It was a comeback to remember.
However, Siegel’s momentum didn’t carry over into overtime.
Fourth-ranked Arlington, which was making its first state tournament appearance in the school’s 10 years, ended second-ranked Siegel’s season Wednesday with an 86-80 overtime win in the Class AAA quarterfinals of the BlueCross Boys Basketball State Championships held at MTSU’s Murphy Center.
“We were just a couple of minutes too short,” Siegel senior Charles Clark said. “We played hard throughout the whole game.”
Arlington (29-4) will play Oak Ridge (31-7) at 11:30 a.m. Friday in a state semifinal.
Siegel (31-2) scored six unanswered points in the final 20 seconds to force the extra period.
Point guard Ryan Jones, who finished with a game-high 29 points, scored on a layup with 20 seconds left to trim Arlington’s lead to four. Teammate Charles Clark picked off Adarius Avery’s deep pass and was fouled. He calmly hit two free throws to cut it to two. Dominique Gooch then stole the ball with nine seconds left off C.J. Anderson’s pass.
Jones capped off the comeback with an inside bucket with two seconds left to send the game in OT.
“You can’t give up,” said Jones, putting his head down to conceal his emotion.
Added Siegel coach Ben Dotson, “That’s what we’ve done all year. We’ve always counted on each other.
“I think they were celebrating a little bit. I don’t know. But I knew our kids weren’t going to quit until the final horn.”
Arlington, though, took over from the foul line in the overtime. The Tigers hit 12-of-14 from the foul line in the extra period and finished the game 26-of-33 from the charity stripe.
Siegel was 15-of-25 from the line.
“I felt good no matter what (the score was),” Dotson said. “We would have liked to have been ahead.
“It looks like free throws would have helped us.”
Clark had 24 points, and was 4-of-12 from the 3-point line. Gooch added 11 points. Siegel started four of its five seniors.
“The last three years (Clark and Jones) have been solid for us,” Dotson said. “I felt comfortable going into this. We had two good practices. We were ready to go.”
Clark fouled out with 2:00 left in overtime with the Stars trailing 79-75. Anderson then hit two free throws to extend the lead to six. And Siegel couldn’t get any closer.
Anderson, a UMass signee, led Arlington with 26 points. He was 12-of-14 from the foul line. Avery had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Nathan Hoover went 4-of-6 from the 3-point line and finished with 16 points. And K.J. Bates added 15.
Siegel’s state tournament appearance was its second straight and seventh in the school’s 11 years. Siegel reached the state semifinals a year ago.
“You never want it to end,” Dotson said of the season. “But as I said earlier, 60-8 (over the past two seasons) is pretty good. These guys — I’ve never met a closer bunch.”
Arlington 86, Siegel 80 OT
Arlington 15 22 13 20 16 – 86
Siegel 8 27 15 20 10 – 80
Arlington: C.J. Anderson 26, Bowlan 2, Jonathan Bowlan 16, K.J. Bates 15, Adarius Avery 19, Hailstock 8.
Siegel: Eddings 7, Charles Clark 24, Dominique Gooch 11, Ryan Jones 29, Burton 5, McGee 4.