DORSET -- Arlington battled to a 30-20 road win in its season opener on Friday against Long Trail.
The difference was Arlington’s ability to score in transition. The Eagles found a bit of a groove offensively to start the fourth quarter, scoring a couple transition baskets. That gave Arlington a four-point lead with less than seven minutes to play, and the visitors never looked back.
Long Trail failed to establish an offensive rhythm for much of the game. The second quarter was an outlier of sorts, scoring nine points. They scored 11 total in the other three quarters combined.
“We were never able to settle in,” said LTS coach Mike Olson.
A low-scoring first quarter actually saw the Mountain Lions with the lead, 3-1, after the first eight minutes of play. The only made field goal for either side was a Cannon Petry long ball late in the quarter.
The Mountain Lions held the lead at the end of the first and second quarters, and the game was tied at 18 going into the fourth quarter.
Arlington leading scorer Jake Morse was sent to the free throw line with 3:18 to play and Arlington ahead 24-18. Morse sank both of his foul shots, extending his point total to a team-high 10 and more importantly giving the Eagles an eight-point advantage.
Arlington coach Brian Lacoste thought his team was nervous heading into the season opener.
“I said to my assistant coach when we were getting off the bus, 'We’re nervous,'’’ Lacoste said.
The coach said those nerves attributed to the low-scoring affair.
“I think we had great looks (offensively),” Lacoste said. “I think if we touch the ball a bit more going forward, and nerves go away a little bit, hopefully (our shots) will start falling.”
Turnovers stalled many LTS possessions before they could get going. Arlington pressured the ball throughout the night, showing grit in the low scoring win.
Long Trail out-rebounded Arlington, thanks in large part to Jake Leary who finished with double-digit boards. Long Trail used its size to get multiple chances offensively, but its shots were not falling all night.
“He probably had 12 to 15 rebounds, he was very good,” Olson said.
Arlington was led offensively by Jake Morse with 10 points.
Will Clark paced the Mountain Lions, scoring six in the season opener:
Olson praised Arlington for its effort.
“I thought Arlington really was gritty, they played hard,” Olson said. “And I thought for the most part, we played hard as well.”