Arlington blown out in Division IV semifinals
The Indians jumped out quick and suffocated the Eagles on both ends and they rode that momentum to a 76-43 victory at Barre Auditorium.
Danville took control right away and got the boisterous crowd behind them with strong play on both ends. Forcing steals, pushing the ball quick on offense and rebounding at a high level, it was clear they were determined to not let last year's state semifinals loss creep into their minds Monday.
The Indians pulled out to a 16-point lead after the first quarter.
"They came out with energy on both sides of the floor and they pressured the ball and pushed the ball on both ends," said Eagles coach Ashley Hoyt. "I think it intimidated us and I don't think we were ready for that."
Danville's defense gave Arlington trouble throughout the night. The Indians played tight man-to-man defense throughout the game and caused numerous turnovers when they were in the press. The Eagles struggled to adjust to it and Danville took advantage with some easy scoring opportunities on the other end.
The Indians had a very balanced attack in the win.
Riley Fenoff led the way for Danville with 23 points and Travis Grosse was strong as well with 18 points. Both seniors, it was clear that the two were not flustered by the bigger stage that Monday night's contest brought.
"They've been playing together for four years now and they're seniors and you can tell they have great chemistry. They find each other very well. Hats off to them," Hoyt said.
Most of the Eagles players didn't have extensive playing time last season when Arlington made the trip to Barre for the state semifinals. One of the players who did see solid playing time in last year's loss to Proctor was junior Jack Lane.
Lane had a strong night in the losing effort for the Eagles with 16 points. Senior Bailey Cross had a solid night as well with eight points, including a pair of 3's. Kolby Wilkins added seven points.
Though the Eagles were outmatched in the first and third quarter by a hefty margin, Arlington did show major fight in the second and fourth quarters, as they were only outscored by one point in each of those two quarters.
It's no secret that this season hasn't been the easiest for the Arlington basketball program. From not knowing until late in the offseason that Hoyt would be the boys coach to their gym being rendered unusable due to flooding, the Eagles have had to fight through their fair share of hurdles to compete this season.
Hoyt could not be more proud of the dedication her players showed.
"It can tough having to drive 30 minutes to go practice and then 30 minutes back," Hoyt said. "It's tough on them, but I'm so proud of them. This really showed their dedication to wanting to play basketball."
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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