Because they are overly superstitious, Arlington High School boys basketball players and staff members met in coach Nick Brown’s classroom at 7:14 a.m. Thursday in their final meeting before the Class 4A state championships.
And what greeted them was a community bursting at the seam – having waited 51 years for this moment.
The Eagles are in the state basketball championships for the first time since 1962, and they won, 72-60, over favored Richland in the state quarterfinals.
But first came the festivities. As they headed toward the bus to get to Tacoma, they were met with a pep rally in the school commons area. Each player then pinned a corsage – or “mum” – on his mother before boarding the bus.
And the team received a police escort out of town.
“The (51-year) drought, it gets to you,” Arlington forward Terry Dawn said. “But this community, I can’t say enough about it. Everyone helps us. Everyone supports us. It was a special feeling.”
Once the Tacoma Dome came into view from the freeway, Dawn said the players got a long look at it for the first time – because they got stuck in 45 minutes of bad traffic.
Not entirely unexpected, the team took the wrong level trying to get inside the building. One player fell down the ramp. But that was all the bumbling the Eagles exhibited because they looked right at home in reaching the 4A semifinals – and clinching their first state trophy in the process.
Dominic Robinson and Dom Jordan – what a starting backcourt pair at Curtis High School.
One is a shutdown defender (Jordan). The other is a sweet-shooting floor general (Robinson).
And they were the driving force in the Vikings’ opening 62-40 victory over Newport of Bellevue on Thursday.
“They carried us through the first half,” Curtis coach Tim Kelly said.
Both grew up playing against each other. Robinson played for the Tacoma Venim, and Jordan played for the UP Tar Heels in their respective AAU programs.
Now they are teammates who feed off each other.
“Some guys get 20 points – and they score five against Dom, and it’s off free throws,” Robinson said.
“We feed off (Robinson),” Jordan said. “He gets open shots and knocks them down. And he defends, too.”Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/preps @ManyHatsMilles