Comeback falls short for Eagles
ARLINGTON — Trailing by three points with five minutes left, the Arlington boys basketball team just needed a final spark to get over the hump.
Unfortunately, it was Green Mountain who got the last word, finishing the game on a 9-2 run and coming away with a 44-34 win on Thursday night at the Eagles' Nest.
"We talked about that," said Arlington coach Brian Lacoste. "I think mentally the pressure got to us. [Green Mountain] played good man-to-man defense the whole game and they get after you."
The Chieftains' biggest lead came with 2:45 left in the third after Sawyer Pippin buried a three to give Green Mountain a 31-21 lead. Pippin was the high scorer on the night with 16 points.
But the Eagles went on a run of their own, scoring the last eight points of the third quarter. Freshman Jacob Morse scored four of his six points in that span, and Matt Ritchie scored his only basket off a steal with 1:52 to go.
A Jack Lane layup in transition with seconds remaining in the period made it 31-29 heading to the fourth.
Kolby Wilkins led the Eagles with nine points, while Lane only had six, down from his usual average.
"The ball needs to be getting inside, he needs to be touching the ball," Lacoste said. "He had a good game, he gives me a lot of minutes and works hard for me."
Noah Diedrich cut the Green Mountain lead to three with a basket inside with 4:59 to go, but missed free throws late doomed Arlington. Through the next stretch, Green Mountain scored the next six points, capped off by Brooks Ordway-Smith's bucket off an offensive rebound to balloon the advantage to 41-32.
Ordway-Smith added 12 points for the Chieftains.
Arlington went 7-of-15 from the line.
"I think we can be a good free-throw shooting team, but not tonight," Lacoste said. "That's something we've been working on and I'm confident moving forward when it comes down to it, we'll make our free throws."
Green Mountain led for most of the night. They took an 11-5 lead to the second quarter, and built on it throughout the period. A basket by James Anderson gave them a nine-point lead and then in the final minute of the half, Pippin scored a pair of baskets in transition to give Green Mountain a eight-point lead, 24-16, at the break.
"We have too many turnovers, we're having an issue scoring now, so giving the ball away is tough," Lacoste said. "I knew tonight would be a battle. They're a little bummed right now, but we came out a little flat."
Arlington drops to 2-2, while Green Mountain improves to 5-2 in Division III.
"We've only played four games, so we need to get into a rhythm," Lacoste said.
They'll be able to do that with three games next week.
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