Here are three thoughts from No. 4 Jackson’s 64-50 win against Arlington on Friday:
1. Jackson is legitimate – and will stay that way next year too. Jackson guard Jason Todd is one of the most complete players in the area. He rebounds, he defends, he blocks shots, he shoots from outside, he posts up. He does it all. Brian Zehr can be a big-time dunker, and guard Dan Kingma has both the outside shot and driving ability to open things up. And here’s the thing that’s striking when you watch the three play: They’re all juniors. Jackson’s roster has only two seniors on it.
2. The unsung heroes for Jackson are… Jason Todd, Dan Kingma and Brian Zehr get most of the attention (see item No. 1), and rightfully so. But Jackson has also nice complimentary players. On Friday, 6-foot-5 Connor Willgress found himself guarding Terry Dawn, one of WesCo 4A’s best scorers. He harassed him all night, and even when Dawn hit a few shots, they were almost always contested. Senior Kyle Graff had 13 points in Jackson’s last game and is another solid option. Riley Waite is a 6-foot-6 junior off the bench and has the ability to score inside and disrupt shots.
3. Arlington will win WesCo 4A North. The Eagles fell behind by 18 in the first half, scored only 15 points and played, as coach Nick Brown said, timid. But Arlington didn’t fold and still had a chance at a comeback. It’s been a common trend this year for the Eagles, who have used second halves to make up for early holes. Jackson is too good to do that against, but Arlington is still the best team in WesCo 4A North. Terry Dawn struggled early, but he got hot in the third quarter, scoring eight points, hitting a three-pointer and knocking down a guarded fall away jumper.