The Sidwell Friends all-star basketball game last night ended the way it began: intense and close, with the West squad holding on for a 107-103 victory before about 1,700 at Georgetown's McDonough Arena.
The West was leading, 98-93, with 2:23 left, when McKinley's Anthony Tucker (26 points) narrowed the gap to 98-96 on a three-point play. Seconds later, Tucker pulled down a rebound to start the East on a fast break, and Orlando Vega of McKinley was fouled. Vega, who finished with 15 points, made one of two free throws to pull the East within one, 98-97, at the 1:32 mark.
With 40 seconds left, the West's Carl Weldon of Coolidge (10 points) scored on a breakaway layup to make it 104-99. Jacob Morton of Gonzaga then scored on a bank shot for the East. After an East timeout, the West squad ran 20 seconds off the clock before Flint Hill's Aaron Bain was fouled going up for a layup with nine seconds remaining.
Bain, who finished with 17 points, made one free throw for 105-101. Tucker came back with a jumper from the top of the key with three seconds to go, but the West was able to preserve the victory as Dunbar's Anthony Beagle (11 points) broke loose for an uncontested layup.
Neither squad could break away in the first half, and the East led by 55-52 at halftime. The West took a 56-55 lead at the beginning of the second half with four straight points: Bain's jumper and a dunk by Flint Hill's Dennis Scott (23 points), who was named the game's MVP.
The West led by 79-75 at the end of three periods. Led by Coolidge's Aaron Mahoney, who came off the bench and connected on two long-range jumpers, the West extended its lead to 83-75. Mahoney's final basket was on a behind-the-back scoop layup that gave the West an 85-78 lead, its biggest margin of the game.