ARLINGTON — The start to the 2015-2016 season couldn't be more perfect for the Arlington Memorial High School basketball team.
Entering Wednesday night's game at 5-1 on the season, the Eagles soared past Leland and Gray to win their sixth game of the season.
Right out of the gate, the Eagles showed off their muscles offensively, getting out to a 14-8 lead to begin the game. The recipe for the Eagles' success on offense in the game was their terrific shooting from three-point range.
The Eagles knocked down four of their seven three pointers in the first half, led by senior Brandon Gamble, who swished in two from deep to give Arlington an 18-10 lead going into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, Arlington went a different route in their offense, using their defense to create fast break opportunities for them to score to points.
The beneficiary for that style of play was Keyshawn King, who scored five of his nine first half points in the second quarter by getting baskets in transition off turnovers that were created by the Eagles' defense.
"I love just getting out and running the break to get a lot of fast break lay up opportunities," King said. "The strength of my game is driving towards the basket for lay ups, so when I can do that I feel I can take over the game for my team."
The spunky sophomore was all over the court for the Eagles in the win, scoring a team-high 16 points on offense and being a pest on defense with three steals and seven rebounds.
"He is a ball of energy," said Arlington coach Chris Taft. "He always gives you a 100 percent on the court and he is the motor of our team."
The 16 points in the game were a career-high for King and his performance in the second quarter helped drive the Eagles to a 35-23 lead going into halftime.
Up by 15 early in the second half, the Eagles' offense for the only time in the game went cold and allowed Leland and Gray to cut their lead to seven with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. That's when the Eagles three-point shooting got back on track thanks to junior Alex Paustian.
With the seconds ticking down in the third quarter, Paustain took a last-second heave from the left corner to beat the buzzer and give the Eagles a double-digit lead again. Just seconds laster in the fourth quarter, Paustain knocked down another three ball from the left corner, which gave him a team-high 3 three-pointers on the night.
"I have never had that feeling of being lights out in shooting from three-point range in my life," Paustain said. "It just felt great and I was happy that it helped the team win the game."
In total, Paustain had nine points in the game. Junior Darren Golden also scored nine point for the Eagles in the win as well.
The Eagles would add their seventh three-pointer of the night from freshman Jack Lane in the fourth and cruise to a 63-51 victory.
"This was a great team win for us," Taft said. "Everybody that played for us contributed to the win and it really showed how deep of a team we are in all phases of the game."
The Eagles, now sitting at 6-1 on the season, will gear up for what is sure to be their toughest part of their schedule, with facing Fort Edward and undefeated Proctor on the road in their next two games.
"Our motto all year has been taking it one game at a time, so we're just going to start focusing on our non-conference game with Fort Edward now and then gear up for our toughest task of the season in Proctor," said Taft. "That's how were going to play it and will see what happens."
Arlington will travel to play Fort Edward on Monday at 7 p.m.