The Arlington boys basketball team sunk 11 of its 14 fourth-quarter foul shots Monday night, holding off Raymond Central for a 57-45 home win
The Eagles have struggled closing out games at times this season, but they succeeded against the Mustangs to improve to 7-5 before Tuesday's showdown with Class C1 No. 10 Logan View/Scribner-Snyder.
“We have not been very good the last minute, minute and a half of quarters,” AHS coach Tyler Spitser said. “And, so, we've stressed — a lot — finishing quarters.”
The home squad led Raymond Central just 41-36 after three periods, but won the fourth 16-9 for a comfortable 12-point win. Logan Kaup was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe over the final 8 minutes, while Dustin Kirk and Nick Smith each sunk two and Aiden Foreman had one more.
Overall, Foreman, a 6-foot-5 post player, finished 7-of-8 from the foul line with a game-high 21 points despite constant double teams on the block. Spitser said his lone senior excelled in more ways than one against the Mustangs.
“We were still able to get it into Aiden, and he just made great decisions with the basketball, kicking it out,” the coach noted. “Obviously, getting Colby back helps a lot.”
While Dustin Kirk scored 14 points for the Eagles, junior Colby Grefe added 12 in his return from injury. All 12 of his points were scored on 3-point makes after the sharpshooter missed six games.
“I was,” Grefe said when asked if he was nervous starting his first game of 2021. “Being out there, I just tried not to think about the injury. I just wanted to go out and play like nothing happened.”
Despite that mindset, the junior missed his first shot — an uncontested shot from point-blank range. He laughed when it was brought up.
“Maybe I got in my head a little at the start, but I shook it off and played the rest of the game good,” Grefe said.
The Eagles led every minute after Raymond Central pulled even at 12 during the first quarter. Grefe's 3-pointer before the first quarter buzzer gave AHS a 15-12 advantage during a physical game with 4-7 Raymond Central.
“They played tough and the refs said they'd allow contact,” Grefe said. “So, we just had to figure out how to finish through contact.”
The Eagles did that, and finished off the win from the foul line.
AHS falls at No. 10 Logan View
A day later, Arlington fell on the road to No. 10 Logan View 50-30.
The Eagles scored just 11 second-half points, falling to 7-6 despite 14 points from Foreman.
The Raiders, meanwhile, had three players score in double figures with a fourth notching nine points. Kayl Francis led the way with 11 as the home team improved to 11-2.