Colby Grefe helped Arlington’s offense get on track Saturday night against Fremont Bergan.
The sophomore hit four 3-point field goals in the third quarter to help the Eagles defeat the Knights 52-49 in the Gary D. Schmidt Gymnasium.
Grefe’s perimeter shooting fueled a comeback by the Eagles, who trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half. AHS improves to 5-7 while the Knights fall to 6-6.
The Knights used eight points from Max Nosal in the opening half to lead 29-16 at the break. Nosal’s traditional three-point play with 5:23 left in the third quarter put Bergan up 36-21 before the Eagles rallied.
“They hit five 3s in the third quarter,” Bergan assistant coach Doug Moore said. “Some were in transition and some were off of offensive rebounds. We played well for about 28 minutes tonight, but we have to learn to play well for the full 32 minutes.”
Nick Smith’s basket started an 18-3 run by the Eagles to close out the period. Grefe’s fourth trey — one that was banked in — knotted the game at 39 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Eagles forced four ties in the final quarter with the final one coming at 47 on Smith’s basket following an offensive rebound with 2:37 left to play. Lucas Pruss put the Knights up 49-47 with 1:07 remaining when he connected on a reverse layup, but Bergan never scored again.
Tanner Pittman connected on a 3 with :51 left that gave Arlington its first lead of the game. The senior then came up with a steal on Bergan’s next possession. His basket with :12 left gave the Eagles a three-point cushion. A Bergan shot to tie it in the final seconds was off the mark.
Moore said the Knights never recovered from losing guard Sam Sleister to an ankle injury early in the third quarter.
“I think we were kind of shocked,” he said. “Sam is a great leader for us with a high basketball IQ. He gets us going in our offense and defense and is a good communicator. Once he went down, it changed the momentum of the game. Offensively, we struggled a little bit with just finding the open guys and finishing shots.”
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Bergan had opportunities to extend the lead early in the third quarter, but came up empty.
“In the first half we hit shots and that allowed us to get into our press that we run well,” Moore said. “The first three possessions of the third quarter were big. We forced three turnovers and we got three straight run outs, but we failed to convert there. We had a 13-point lead, but it could’ve been a 19-point lead. That really ended up hurting us.”
Grefe and Aiden Foreman had 12 points each for the Eagles with the latter adding four blocked shots, 12 rebounds and three assists. Pittman added nine points while Smith contributed eight. Dustin Kirk had seven points and five assists.
Nosal had 15 points while Pruss, Boggs and Gavin Logemann had eight each. The Knights play Saturday at North Bend.
Arlington 8 8 23 13 — 52
Bergan 19 10 10 10 — 49
Arlington — Aiden Foreman 12, Colby Grefe 12, Tanner Pittman 9, Nick Smith 8, Sam Kubat 2, Barrett Nielsen 2, Dustin Kirk 7.
Bergan — Max Nosal 15, Gavin Logemann 8, Lucas Pruss 8, Jarett Boggs 8, Sam Sleister 6, Tyten Vance 4.