FREEDOM PLAINS – Everything, it seemed, had gone awry for the Arlington High School boys basketball team. The Admirals, for a stretch, had underperformed and fell behind.
The team needed a jolt. Needed to make a move.
Enter Shane Walczyk.
Fed the ball down low on the first play of the second quarter, the Arlington center backed up and literally jolted a defender, then turned and tossed in a layup.
That play put the Admirals ahead and sparked a run during which they seized control en route to a 68-39 home win over Mahopac on Thursday.
Power moves only.
Likewise for this team’s turnaround. Arlington nabbed its fifth straight win. The team won five games all of last season.
“We really struggled then and not much went right for us,” Admirals coach Matt Hoyt said. “Starting the season this way has definitely been refreshing and we’re proud of the boys.”
Since losing to Spackenkill in the Duane Davis Memorial Tournament in December, Arlington has been hot — starting with its fourth-quarter rally to beat Franklin D. Roosevelt in the consolation round of that tournament.
In addition to its post play, the Admirals feature a slew of athletic guards who run the floor well and apply pressure on defense. During that second quarter — in which they outscored Mahopac 14-4 — Arlington turned a number of steals into fast-break baskets.
John Smith had 16 points and four steals for Arlington (7-3). Reuben Greene added 10 points and Zac Dingee had nine.
Mahopac (3-9) had surged late in the first quarter, erasing a deficit and briefly took a 14-12 lead.
The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Walczyk used his size and sheer strength to own the low post with eight points and 14 rebounds. His basket gave the Admirals a 16-14 lead to start the second quarter and instantly set a tone.
Smith’s emphatic block in the paint led to Greene’s driving layup that pushed the lead to 23-14 with 3:30 left in the half.
Dingee’s three gave the Admirals a 37-18 lead with 3:54 left in the third and the route was on.
Stephen Haynes: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4