You can say that Arlington's Boys' Basketball squad has a flair for style.
During the first quarter against their game with Belmont this week, the Spy Ponders on the court sported an eye-popping color variety of shoes last seen in one of those 1980s hip-hop dance movies: neon blue (Junior Alex Kim), blood red (co-Capt. junior Tyler Sulivan), two-tone (senior center Paul Brooks), candy orange (co-Capt. senior Brandon Castro) and bubble gum pink (junior David Shin).
More importantly, the Spy Ponders also had a flair for the three, knocking down buckets of buckets from beyond the 19' 9'' arc that kept Arlington close enough to the visiting Belmont so that a Castro's three with 35 seconds left was the margin of victory as Arlington (2-2, 2-2) upset the Marauders, 62-57, a game Belmont (4-2, 3-1) let slip away.
The downtown explosion began early as Arlington decided that they would live or die by the three, then knocking down five from beyond the line, three by Shin (13 points), to take a two point lead over Belmont, 25-23, after the first quarter.
It was up to shooting guard Manny Cabral (6 points in the quarter, 13 for the game) and senior center Tyaishawn Abdul-Aziz (three baskets and two free throws for 8 points along with six rebounds, 16 points in the game) to keep Belmont in the game as Arlington used a combination of in-your-face pressure and slashing moves to the basket against Belmont's extended defense (protecting against more bombs from the outside) to stay ahead of the Marauders.
Not having to play catch up in four of their first five games, the Marauders continued to make mistakes and drawing fouls. Only a late surge by 6' 3" senior forward John Dillon (12 points) and Abdul-Aziz allowed the Marauders to go into halftime knotted at 35.
But Belmont was quickly put on their back foot early in the third when Dillon was called for his third foul and had to sit, an opportunity that Arlington took advantage of as 6' 8" Brooks (7 points) then dominated the lane, blocking four shots – two on consecutive shots – and scored 3 points along with grabbing a slew of rebounds, out-letting to Castro (14 points) who began heating up with a three and a two in the quarter as did Sullivan with 6 points.
With Dillon sitting, Belmont point guard Sam Musler (11 points) led the team with 6 points, all from in close while Cabral hit a critical three to leave the Marauders trailing by two, 51-49, at the end of three.
The final quarter started with both teams daring the other to try and score: missed layups, uncontested shots blown and even a ball just sitting on the rim, nothing went through a hoop until nearly three minutes past when Musler drove by Brooks to tie the score.
Belmont took their first led since early in the first as the returning Dillon hit with 2:57 left to give his team a 57-55 advantage but Castro returned the favorite by knocking down his own basket with 1:43 remaining. It was then that Arlington got the ball back on a foul and Castro hit the tre' – he scored the final 7 points of the game and his only points in the quarter – to seal the victory.