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Cibola falls to Aggie trio
The Cibola boys basketball finally caught up with Arbor View in the third quarter.
Then the Aggies' talented athletes simply pushed ahead.
The Raiders fell victim to a trio of strong Arbor View players and lost 82-65 in a semifinal of the Southwest Rotary Classic on Friday night at Cibola.
Arbor View (Las Vegas) got 27 points from 6-foot-6 junior wing Justin Burks while 6-foot-2 junior shooter Terrell Butler netted 19 points and 6-foot senior point guard Navonte Hill added 21 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.
“I don't think it was a matter of us running out of gas, we just had match ups of guys we couldn't guard,” said Cibola assistant Ron Bratton, who filled in because Raider head coach Tim Keller had a family emergency.
Senior Jordan Mitchell finished with 15 points and 10 assists for the Raiders and senior post Steven Loucks added 11 points and eight rebounds. Junior shooter Noah Thompson went 4 for 8 from behind the 3-point line to finish with 12 points for Raiders, who faces Tucson in the third-place game at 2 p.m. today at Cibola.
Trailing by as many as 13 in the second quarter, the Raiders (5-1) chipped their way back and tied it 53-53 on a deep 3-pointer by Thompson with 2:25 left in the third quarter.
Arbor View (7-1) responded with a three by Butler and a dunk and two free-throws from Burks to end out the third quarter — and the Raiders never got closer than that.
“We saw (Cibola) play yesterday so we know what they're capable of and they put that big run on us. It's a big test for our kids,” Aggie coach Kyle Hageness said. “We weren't sure if we were going to fold up or respond and Justin and Terrell really lifted our team offensively and tightened up defensively.”
Butler also hit a pair of threes early in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
“They have two good players who we just couldn't guard and a great point guard. We tried to play a zone, which got us closer,” Bratton said. “We had to get out of the zone and go man and gamble.”
With the Aggies in foul trouble but leading 51-46 with six minutes left in the third and Cibola sitting back in a 2-3 zone, Arbor View decided to hold the ball near-half court. Bratton said he contemplated allowing the talented Aggies to shorten up the game by staying back and letting them waste the clock.
“My thought process when I saw that was fine, I'll go down five going into the fourth quarter,” he said. “Then I saw the looks on my kids' faces like, ‘We can play with them.' I looked at Jordan's face and it was like, let's go man.”
Nearly a minute later, the Raiders went out to pressure the ball and regained possession. The same process happened on the Aggies' next two possessions and Cibola responded similarly — which let the Raiders chip away and tie it with Thompson's three.
“We have a lot of respect for Cibola,” Hageness said. “They run a great program so we told the kids that five point lead and less time in the game? That's fine by us.”
Cibola had a chance to take the lead, but Mitchell missed the front end of a one-and-one and Butler came up with a three on the right wing to take the lead for good.
“They hit a bunch of (shots) that were closely guarded because they have some good shooters but that dried up a little bit,” Hageness said. “They were going on that run and I wasn't sure if we could hold on.”
Arbor View is certainly the kind of team that the Raiders could possibly face if they reach the playoffs, and Bratton said facing off against the Aggies could turn out to be invaluable.
“We need these games,” he said. “We need to play these games to see where we're at.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.