The Deer Park Stags, sparked by a trio of 3-pointers in the closing minutes of the first half, defeated the East Valley Knights 65-62 on Friday.
The win assured Deer Park (4-5 in the Great Northern League) a District VII tournament berth.
“That (the scoring spurt) was big for us,” said Stag head coach Ken Ryan.
Zach Mohr, Uconn Peone and Caleb Guske keyed the second quarter offensive blitz by each sinking 3-pointers.
‘We have to win the last 3 minutes,’ Ryan told his team late in the first half.
Still trailing 35-33 at halftime, the Stags finally took the lead 38-35 on a Blake Starbuck 3-pointer.
Both teams traded the lead for the next 4 minutes until another long-range bomb by Starbuck gave the Stags some breathing room at 48-46.
Mohr added a quick five points to increase the Stag lead to 53-49 with 8 minutes to play.
A Starbuck hoop in the opening minute of the final quarter gave the Stags their biggest lead at 57-49.
Twice the Knights closed the margin to 1 point following Cole Hofstee baskets but could not get any closer.
A Peone basket with 31 seconds remaining gave the Stags their final winning margin.
Starbuck and Mohr led the Stags with 20 points apiece while Peone chipped in with another 18.
J.T. Phelan and James Brown scored 16 points apiece for the Knights.