Eagles fall in overtime thriller
ARLINGTON >> After No. 3 Arlington's Jared Lacoste forced overtime with a game-tying three in the waning seconds of regulation of its Division IV quarterfinal matchup against No. 6 Danville, the Indians made the plays in the extra session as the Eagles were beaten, 72-69, and were knocked out of the playoffs.
With 17 seconds remaining in regulation, Danville made it a three-point game with a free throw with 17 seconds left but Lacoste came to the rescue for the Eagles, hitting a huge three-pointer from the left wing to tie the game up and send it to overtime.
"It all comes with practice and being able to prepare yourself for that moment," Lacoste said. "I'm just trying to come through for my team there and that's all went through my mind when I took the shot."
Now with new life, the Eagles had a chance to overtime to redeem themselves. Danville started the overtime as Travis Grosse banked in a three-pointer to give Danville the lead.
"That shot took the wind out of us," said Arlington coach Chris Taft. "We played great defense there and made him take a tough shot, but give him credit, he made it and that proved to be the difference in the game."
Danville got another basket from Coleton Loura-Bumps to give them a five-point advantage and led by six with 20 seconds left in the extra session.
Lacoste then raced downcourt and knocked down a three to make it a one possession game, but Danville would keep the ball away from Arlington in final few seconds to advance.
The teams were evenly matched throughout, by the Eagles suffered a huge blow when senior captain Austin Hawley went down with a injury after taking a charge and didn't return.
With one of their leaders now down, Arlington trailed 46-41 going into the fourth quarter.
Lacoste was the man in Hawley's stead as 'he put the whole Eagles' Nest on his back.'
A pair of jumpers from Lacoste and a clutch three-pointer from Darren Golden got the Eagles within one with 2:27 left in regulation.
"I knew I had to step up for my teammates and that's what I did," Lacoste said. "We needed something to get us within reach of them and I was able to get us a couple baskets to make that happen."
The Eagles tied the game on Lacoste's free throw at 56-56 with over a minute left in the game, but Danville again answered when Loura-Bumps hit a tough shot inside to give the Indians the lead again.
The senior was tough to stop for the Eagles all game long, tallying up a team-high 20 points on the day for Danville, while Grosse added 16.
Lacoste had a game-high 25 points in the losing effort for Arlington, while Nathan Mattison pitched in 17 and Keyshawn King added 13.
All game long, the Eagles were playing from behind.
Danville started the game on a 6-0 run and because of their fast paced offense had a 12-4 lead with just four minutes gone by in the first quarter.
Down early, the Eagles fought back to lower their deficit to four from Hawley, who scored seven points in the quarter to get the Eagles back in the game, but Danville led 22-14 after one.
In the second quarter down 24-16, the Eagles went on a 9-3 run led by another senior Nathan Mattison, who dip and dodge his way the paint for a couple and then knocked down a three-pointer from the left corner to tie the game up 27-27.
"I think late in the first half we started making shots and forcing Danville to commit a lot of turnovers," Taft said. "That allowed us to get back in the game and get some of our guys going a bit offensively."
Arlington then took their first lead of the game at 28-27, but Danville regained the lead and went into the locker room ahead 35-30.
Arlington finishes the season at 16-6, its most wins in a season since 2003.
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