A jump ball call with 4.5 seconds left led to a late timeout Saturday at Arlington High School.
Nursing a 41-37 lead, Eagles boys basketball coach Tyler Spitser had a clear message heard from every corner of the huddle and all the way back to the last row of the bleachers.
“Do not foul on a 3-point shot!” he said.
AHS didn't, Fremont Bergan's long-range attempt was short and the buzzer sounded with the Eagles as 41-37 winners. The home team improved to 6-4 with the win, while the visiting Knights fell to 7-6.
“We knew it was going to be a dogfight,” junior AHS guard Logan Kaup said. “We just had to communicate and have energy for 32 minutes.”
He scored eight points including six on 3-point makes to push the Eagles out front though they were unable to earn much breathing room against their neighbors to the west. Arlington led just 19-18 at halftime before Bergan eventually evened the score at 25 during the third quarter.
The Eagles answered the challenge, however, outscoring the Knights 8-1 over the last half of the third period to take a 33-26 advantage into the fourth. That lead reached 10 when 6-foot-5 Aiden Foreman caught the ball in the post, backed his man down and emphatically delivered an old-fashioned three-point play.
“I just knew we needed something to push the lead a little bit more,” the Eagles' lone senior said. “The bigger the lead the better.”
Arlington needed most of its 10-point advantage to hold off the Knights.
“If you let up at all against these guys they're going to make you pay and come back,” Foreman said. “And they did a little bit.”
But not enough as Bergan left Arlington on Saturday night four-point runner-ups.
Dustin Kirk led the Eagles' victorious effort with 13 points, while Foreman scored 12. Together, the duo scored 18 of their 25 points after halftime.
Neither notched a foul during the final 4.5 seconds.