With 15 seconds left and the game tied at 60-60, Arcadia set up for the game-winning shot Friday night.
Senior Larry Lewis, the team's scoring leader, was given the ball and the chance to put the No. 2 Titans (22-6, 18-2 in power point games) into the championship game of the Division II, Section III tournament Saturday night.
When Lewis' shot bounced off the rim, senior Chris Thompson quickly secured the offensive rebound before putting the ball back up and in to give the Titans a 62-60 win against Saguaro on Friday night.
Arcadia will face Sierra Linda on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Coronado H.S. in the sectional championship.
Thompson finished the game with 17 points, five rebounds and an assist.
"I'm glad that it was Chris," said Lewis, who provided Arcadia with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and a steal. "It gives him a lot of confidence on the offensive end and I hope he brings that same intensity (Saturday)."
Sabercats coach Bob LaRue accepted this game as just another example of how the season has gone for his team.
"Offensive rebounds (have) been a thorn in our side, so we're going to have to do something to work on it," LaRue said. "We had four players in there six foot tall and under because we had one person foul out and the other big wasn't very productive, so it is what it is."
Saguaro (21-8, 14-6) was unable to capitalize on a 30-point performance from junior Ryan Berg on a night when he just couldn't miss. Berg also added four rebounds, an assist and three steals, while junior Cliff Marg scored 12 points to go with his five rebounds, one assist and a block.
For Berg, though, a win would have mattered much more than his stat line did with a loss.
"It was the semifinals of sectionals and we really needed this win to help make our seed better in the (state tournament), but we didn't do that," Berg said. "We just made it a little harder for ourselves."
The Sabercats got off to a slow start from the beginning, as they gave up offensive rebounds and second-chance opportunities that Arcadia easily converted into points.
Saguaro's shooting proved formidable as the Sabercats took advantage of the Titans' missed shots in the second quarter, and got their first lead of the game with two minutes left in the half. A 10-3 run from that point on allowed the Sabercats to go into halftime leading 41-32.
Arcadia brought the game back into reach when Saguaro opened the second half with another lackluster start.
The fourth quarter featured the teams trading buckets and one possession leads. With barely a minute left and the Titans ahead 60-58, Berg stole the ball and, assisted by junior Mike Hauser, scored to tie the game.
Arcadia ended the game with the most important of its 36 rebounds.
La Rue must now take the Sabercats into the state tournament, building on the positives of their two games this week while they wait for final seeding.
"I'm proud of the kids' effort," LaRue said. "Hopefully we keep our heads up and come back next week."