Arlington Tops Oak Harbor With Wiersma Buzzer Beater

John Yeager

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JJ Haldeman

Jalen Profit (’16) goes up for the rebound during a game against Oak Harbor on December 12th.

John Yeager, Writer

The Arlington Eagles defeated the Oak Harbor Wildcats on Tuesday night by a score of 60-58. Heading into the game, Arlington Head Coach Nick Brown talked about his efforts to slow down the standout scoring threat for Oak Harbor, Dyllan Harris. Harris, who averaged 20.7 a game last year as a junior, has had the spotlight in Oak Harbor primarily due to the lack of output from other players on the team. “Donnie knows him real well. We call it shutting off the water. If you have tenants you want out of the apartment you have to shut off the water. So if we can shut off their water, we’re good.” said Brown.

After putting up 8 points in the first quarter and leading the Wildcats to an 18-11 lead, Harris looked as if he was about to have another high scoring game. But the Eagles’ fear of another impressive game from Harris were put to rest after he was removed from the game for a non-injury related reason. Harris could be seen dressed in his casual clothes he had worn prior to the game, signifying that his night of basketball was over. Arlington’s poor performance in the first quarter could be explained through their rebounding struggles they have encountered most of the season. Heading into the second quarter, the Eagles received some help on the glass from Cameron Reece, who grabbed four quick rebounds during the Eagles run to take the lead. Arlington led 29-25 heading into halftime.

In the third, Arlington was able to keep the game in their control due to a strong inside effort from senior Aaron Carlson. Carlson, a spot up perimeter threat for the Eagles, has had trouble getting his shots from outside the arc to fall as of late. Realizing his shot wasn’t falling in the third, Carlson began taking the ball to the rim, capping off a 7-point third quarter with a difficult and-one.

Heading into the final quarter, Arlington held a 48-39 lead, but Oak Harbor began to make a late push with some help from Sean Erskine, who had 8 points in the fourth and finished with 15 on the night. After multiple trips down the floor, and both teams trading threes on three straight possessions, including big threes from Aaron Carlson and Brennon Wiersma for Arlington, and a pair of big baskets for Josh Cote and Erskine for the Wildcats, the game ended up tied 58-58 with just under 29 seconds remaining in the contest and the ball in the possession of the Wildcats. Oak Harbor began what was likely to be the last possession of regulation by moving the ball around the perimeter, trying to find a weakness in the Arlington defense. As the clock winded down past 15 seconds, Drew Bryson slapped the ball loose from an Oak Harbor guard, sending it into the hands of Donavan Sellgren, who brought the ball up court and made a nifty pass to Bryson who mishandled the ball under the hoop. Luckily for the Eagles, the ball bounced off of the leg of an Oak Harbor player in the scramble for the loose ball, giving the Eagles possession with 2.7 seconds left. As the play that was planned broke down, Brennon Wiersma received the inbounds pass, took one dribble and threw up a floater that dropped in as time expired, giving the Eagles a 60-58 win over Oak Harbor. “Brown set up a play for us and got us in the right spots,” said Wiersma when asked about his game winning buzzer beater. “The play didn’t turn out how we wanted it to but I ended up doing what needed to be done.” When asked about how close the game ended up being, Wiersma didn’t seem surprised. “I didn’t overlook this team. I knew they had something to bring to the table” said Wiersma.

Arlington improves to 1-1 in league and 5-7 overall while the Wildcats fall to 0-2 in league and 1-10 overall. Arlington plays at Stanwood on Friday at 7:15pm in a game that is sure to be an extremely physical contest for the two Wesco rivals.