Saturday, February 25, 2012
Clutch free throws lift Arl. Heights over Seguin
By David Stein
DALLAS -- Fort Worth Arlington Heights head coach Josh Welch said it was unfortunate how many times his team ended up on the wrong side of close games this season. The Yellow Jackets reversed their fortunes at the right time.
Travis Williams hit three clutch free throws in the final 20 seconds to lead Arlington Heights to a 59-56 win over Arlington Seguin in the regional quarterfinals Saturday night at American Airlines Center.
Justin Hemphill scored eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead Arlington Heights.
"I'm not here to be a superstar," Hemphill said. "I'm just here to help my team win and try to make it to Austin."
Welch said the toughest thing about defending his team is accounting for how many scorers he has.
"Any given night, nobody can beat us," Welch said. "That's what makes us tough to guard."
Seguin forward Kelvin Downs dominated the post, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds, but the 6-foot-9 Arkansas State commit only scored one point in the final quarter.
Arlington Heights had a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Seguin responded with a 9-0 run to start the second. A late free throw by Brandon Parrish put Seguin up 30-27 at the break.
Arlington Heights came out of the locker room on fire and went on an 11-2 run to take a 38-32 lead, but Seguin again answered and used a 6-0 run to close out the third quarter down 40-39.
The teams continued to trade baskets until a 5-0 run put Arlington Heights up 56-49 late in the fourth.
Seguin's Cris Boleware responded with a big 3-pointer from the baseline, then stole the inbound pass and hit a floater to pull Seguin within two.
After a quick foul, Williams hit two free throws to make it 58-54 Arlington Heights.
Erik Wright added a quick two to pull back within two and Seguin again fouled Williams, who made the first free throw but missed the second with 2.9 seconds left.
Seguin's last-second shot missed from half court.
Arlington Heights spread the scoring around. Along with Hemphill's 16 points, Harrison Wagner and Marshall Calvin added nine each, and Travis Williams and Damontre McFarland finished with eight apiece.
Wright finished with 12 points and Parrish chipped in 11 for Seguin.
Arlington Heights will play the winner of Forth Worth Southwest and Crowley in a regional semifinal.