Phantoms ground Eagles

ARLINGTON - The Arlington girls basketball team fell behind early in the game against Proctor on Wednesday and the defending state champs never relinquished the lead as the beat the Eagles 51-42 on their home floor.

Playing before a large crowd on Senior Night, the Eagles (9-7) tried to claw their way back into the game coming within three points in the third quarter before Proctor (15-2) was able get a little more breathing room.

"For us to gut it out down here versus a top four Division IV team was a tremendous effort," said Proctor coach Chris Hughes. "We knew coming down here was going to be the toughest environment we played in all year, Senior Night, and those guys have been playing real well the last month. They're well coached. They play hard and they never stop playing."

Proctor was powered by seniors Carissa Elrick - who led all scorers with 19 points and seven rebounds - and senior Megan Carter who recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Proctor neutralized senior Rayleen Sherman for much of the game as she had just one point going into the fourth. Sherman turned it up a notch in the fourth quarter though - dropping 10 points on the Phantoms. Scoring for the Eagles was fairly evenly distributed with sophomore guard Molly Elwell leading the Eagles with 12 points and Julia Lacoste following closely behind her and Sherman with 10 points.

Turnovers, which were abundant on both sides of the ball, played a role in the team's loss, according to Arlington coach Larry Andrews.

"I think they capitalized more on their defensive turnovers than we did," saidAndrews. "We had a couple where we'd throw it up and we'd throw it away. It's our youth too. I've got four sophomores out there at times and that's the defending state championship team [who] could be repeating."

The girls game was part of a double header on Senior Night.

The Arlington boys basketball team played Black River prior to the girls game and started off the night in fine fashion with a 69-46 victory.

To pick up one of the two wins that they needed to get into the playoffs on Senior Night was "special," according to senior guard Olden Dwyer.

"It means a lot. It's special. It was a pretty emotional night honestly," Dwyer said. "Even all day today you know you think about it and know that you know there's a chance that this could possibly be the last time we ever play here. It's emotional."

Dwyer's team, senior forward Alex Trayah, shared similar sentiments.

"It feels good to play in front of these fans," said Trayah. "We got this place packed a couple of times, but tonight was probably more special. It may be the last game we'll ever play here. I'm just glad we got a win."

Being up by a large margin early, Arlington coach Christ Taft said it allowed him to give some of his players more playing time.

"It's awesome because if we get into a competitive game we're only playing about seven people," Taft said. "Tonight some of the main players for us, some of the main kids that get a lot of minutes got to root them on. So, it was really good. It helps build team unity and it's a good atmosphere all around for the kids."

Junior center DJ Jennings led all scorers, recording a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Alex Hawley was not far behind Jennings, recording 19 points.

Junior Ben Veysey led Black River in scoring with 14 points, followed closely by sophomore Tyler Billings who had 11 points on the night.

The Eagles (11-8) can secure a playoff berth in their season finale on the road against West Rutland on Friday.

Follow on Twitter @BrandonCanevari.


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