Sophomore center powers Arlington Heights boys past Aledo

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Sophomore center Andre Washington poured in 26 points to lead Fort Worth Arlington Heights to a 57-53 win over District 7-4A rival Aledo in a boys basketball game Tuesday night at Billingsley Field House.

Despite going just 6-of-15 from the free-throw line, the 6-foot-6 Washington made buckets when they counted, scoring eight points in the fourth quarter to preserve the win.

“He’s just a sophomore,” said coach Jon Wagner, who led the Yellow Jackets to last year’s state semifinals in his first season as head coach. “He works hard. He’s a really good kid and he’s a great guy to have in the paint.”

Aledo (10-11, 4-2) took a 23-22 lead into the half, but the Yellow Jackets’ half-court press wore down the Bearcats early in the third, forcing turnovers and leading to a 7-0 Heights run.

“Our guys did a great job of moving their feet and containing the basketball,” Wagner said. “We want to pressure the ball on every possession.”

Arlington Heights (11-7, 4-2) extended its lead to 11 points early in the fourth quarter on back-to-back buckets from Washington.

“I don’t feel much pressure being the only [sophomore] on the team,” Washington said. “I just try to play hard and help the team win.”

Aledo finally managed to answer Washington’s points, with junior guard Braxton McCoy providing a spark off the bench.

McCoy hit a pair of 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to make the score 54-51 with 40 seconds left on the clock.

The Yellow Jackets went 3 of 4 from the line to preserve the win.

“We’re young,” Wagner said. “A lot of these kids didn’t get much playing time last season and our philosophy is to mature every day and if we keep doing that, good things are going to happen for us.”

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