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Don Ketchum
Former Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Arcadia boys basketball rallies to defeat Poston Butte

December 20, 2011 by Don Ketchum, AZPreps365


By Don Ketchum

School was out, and perhaps the minds of the Phoenix Arcadia boys were on something than basketball. After all, it is holiday time.

Whatever the reason, the Titans found themselves in an 11-point predicament early in the third quarter against visiting San Tan Valley Poston Butte on Tuesday night (Dec. 20).

It wasn’t long after that Arcadia star Larry Lewis picked up his third foul and was forced to the bench.

His teammates picked him up, however, outscoring Poston Butte 10-4 in the final four minutes of the third. Lewis returned to the game at the start of the fourth and promptly drilled a 3-pointer. Arcadia took the lead shortly thereafter and never gave it up, capturing a 52-45 victory.

Arcadia, No. 2 in Division II power points entering this week, climbed to 11-1. Poston Butte, fourth in Division II power points, fell to 9-3.

“I don’t know what it is. Sometimes we have to get punched in the mouth before we start playing,’’ said Arcadia coach Luke Neibling.

Asked if he was sweating when Poston Butte grabbed its 11-point lead, Neibling said, “Just slightly. But we knew Poston Butte is a solid team and would put pressure on us.’’

Arcadia had trailed Phoenix Sunnyslope by double digits in the fourth quarter of an earlier game and came back to win, so it was a reference point the Titans could use.

With Lewis out, Neibling didn’t sweat too much because he is confident in his team’s depth.

Lewis finished with 21 points and Andrew Naderer had 18, including 14 in the second half.

Neibling said Ian Walker did a solid job off the bench. He did not score, but played well defensively and on the boards.

Jalen Richard scored 16 points in the first half to spark Poston Butte, including three 3-pointers. He finished with 22 points and four 3-pointers. Kyle Davis scored 13, including a pair from long range.

Arcadia will play in the VisitMesa.com holiday tournament next week.