The ninth lead change of the fourth period stuck Monday at Arlington High School.
Cade Ulven's free throws put the Blair boys basketball team ahead for good against the host Eagles, who led by as many as 11 before falling 54-47 in the Jamboree exhibition game. Wyatt Ogle scored a team-high 14 points for the victors, while AHS' Aiden Foreman notched a game-high 19 in defeat.
“I was happy with how we played in the second half,” Bears coach Chris Whitwer said. “I felt like we kind of established an identity of being tough, more physical. I thought we just gelled together a little more.”
BHS scored 18 third period points and 19 in the fourth. Senior Max Nickerson scored seven of his 11 during the final 8 minutes.
“It was definitely better than the first half,” Whitwer added.
Arlington led 17-8 after one period and 28-17 after two, but were outscored by 10 during the third. Colin Quick's second-chance bucket to start the fourth gave Blair its first lead since 4-3.
As the back-and-forth battle went on, the Eagles' Sam Kubat, Colby Grefe, Foreman and Nicholas Smith provided lead-changing buckets. Nickerson and Ogle did the same for the Bears before Ulven put his squad ahead for good, 47-46, by knocking down his second foul shot.
“They played tough,” Whitwer said of Arlington. “They really shot the ball well and created some issues with us defensively — took advantage of some things we need to work on. That's good for us, too.”
Foreman had 19 points, but Kubat added 11, knocking down three of the Eagles' nine 3-pointers.
“He thinks the ball's going in every time he shoots it,” Arlington coach Tyler Spitser said.
Both coaches were proud of their teams' efforts in the preseason contest after just a week of practice. Spitser's Eagles hadn't even gotten a full week to prepare after illness closed the school on the previous Friday, while Blair was looking to get everyone into a game to see who'll eventually fill out a brand new starting lineup this season. The game tape may hold some answers in the coming week.
“It's never as good as you think and it's never as bad you think when you go back and watch film,” Spitser said. “But I like where we're at right now.”