hometown fans something to cheer about," Hawley said. "One of our goals as a team was to protect the Nest and be perfect at home this season."
Fellow seniors Nathan Mattison and Gamble also had themselves good games to start off the season. Mattiison, pulled down a game-high 8 rebounds and had 11 points, while Gamble dropped in eight, six of them coming in the second half.
The speedy King finished with eight points on the night and had five rebounds as well.
Arlington had nine players score on the night.
"Communication was the big key for us being able to put up a lot of points on the board tonight," Taft said. "How we communicated tonight on the court together, shows were months ahead of where we were at last year."
The Eagles will now have the weekend to get ready for their second game of the season, when they travel to play Green Mountain on Monday night at 7 p.m.