“This year chemistry has been the difference,” Arlington coach Greg Cannon said. “We had some players last year who were used to playing AAU style, getting up and down the floor and a ‘whoever had it shot it’ kind of attitude. It was frustrating to me last year because they didn’t work well together.”
But with seniors Darius McNear and Brandon Cerezola, and juniors Terence Burts and Eric Williams leading the way, the Eagles are 12-1 overall with 11 of those victories coming by double-digit margins.
“We had a good team but we didn’t play together,” McNear said. “This year, we actually pass the ball to each other.”
“Overall, I’ve just been real pleased,” Cannon said.
Last Friday, Arlington fans felt the same way after the Eagles easily ran past Harvester Christian for a 76-10 home victory.
Off the bench, Burts led the way with 15 points and Cerezola and Trenton Craig both added 10 for the Eagles, who scored the first 26 points of the game.
“We took the opportunity to play our style up through the first quarter, running and trying to work the ball and get what we could off the break,” Cannon said. “Then after jumping out to a pretty good lead, we felt like it was a good opportunity for us to work on our execution.”
Due to superiority in skill, size and athleticism, Arlington bridged the second and third quarters with a 36-0 run.
“I realized and I told Harvester’s coach that he’s got a really young bunch that he is working with,” Cannon said. “I’ve been there before. It would have been very easy for us to continue to press and do all that kind of stuff but we wouldn’t have accomplished much.”
Brandon Robinson made five steals and Burts and Cerezola added four apiece.
“Burts has the ability to be a starter but we like him coming off the bench because he is that spark,” Cannon said. “He is so quick and gets up and down the floor and distributes well. Cerezola is probably the best shooter on the team and I’m very impressed with that.”
With the Eagles recent run of dominance and the Lady Eagles realistic chances of winning a fifth straight GISA title, this March could be an even more exciting time at Arlington.
“The boys have always been in a situation where they’ve taken a back seat to the girls because the girls have been so dominant,” Cannon said. “I think our girls realize where our boys have come from.”
The Lady Eagles are 9-3 overall.