Arlington trailed by as many as 11 and had to rally from a seven-point deficit with less than three minutes to play in the fourth quarter before ultimately holding off the Knights 72-65 in double overtime.
Newport opened the second half with a 14-6 run to extend its lead to 40-29 midway through the third quarter. The level of play that helped Arlington earn its 13-1 record coming into the game was nowhere to be found.
“We lost our way a lot,” Arlington head coach Nick Brown said. “I think we came out here looking as the breakfast special at 10:30 in the morning. We didn’t have what we needed.”
In the waning minutes of the third quarter the Eagles found it.
Arlington closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run the close the gap to 40-36 entering the fourth quarter. The Eagles pulled to within two at 44-42 with a Noah Jones baseline hook shot with 3:30 remaining, but they would quickly face adversity again. Will Ferris answered with one of his four 3s and Jake Higgins added a layup following an Arlington turnover to open up a 49-42 lead.
“Winners win and these guys are winners,” Brown said. “I have a lot of confidence and faith in them. For a while there it looked a little bleak. I didn’t know if we were going to be able to pull that one out, but they did. To their credit, they hit shots when they needed to and they got stops when they needed to.”
In the final three minutes of regulation the Eagles showed why they have just one loss on the season and are the No. 8 ranked 4A team in the state. Arlington scored the next nine points and took its first lead since late in the first half with 6.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Bradey Brummel’s 3 with 54 seconds left had tied the game at 49. The Knights lost the ball on the subsequent possession after dribbling the ball off of an Arlington defender’s foot. Shawn Adams chased down the ball in the backcourt with 36.7 seconds on the clock and the Brown immediately called timeout. With 34 seconds on the shot clock, the Eagles elected to run as much time off the clock as possible before running a play. The plan worked flawlessly as Jones found Adams on a baseline cut with 6.2 seconds to play in the fourth.
Having to go the length of the floor to force overtime, things looked bleak for the Knights. After a timeout, they put the ball in the hands of Ferris, who maneuvered through the Eagles’ defense getting a contested shot up at the rim. The ball rimmed out, but Ryan Kingma was there to tip the ball in as time expired to force the extra session.
What was going through Brown’s mind after Kingma had spoiled the Eagles’ comeback?
“Good, let’s go ahead and play some more basketball,” he said. “To be honest, I was thinking (it was) bad coaching. I was playing the 3-point shot, so I spread our guys out a little bit. That’s what happens when you spread the guys out a little bit.”
Brown was worried about Ferris hitting a game-winning three and in overtime he nearly proved Brown’s fears true.
With the game tied at 55, Ferris connected on a fadeaway three as the shot clock expired to give the Knights with 46 seconds remaining. Arlington’s Kaleb Bryson missed a three on the next possession forcing the Eagles to foul Ferris.
Again things looked bleak for the Eagles.
And again they answered.
Ferris, who finished tied with Higgins with a game-high 20 points, missed both free throws giving the Eagles another chance. Brummel had hit the shot to tie in regulation and in overtime he did it again with nine seconds remaining.
“He hit two huge 3s … clutch,” Brown said. “That’s just what good players do. I didn’t think Bradey played his best game today, but he made plays when we needed him to.”
Ferris was blocked by Jones on Newport’s next possession to force the second overtime.
It was Brummel who had twice saved the Eagles from defeat. Fittingly in overtime, he secured victory.
With 1:33 to play his runner in the lane gave Arlington a 63-60 lead. He followed that with a steal and layup with 56 seconds left. The Knights were called for an intentional foul on the play, giving Brummel two more free throws and the Eagles the ball. He made both giving Arlington a lead that proved insurmountable.
Brummel finished with 14, Bryson had 15 and Jones led the Eagles with 16.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Eagles, who face undefeated and No. 1 ranked Jackson tonight.
“If there was a game that I probably wouldn’t have wanted to have before this game (Tuesday) night, it’s this one right here,” Brown said. “But hey, it’s what you’ve got to do. We’ve just got to do what the schedule serves us.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At ShoWare Center
Newport - 10 16 14 11 7 7 - 65
Arlington - 11 12 13 15 7 14 - 72
Newport–Jackson Lu 0, Jace Goforth 0, Jason Lock 6, Ryan Kingma 6, Jake Higgins 20, Aaron Lin 0, Will Ferris 20, Drew Sample 4, Calvin Throckmorton 9. Arlington–Kaleb Bryson 15, Donavan Sellgren 0, Gavin Smoke 0, Shawn Adams 16, Nathan Aune 9, Noah Jones 16, Bradey Brummel 14, Nate Lewis 0, Drew Bryson 0, Jeremy Bishop 2. 3-point goals–Higgins 1, Ferris 4, Bryson 1, Adams 1, Brummel 2. Records–Newport 4-8. Arlington 14-1.
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