FREEDOM PLAINS – Well, it’s not the biggest team Arlington has ever had. In fact, it’s one of the smallest teams Arlington Boys Basketball has had in a very long time.
“We’re not that big, but we’re quick and we pass the ball well”, said Arlington Coach Matt Hoyt after his Admirals beat Red Hook in a non league Friday night season opener for both teams.
You would think the Admirals, with one of the biggest student populations on the east coast, would have a couple of big guys like Brendan Sunday or Shane Wolczak, but they don’t. What they have though, might actually be more powerful. This Admirals boys basketball team is made up of guys who have played on AAU teams together since they were nine years old.
“They all get along, and all know each other so well”, added Coach Hoyt.
And that thing called “chemistry” could just be what helps this under sized team pick up some over sized wins.
“We pass the ball really well”, said the team high scorer Reuben Greene. “We don’t care who gets the points as long as we get the win”. Without that one big “go-to” guy, this Arlington team could be forced to play by committee and that might foster a different hero each night.
The win against Red Hook came with a few challenges as the Red Raiders were equally good at passing and finding the open man. Chris Yearwood led Red Hook with 17 points, followed by 11 points from James Flood. The team hit five three-pointers, but only shot 4 for 9 from the line. Arlington went to the line 15 times and knocked down 11 free throws.
Every time Red Hook got the score within four or five points, Arlington would unleash its speed and defense to create turnovers and points in transition. Isaiah Kostyal had a pretty good outside game on this night, scoring 15 points; 12 of them from beyond the three point line. Kostyal was the only member of his team to hit any three pointers. Hit had three of them in the second quarter and added another late in the fourth quarter that put the Admirals up by 10, 53-43. Tommy Doyle also hit double digits with 10 points. He was 6-for-7 from the free throw line.
The non-league match up also pitted two former Lourdes players and coaches against each other. “That’s always fun”, smiled Coach Hoyt. “Matt is one of the best coaches in all of the county and beyond. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and he makes it hard to get a win.”
It won’t get any easier for the Admirals in this pre-season with up-coming non league games against Horace Greeley, Mt. Vernon, Spring Valley, White Plains, and Ramapo.
Red Hook will host John Jay on Wednesday, followed by games against Marlboro and Saugerties.