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HomeSportPrep Hoops: Fourth-ranked West boys come back from 16-point deficit, stun No....

Prep Hoops: Fourth-ranked West boys come back from 16-point deficit, stun No. 2 Service 63-58 in OT

West’s Buob Marial goes up for a shot last month against Nazareth of Brooklyn. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

There’s clutch, and then there’s Buob Marial.

The West boys basketball standout on Friday hit big shots at the end of the first half, regulation and overtime to help the fourth-ranked Eagles upset No. 2 Service 63-58 at ‘The Nest’ on Hillcrest.

Marial finished with only 13 points, but they all seemed to come in big moments as West beat Service for the second time in three meetings this season and leapfrogged the Cougars in the Cook Inlet Conference for sole possession of second place.

Des’Laone Cook also played a key role for West as the senior guard pumped in a game-high 20 points and hit two 3-pointers at the start of OT.

Cook and Marial combined for 12 of the team’s 14 points in the 4-minute extra session.

Cook opened OT with two corner 3s, the first trey giving West its first lead of the game at 52-51 and the second trey giving the Eagles its second lead at 55-53 with 2:17 left.

West’s Des’Laone hit five 3-pointers to get the W. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

Marial gave West the lead for good at 57-56 after finishing a tough layup in traffic with his left hand on a drive that started at the 3-point line. On the next possession he stole the ball under his own basket and threw up a circus shot while falling to make it 60-56 with 49 seconds to play.

Marial also came up clutch at the end of the second quarter, drilling a turnaround jumper with 1 second left, and at the end of regulation, when he tied the game 49-49 after hitting a baseline jumper at the 1:17 mark.

Service’s Toby Howard poured in 17 points, including 11 of his team’s final 16. Leyton Lockard scored 14 and Mackeenan Morgan added a dozen.

The 6-foot-7 Howard stood tall at crunch time. He showcased a gorgeous shake-and-bake post move to give the Cougars a 45-38 lead and later gave Service the lead three times in OT. His two free throws made it 56-55 with 1:29 remaining.

This loss left Service thinking woulda, coulda, shoulda after the Cougars blew a 16-point third-quarter lead. Sloppy turnovers allowed the Eagles to claw back into the game.

In the early stages, though, it looked like Blowout City after Service raced out to an 18-2 lead on the strength of Lockard’s 11 points. He hit three straight 3s, forcing West to call a timeout.

West coach Josh Muehlenkamp talks with his team. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

No doubt West Josh Muehlenkamp got on his players for throwing up airballs, missing bunnies and flopping in an attempt to draw fouls.

Meanwhile, Service kept its foot on the gas pedal. Kevan Henderson’s three-point play pushed the lead to 30-12. Then Cole Balmes got hot, scoring all seven of his points in a two-minute span as Service built a seemingly safe 39-23 advantage late in the third quarter.

West’s Bishop Hardman (10 points) got the comeback started with back-to-back 3s and a layup that came moments after Marial had blocked a Service player’s jumper into the bleachers.

You could sense the momentum shifting. Yet, Service maintained the lead. Morgan’s two free throws made it 47-40.

But West closed out the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run to force OT, where the Eagles have built a reputation for being closers. They won three postseason games last year in OT and last month they beat No. 4 West Valley in OT at the Alaska Airlines Classic.

Service 18 12 12 7 9 – 58
West 2 12 17 18 14 – 63
SERVICE – Lockard 14, Howard 17, Morgan 12, Balmes 7, Henderson 5, Zadra 3.
WEST – Marial 13, Cook 20, Chuol 7, Hardman 10, Atonio 6, Mikes 3, Muon 4.
 

CIC Boys Basketball

CIC TEAM OVERALL
9-0 East 18-1
7-3 West 13-6
6-4 Dimond 12-8
6-4 Service 15-7
6-4 Bartlett 10-9
4-5 South 8-11
1-9 Eagle River 3-16
0-10 Chugiak 4-14

FRIDAY
West 63, Service 58 OT
Bartlett 68, Chugiak 52
Dimond 65, Eagle River 50
SATURDAY
South vs. East, 4:30pm

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