ARLINGTON — King was the word in Thursday night's game between the Arlington Memorial High School boys basketball team and West Rutland. Eagles sophomore Keyshawn King scored a game-high 16 points helped led Arlington to a 41-36 victory over West Rutland, for their ninth win of the season.
"I felt like I played pretty well tonight," King said. "I was shooting well tonight, I hit most of my free throws tonight, it was great to have a good night out there on the court."
In a game where points were hard to come by to say the least, King's offense really sparked Arlington to gain control of a low- scoring affair.
It all started for King late in the first quarter, when West Rutland was up 10-4. King helped spark an Eagles run to pull Arlington within two of West Rutland going into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, King continued his offensive prowess by doing what great players do in making his free throws. He would go 3-of-4 from the line in the quarter and lead Arlington to a 19-18 lead at the half. He was 5-of-6 from the line in the first half.
"He really got our offense going late in each quarter to help us get that lead there going into the half," said Arlington coach Chris Taft. "We weren't getting any of our shots really to fall in during the first half, Keyshawn being able to make his free throws helped us to get our offense going a bit."
King's biggest impact came in the third quarter when West Rutland came back to grab a four-point lead with three minutes left in the frame.
The sophomore showed off his offensive skills with two tough fadeaway shots in the paint to a silky smooth jump shot left of the foul line, scoring six straight points to give Arlington the lead back.
"Keyshawn is the hardest worker you're going to see," Taft said. "He worked so hard in the offseason to improve his game and that showed big time tonight with his performance to carry us to a win."
Going into the fourth quarter up five, Arlington was able to keep it a two possession game throughout the quarter before King, in his fashion, spun around a defender to hit a fall away jumper to give the Eagles a 33-26 lead with 1:57 left.
"It feels pretty good that I was able to play a great game when we had a tough night scoring the basketball," King said. "I think it really shows how good of a player I have become and that I can be the guy to help lead the team offensively when they need me."
After King's basket, Arlington was able to make it a 11 point lead with back to back fast break layups by senior Nathan Mattison, but saw the lead dwindle again after West Rutland hit a couple threes from the right corner to get themselves back in the game with under a minute left to play.
Knowing that West Rutland was going to foul, Arlington was able get the man they wanted at the line in junior Jared Lacoste to ice the game.
At the line with under 30 seconds to play, Lacoste, with ice water in his veins, knocked down two huge free throws to extend the Eagles' lead and help the seal the deal for Arlington.
"This was a really big win for us," Lacoste said. "We didn't have a great game shooting the basketball, so knowing that we can win with great defense and clutch shooting at the foul line will definitely be a huge bonus for us with the end of the season approaching."
Lacoste had seven points in the Eagles victory.
With the win, Arlington improves to 9-3 on the season and is now a perfect 4-0 at home this season.
The Eagles will go for win number nine on Saturday when they travel to play Springfield at 12:30 p.m.