Garcia's 3-pointer lifts Hamilton past Dobson - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Garcia's 3-pointer lifts Hamilton past Dobson

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Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:53 pm

He wasn't the first choice or even the second, but Michael Garcia, after making plays throughout the fourth quarter, made the biggest one of the night.

"I'm just glad we got a 'W,'" the unassuming junior said after his 3-pointer capped Hamilton's late rally in a 50-47 win over Dobson in the first round of the Division I boys basketball state tournament.

No. 15 seed Hamilton (18-10) travels to No. 2 Pinnacle on Saturday for a 7 p.m. second-round game.

Down 47-45, Hamilton called a timeout with 25 seconds left. Coach Kevin Hartwig drew up a play that did not call for big man Eric Jacobsen or Garcia to take the shot, according to both players.

Jacobsen, held to 15 points by Dobson's 6-foot-5 Marcus Tipton, kicked it out to Garcia, who buried the 3-pointer from the perimeter with 10 seconds remaining.

"The play was meant for a pick-and-roll," Garcia said. "And we did dump it down to Eric Jacobsen and all game we knew they were sagging on him. He turned and looked to kick it out, and luckily I was open and hit the shot."

Jacobsen concurred.

"The first idea was to get a shot in the corner," the 6-foot-11 ASU-commit said. "It wasn't open so they threw it inside, and I knew we needed a three so I just kicked it out, found the open guy."

Dobson (18-12) rushed up court but guard Michael Greene lost the ball under the basket and the clock appeared to run out. Officials then put 1.2 seconds back on the clock and awarded free throws to Hamilton's Nate Walker after he was fouled by Connor Rowe. Walker made the foul shots and after two timeouts, Dobson had one last gasp.

Rowe's inbounds play fell in between players in the frontcourt - which kept the clock stopped - before Alex Brusnahan threw up a wild backwards shot as the buzzer sounded.

"We just gave up a wide-open three, the second game in a row we've done that," Dobson coach Rick McConnell said, referring to the one-point loss to Corona del Sol in the sectionals last week. "They made some good plays down the stretch and we really just couldn't pull away from them. I'm just disappointed for our kids."

Dobson appeared to have some control as the Mustangs slowed down Jacobsen and held on to the ball much of the night. But the Mustangs' shots didn't fall.

Still, Dobson led 42-36 in the first minute of the final period after a pretty spin move by Kyle Tomlinson (15 points) and had a chance to pull away. But both Tomlinson and Tipton picked up their third fouls and failed to convert on a couple of possessions.

Despite picking up his fourth foul, Jacobsen got an old fashioned three-point play with 4:55 left to cut the lead to 42-39.

Garcia then began to assert himself.

"Our coach (while I was) on the bench told me that they were sagging on Eric and I was scouting that," Garcia said. "When I finally had my opportunity, I looked into attacking, got some easy buckets. It was a good read."

He made layups on key drives, the second gave Hamilton its first lead since early in the second. However, Dobson came right back with Kodi Justice finding Tipton for a layup to give Dobson a 46-45 advantage with one minute remaining.

Garcia missed and knocked the offensive rebound out of bounds and Hamilton had to foul with 32.5 seconds left.

Rowe hit one of two free throws to put Dobson up 47-45.


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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]