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Eagles drop a close one to Mountain View
ARLINGTON — Arlington boys basketball has a knack for dramatic finishes this season, and Dec. 28's game against visiting Mountain View of Vancouver was no exception.
The Eagles and Thunder treated the Arlington crowd to a three-point battle but it was Mountain View who outlasted Arlington for the 69-62 win.
"They came out in a zone and we went cold in the third quarter," Arlington head coach Nick Brown said. "That's two back-to-back games we've gone cold. We missed (junior post) Dan Boyden and we only scored about four points in the quarter."
Arlington junior guard Terry Dawn hit a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter to start the show and the Eagles earned free throws off of baseline drives.
Quick-handed steals by both defenses pushed the momentum back and forth across the floor. The Eagles and Thunder split rebounds on offensive glass so consistently that it looked like a single team was playing against itself.
Arlington looked for senior post Bo Brummel down low, but Mountain View sat in a 2-3 zone to keep him from overpowering Thunder defenders.
"We tried to get Bo on the baseline on both sides," Brown said. "Our posts were in odd spots against the zone. We had players in odd positions all game."
The Eagles showed a 2-3 zone on defense as well, but Thunder senior guard Nate Bohn hit a three from the left corner and was fouled.
Arlington senior guards Conner Davis and Tanner Goheen and junior guard AJ Passalacqua started canning threes in the second quarter. Bohn and Thunder junior guard Rock Shill retaliated to start the three-point shootout.
Sophomore guard Gavin Smoke buried a three as the half expired to cut the Mountain View lead to 43-35.
The Eagles looked to slow down in the third quarter and control the ball. Mountain View was determined to push the ball into the post on offense and outrun the Eagles in transition.
"We had a good shot selection in the third quarter, but they didn't fall," Brown said. "We're a streaky team. We work for balance, but just went cold."
Arlington senior guard Marcus Bryson committed his fourth foul early in the third quarter as the Thunder made a 7-1 run, but Davis came off the deep Eagle bench. Davis wasted no time in breaking the Eagles' dry spell with a three from the left shoulder. The third quarter came to a close, 52-40, in Mountain View's favor.
"Their backups came off the bench and fought for loose balls," said Dawn of Mountain View's physicality.
Davis hit back-to-back three-pointers to open the fourth quarter and put the offense on his back. The Thunder called a timeout, up 57-48, with 5:21 left in regulation.
Dawn battled Mountain View senior guard Mitch Wallace beneath the basket as Dawn grabbed rebound after rebound and tried to connect on a lay-in, but instead had to face Wallace for a jump ball. Dawn returned with a vengeful, swooping layup on Arlington's next trip down the floor.
The Eagles began a full-court press down only 60-50 with 3:51 remaining, but the Thunder broke it with slow, wary passing that drew an Arlington foul beneath the basket.
Brummel scored in the post and Dawn connected on a three-pointer to pull within 63-55 after Shill made a pair of free throws.
Dawn missed his next three-pointer but Brummel pulled down the rebound and was fouled as he went for the put-back. He sank both free throws and Arlington trailed 63-57 with 2:17 left.
The Eagles swung the ball back and forth around the perimeter to find a shot until they found Brummel for a score in the middle of the post. Mountain View led 65-59 with 1:32 left.
Davis hit another three and the home crowd exploded, now trailing only 65-62 with 22.7 seconds left, but Davis's next three-pointer missed and the Thunder held on with free throws for a 69-62 win.