For fans of high school hoops, this was a game to savor and remember.
Even Kamiak coach Cory West, disappointed in defeat, knew he had witnessed something special. "I wish two things," he said with a smile. "One, I wish I'd been on the winning end. Or two, I wish I could've just been in the crowd to watch it and take it all in."
Arlington was led by sensational senior forward Terry Dawn, who scored six of his team's 11 points in overtime and sank two go-ahead free throws with 15 seconds to play. He finished his night with 35 points, including five of his team's nine 3-pointers.
"Terry was phenomenal," said Arlington coach Nick Brown. "He's a champion. He's a tough matchup for anybody we play because he's so big and strong. He's really become a leader this year, and I just can't say enough about him."
Kamiak countered with 30 points from senior center Imaan Vicente, who had five of his team's nine points in OT. Vicente also had six of his team's 13 3-point goals.
But one of the biggest plays of the night was made by Arlington guard Bradey Brummel, who had a key steal in the late moments of overtime. Trailing 81-80, Kamiak tried for the go-ahead basket in the closing seconds, and a missed shot was rebounded by Vicente near the basket. But as he brought the ball down, it was ripped away by Brummel, who was then fouled with 1.7 seconds to play.
Brummel made one of two free throws, and Kamiak's last desperation shot missed badly at the final horn.
Afterward, the Arlington students spilled onto the court for a joyful celebration with the players.
Taking it all in from nearby was an equally delighted Brown.
"These guys are winners," he said of his squad. Against Kamiak's up-tempo style, "I kind of just let our kids play. And I was real proud of them because I think they did a good job.
Arlington has just three seniors, and at different times "you could see a little bit of nerves (from the younger players)," Brown said. "But then when it came down to it, they stepped up.
"We had to be clutch down the stretch. And even though we weren't always that clutch, we did enough of what we needed to do," he said.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Arlington opened the second period with a string of 12 straight points for a 31-23 lead. Kamiak rallied and was within two in the final seconds before halftime, but Dawn was fouled on a desperation 3-point heave and swished three free throws for a 40-35 margin at the break.
The Eagles stretched their lead to a high of 14 points, 54-40, midway through the third quarter. But the Knights responded with an aerial barrage, scoring five 3-pointers in the final 5 ½ minutes of the period to pull within 61-58 heading to the final eight minutes.
Dawn gave the Eagles a one-point lead with a three-point play late in the fourth quarter, and Vicente made it 71-71 by sinking one of two free throws with 22 seconds remaining, which was the score heading to overtime.
Arlington was coming off a disappointing effort in a loss to Mariner earlier in the week, the first of the season for the Eagles, and that setback "was a wakeup call," Brown said. "Tonight I thought we were much more focused, and I thought we had some juniors step up and become seniors a little bit."
West, meanwhile, was as pleased as any coach could be after a defeat.
"I've been waiting for that," he said with a smile. "That's the best my team has played all season. Not that we can't get better, but that's the best we've played. So I'm completely content."
After some disappointing showings in a recent holiday tournament, "we finally put everything together tonight," West added. "So I think we've arrived. I think that's how we're going to be playing the rest of the season."
At Arlington H.S.
Kamiak 23 12 23 13 9 -- 80
Arlington 19 21 21 10 11 -- 82
Kamiak--Josh Wisnubroto 8, Chance Lord 0, Dominick Smith 2, Tyler Nielsen 11, Aman Hussein 12, Imaan Vicente 30, Jonathan Lee 2, Drew Blacksmith 0, Brandon Wright 0, Henderson Belk 12, Simran Mand 3. Arlington--Kaleb Bryson 12, Terry Dawn 35, Gavin Smoke 3, Noah Jones 13, A.J. Passalaqua 5, Bradey Brummel 14, Nate Lewis 0. 3-point goals--Wisnubroto 2, Nielsen 2, Hussein 2, Vicente 6, Mand 1, Bryson 3, Dawn 5, Passalaqua 1. Records--Kamiak 4-3 league, 4-7 overall. Arlington 5-1, 11-1.
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