Jack Bloom hit a buzzer-beating top of the key game-tying three at the end of the 4th quarter, and Alta Aurelia prevailed 67-61 in overtime in Monday’s 1A boys basketball district quarterfinal round at Ar-We-Va.
A three by Mason Barnes toward the end of the 1st quarter gave the Warriors a 13-11 advantage after eight minutes, a lead they would maintain until the final minute of regulation. Alta Aurelia built a lead as big as ten during the 2nd quarter. An 11-1 run by the Rockets tied the game at 26-26, but a Bloom three started a 5-0 run to end the half to give Alta Aurelia a 31-26 halftime lead.
The Warriors still led by five going to the 4th quarter. Adam Stephan’s first field goal of the game made it 54-47 with four minutes left, but Ar-We-Va rallied to tie the score with 1:30 left, then took a 57-55 lead on an Emmett Neumann layup with 40 seconds remaining. The Warriors missed a shot and then fouled with 17.3 seconds left. Ar-We-Va made one of two free throws, and Alta Aurelia called timeout with 10.7 seconds left, which set the stage for Bloom’s heroics.
Stephan made a turnaround jumper to start the overtime scoring. Camden Reinert hit a free throw, and soon after Bloom made back to back at the line to make it 63-58 with 35.7 seconds left. The Rockets kept hope alive on a three with 19.3 remaining. Bloom was fouled with 16.6 left and hit both free throws to make it a two possession game. After Ar-We-Va missed a three, another foul was committed, and Cam Stites made both free throws for the final margin.
Bloom tied a career-high with 30 points, including four threes. Stites added 16, including seven in the opening quarter. Neumann had 21 for Ar-We-Va.
Bloom and coach Scott Randall chatted after the game…
Alta Aurelia marches on in the tournament with a 12-10 record, ending the Rockets season at 12-10. The Warriors will play at top seed in the district and 8th ranked North Union in a district semifinal on Thursday night.