The Douglas County West boys basketball team wasn't going to let their third loss of the season go easily.
Despite a 17-point deficit to the host Arlington Eagles, the Falcons went on a 20-5 scoring run to pull within 51-49 with plenty of time still left during Friday's fourth period.
“We knew we couldn't let it get away from us,” AHS junior Dustin Kirk said. “They're capable of knocking down shots and coming back, but we had to keep our composure, be patient offensively, get good looks and get stops on defense.”
Coach Tyler Spitser's did it, dropping DC West to 10-3, while improving to 8-6 with a 64-54 victory. The win was just the Eagles' second against a team with a winning record.
Arlington started with a 15-12 first quarter before exploding for 24 points during the second. Kirk and Logan Kaup combined for the first five buckets of the period — including the first on a slick baseline pass from Kaup to Kirk — before the second of Colby Grefe's four 3-pointers found the bottom of the net for a 28-20 advantage.
Grefe, Aiden Foreman and Nick Smith combined for the next eight points before Kirk delivered the Eagle highlight of the night. Leading 36-25, the junior guard heaved a half-court shot up as time expired in the first half, nailing it for a 14-point advantage. He celebrated with his teammates, while the AHS faithful in attendance came to their with their fists balled-up over their heads.
“Every day,” Kirk said, smiling after questioned about whether the long shot was practiced. “Three-quarters court. Half court. Yep.”
The guard wearing No. 20 finished with a game-high 20 points. Grefe added 16, while Foreman had 14, and both Smith and Kaup had seven.
Brody Travis led DC West with 16 points in defeat. Both his Falcons and the Eagles were to start Nebraska Capitol Conference Tournament play Monday before games were postponed by weather.
Sixth-seeded AHS now faces No. 3 Logan View/Scribner-Snyder at 6 p.m. Wednesday.