Down 20-plus, Arlington boys basketball coach Tyler Spitser substituted out his lone senior with 1:05 left Tuesday night.
“It's something you hope you never have to do,” he said. “You hope that every kid's last moment is in the winning moments, but, unfortunately, that's few and far between.”
Douglas County West (14-9 overall) was going to win the Class C1 Subdistrict 4 Tournament game 67-45. The host Eagles (14-9) were not.
Standout Aiden Foreman left the floor with a team-high 15 points, tears welling up. His teammates stood at the bench to greet him.
“Words can't describe how proud and just happy I am that Aiden became the player he became,” Spitser said of the 6-foot-5 forward. “When he was a freshman, he played just reserves.”
Work in the weight room followed that inauspicious start. So, too, did early morning basketball workouts.
“He's a true role model,” Spitser said. “Things that he did in basketball are going to take him a long ways in life.”
Foreman's basketball career ended with a 22-point loss to the Falcons. Colby Grefe's first-period 3-pointer put Arlington ahead 7-4, but DC West scored the next 19 points, seizing control.
“Their defensive pressure got to us early,” Spitser said. “It caught us off-guard a little bit. It was something we didn't handle very well.”
The Eagles didn't score again until just 4:17 remained before halftime. Bench player Frankie Rosenbalm entered the game and knocked down a 3-pointer, pulling AHS within 23-10. He'd just recently returned from injury after missing six weeks with broken hand.
“He came back and, in practice, he could run anyone of our set plays,” Spitser said. “New ones. Old ones.”
Once the studious junior entered the ballgame against the Falcons, he played aggressively.
“He can hit shots,” the Eagles coach said.
His team pulled within nine points by halftime, but struggled to get any closer during the second 16 minutes. DC West led 43-31 after three quarters and won by 22, extending its subdistrict stay.
Arlington, meanwhile, closed out its campaign at the conclusion of the postseason opener. Foreman's final bucket came with 3:06 remaining left in the fourth period.