Penetration was a staple of the game for Federal Way, Wash., in the second half Monday afternoon and it was the key to the win in the end.
Senior guard Michael Hale III's twisting layup with six seconds left lifted the Eagles to their second straight tournament victory, a 60-58 win over Mesa Dobson on the third day of the Arizona Basketball Challenge at Mesa Mountain View High School.
"They did some smart things and took advantage of where we were weak," Dobson coach Rick McConnell said. "We have times where we don't recognize things and that hurt us several times today."
Dobson trailed 54-46 with 5:45 left in the game before rallying to make the outcome a mystery to the finish. Federal Way junior forward Cole Dickerson gave Dobson fits inside. He scored 14 of his game-high 17 points in the second half after getting handcuffed with foul trouble early in the game. Hale and fellow guard Andre Berrington repeatedly threaded their way through the lane for tough shots or dished off to Dickerson, who more often than not finished with nice footwork in the paint.
A couple of late turnovers by Federal Way led to a pair of layups by Dobson's Jerry Harville, the last when Harville made a steal at midcourt and drove in to tie the game for the final time at 58-58 with 1:45 to play.
Dobson's junior trio of Harville, John Bailey and Jarrett Green again paced the Mustangs. Harville and Bailey each finished with 15 points and Green added 14.
Along with Dickerson's 17 points, Jeffrey Forbes had 16 for Federal Way and Robert Christopher chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds. Forbes kept Federal Way close late in the first half when he sank three consecutive 3-pointers.
"He made those from about the same spot on the floor," McConnell said. "We were just slow to react and make adjustments. It's something we need to keep working on."
The final game of the tournament, at 8:30 p.m. today, pits once-beaten Gilbert Highland against unbeaten Mesa Mountain View. The teams don't meet during the regular season.
Eric Hunt scored 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds as Mountain View remained unbeaten in the tournament and on the season with a 56-44 victory over Scottsdale Saguaro on Monday.
Steven Morin led Saguaro with 10 points.
Goodyear Estrella Foothills guard Corey Hawkins scored 26 points in the first half and finished with 43 as the Wolves knocked off Mesa Red Mountain, 85-71. Chris Lewis paced Red Mountain with 18 points.
HATS OFF TO TUCSON
Tucson High had to battle its way through the tournament short-handed due to defection and illness. Coach Gary Lewis had eight players in uniform Friday, nine on Saturday and had to face Highland Monday with just seven. The Badgers, despite losing all three games, played hard in every contest.