"It was a low-scoring, hard fought game," said Mariner head coach Tom Jensen. "I believe Arlington likes to execute in the half court on offense and (we) like to defend in the half court. There weren't many turnovers, both teams missed a lot of shots."
Noah Jones scored 22 points to lead the Eagles, but Mariner held Terry Dawn, the Eagles leading scorer, to nine.
"Noah Jones rebounded well offensively, had a lot of putbacks and just was a load (in the paint)," said Jensen. "In the second half (Dawn) deferred a lot, had a lot of assists ... but didn't take as many shots as we saw on film. It wasn't what we were expecting."
Despite keeping Dawn in check, the Maruaders still found themselves trailing by seven points with 3:12 remaining in the fourth quarter before Tutlam led the comeback. Senior wing Ali Al-Azadi also made a critical 3-pointer during the run.
With 24 seconds to go and up by two points, Mariner forced an Eagles' turnover that led to a clinching Tutlam layup with five seconds remaining.
It was the second rally Mariner had to conjure in the game after Arlington went up by nine in the third quarter. The Maruaders would cut the deficit to four by the end of the period behind seven points from Kiante Ahmad-Woods, including a 15-foot floater that beat the buzzer.
Tight games are something Jensen expected this season and his team may finally be up to the task of closing them out.
"We've been in a lot of close games. In three of our four losses, one was in overtime and two were by two points," said Jensen. "I told them before the season we'd be in a lot of close games and that we needed to execute inside the last two, three minutes. As a team we started to do that and we learning how to win basketball games."
At Mariner H.S.
Arlington 12 11 15 11 -- 49
Mariner 11 7 16 19 -- 53
Arlington--Kaleb Bryson 3, Terry Dawn 9, Gavin Smoke 5, Noah Jones 22, AJ Passalaqua 2, Bradey Brummel 8, Ryan Walker 0, Nate Lewis 0. Mariner--Bayek Tutlam 22, Kiante Ahmad-Woods 9, Amrit Singh 2, Cody Chrisman 8, Ali Al-Azadi 6, Andre Haghgoo 0, CJ Garrison 0, Puma Purewal 6, Greg Whitaker 0. 3-point goals--Tutlam 3, Ahmad-Woods, Al-Azadi, Purewal 2, Bryson, Smoke, Brummel 2. Records--Arlington 4-1 league, 10-1 overall. Mariner 3-3, 7-4.
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