The Northwest League boys basketball race had the potential to finish in a four-way tie with a slew of tiebreakers needed to figure out which team got the league’s top playoff seed.
Arbor View’s Justin Burks made sure that wasn’t necessary.
Burks hit a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left to give the Aggies the lead, and they held on for a 47-45 home win over Shadow Ridge on Friday night.
“Justin Burks is one of the top five players in the entire state of Nevada, in my opinion,” Arbor View coach Kyle Hageness said. “At times he struggled tonight. But in crunch time when it mattered, Justin stepped up and knocked down the biggest shot of our season and the biggest shot in the history of our high school.”
Arbor View (19-7, 8-2 Northwest) won its first league title, but it looked as if Shadow Ridge (9-16, 6-4) might spoil things for the Aggies late.
Enrique Wright’s follow bucket with 41 seconds left put the Mustangs up 45-43.
But the Aggies pushed the ball the other way, and Brandon Hill got the ball to Burks in the left corner for the go-ahead 3-pointer. It was Arbor View’s only made 3-pointer in the game.
Shadow Ridge had two shots at the other end, but Hill rebounded the second miss and was fouled. He hit the first free throw but missed the second, and the Mustangs’ Marquise Evans rebounded and called timeout with 1.5 seconds left.
Shadow Ridge got the ball to Terell Bowden, but his half-court runner at the buzzer was no good.
“I’m so overwhelmingly proud of my kids,” Hageness said. “They found a way to win a game that we didn’t play very well. That’s what this group has done all year. They just find ways to win big games.”
Burks had 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots, and Hill added nine points and 10 rebounds.
“This is his last regular-season game in high school ever,” Hageness said of Hill. “And he’s rebounding at 6-foot tall because he has a passion to win. And that’s the kind of leadership that brought us to that league title.”
Bowden scored 12 points, and Evans had 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Kealyn Butler added 11 points for the Mustangs, who enter the postseason as the league’s No. 4 seed.
“The only thing we knew for a fact was if we win it, then we’re the No. 1 seed,” Hageness said. “It’s just huge to get a win when you need it. We definitely didn’t want to be the third or fourth seed and go on the road. We’re pretty excited that we get a home game on Tuesday, I can tell you that.”