Bartlett junior Trenton Anthony's nickname is "Blur", and when he races from one end of a basketball court to another, it's easy to see where the nickname comes from.
But speed had nothing to do with Anthony's game-clinching shots in the Golden Bears' 79-75 win over West in the Class 4A boys' basketball championship Saturday at Sullivan Arena.
After leading by double-digits for much of the game, Bartlett held a tenuous 77-75 lead with 3.3 seconds left to play, and the 5-foot-10 Anthony was standing still on the free-throw line, waiting to attempt the first of two foul shots.
With West fans erupting in their best attempt to distract him, Anthony released the first foul shot and watched the ball teeter on the rim for a moment, before rolling in for a point. His second foul shot hit nothing but net, giving Bartlett a four-point lead.
"I just tried to keep my composure," said Anthony. "I always dream about moments like this."
Anthony's free throws sealed Bartlett's first title since 2003 and fourth all-time, denying West, which had won four of the last seven titles, a second consecutive championship.
Bartlett has played in the title game five of the last 10 years, last playing against West in the 2004 game, where the Golden Bears lost 70-69 in overtime.
In 2008, Bartlett lost another heartbreaker, falling 56-54 to South in a game that senior Damon Sherman-Newsome said it was a painful loss to have to endure in his freshman season.
Sherman-Newsome made the most of his last shot at a title Saturday, finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds in a game that showcased his many talents. Whether he was defending the rim or attacking it, his 6-foot-4 frame impressively executed the task. The same could be said for just about every player in a Bartlett uniform.
"My team stepped up big time," Sherman-Newsome said. "Everybody wanted it."
Anthony, who led the Golden Bears with 23 points said he has known Sherman- Newsome for a long time and watched him suffer the defeat to South in 2008, so to help Sherman-Newsome get a title in his senior season made it that much sweeter.
"We gotta give this one to Damon," said junior Jal Rial, who finished with 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting.
Sherman-Newsome said a huge key to victory was getting off to a fast start.
"We started out hard," he said.
The Golden Bears first bucket was scored by Anthony on a hard drive to the hoop. Their second basket came 16 seconds later when junior Treshawn King-Dunbar made a steal around mid-court and raced all the way to the rim for a layup.
The two scores sparked an 11-3 run that turned into an 18-7 lead through one quarter, and both scores were a preview of things to come. King-Dunbar's speed was unmatched by anyone other than Anthony, and the two guards were an essential ingredient in breaking West's full-court press throughout the game.
King-Dunbar, whose nickname is "Super Glue", because Bartlett coach Greg Fullmer says he is the one who holds the whole team together, finished with 11 points and four steals.
As well as Bartlett played, West's Devon Bookert, Alaska's Gatorade player of the year, wasn't about to let the Golden Bears get away without a fight. Bookert finished with a game-high 38 points, scoring the last 11 points for the Eagles. He drilled three 3-pointers in the final 1:19, desperately trying to give the Eagles a chance.
"He's a great player," said Sherman- Newsome. "It's hard to stop him."
The Golden Bears may not have stopped Bookert, but they led the championship game from start to finish, using a full team effort.
Fullmer, who recruited his brothers Kevin Fullmer and Jerry Fullmer as assistant coaches this season, said the championship season was a special experience that brought the whole team together like a big family.
"I got 12 sons here," he said.
Reach Jeremy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.
SERVICE 66, NORTH POLE 60: Rebounding from a semifinal loss to West, Service captured third place behind Adam Klie's 20 points and 12 rebounds. Free throws made the difference -- Klie sank all nine of his free throws and the Cougars were 16 of 19 from the line, while North Pole hit just 8 of 17.
Amu Aukusitino and Farimang Touray combined for 29 points for Service. Jesse Ward and Kody Broderick each scored 16 for North Pole.
Service won with a fourth-quarter rally, hitting 12 of 15 free throws to outscore the Patriots 22-12.
WASILLA 52, JUNEAU 47: Four scorers in double figures and a big fourth quarter carried Wasilla to fourth place.
Trailing 45-40, the Warriors outscored Juneau 17-7 in the final eight minutes for the win. Cole Schierman's 16 points paced Wasilla, which also got 10 points apiece from Connor Devine, Braydon Kuiper and Wade Stahle.
By JEREMY PETERS