ALEDO — A defensive stand in the closing seconds sealed a 39-38 win for Fort Worth Arlington Heights over Everman in the opening round of the Class 4A Region I bi-district playoffs.
With 11 seconds remaining and the Bulldogs with possession, the Yellow Jackets’ Tyler Kelly stole the ball from a driving Bulldogs player and passed it to Derrick Lightner, who was then fouled with one second left.
After that, the Yellow Jacket players finally could celebrate.
“We played great defense all night,” Arlington Heights coach Jon Wagner said. “And they did a great job of shooting the ball, and we just weathered the storm against a really good ballclub.”
The Bulldogs (15-11) jumped out to a 10-4 lead, but the Yellow Jackets (17-10) cut the score to 10-9 with eight of their points coming from A’Shawn Robinson.
Everman took its largest lead of the night at 21-13 with 2:20 left in the second quarter, but the Yellow Jackets came back again to be down just 23-22 at halftime.
Robinson scored 13 of Arlington Heights’ first-half points, and Wagner said the team was a little rusty to start the game.
The great play of the Yellow Jackets’ defense continued into the second half as it only allowed Everman to score four points in the third quarter.
Damontre McFarland made a layup to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead of the game at 26-25 with 5:43 left in the third, and Heights took a 33-27 lead as Kelly and McFarland combined for seven points to close out the quarter.
Reggie Hooks tied the game for the Bulldogs at 35-35 with three minutes remaining in the game, but Heights regained the lead on a Kelly layup. McFarland would extend that lead to 39-35 to give the Yellow Jackets enough cushion to hold on.
Arlington Heights will play Denton Guyer, which beat Saginaw on Tuesday, in the area round.
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