BURLINGTON — In a game that became an instant classic, the Burlington girls basketball team outlasted Arlington, 43-40, in the Middlesex League playoff final on Saturday morning at Vanella Gym.
Assumption-bound senior Marina Callahan saved her best act for last converting a three-point play on a driving lay-up and subsequent free throw to give Burlington the three-point lead with just over a minute left.
Arlington had a chance to tie on an open 3-point look by Claire Ewen but the shot fell short as the buzzer sounded.
The game was tight throughout with five points being the largest lead for either side.
Arlington broke out to an 11-10 lead after a quarter but Burlington hung tight on a couple of baskets from Callahan and two hoops from senior captain Megan Murphy.
Burlington got eight points from sophomore Alyvia Pena in the second quarter including two 3-pointers but Ewen had an eight-point quarter for the Spy Ponders opening up a 26-23 halftime lead for Arlington.
Burlington kept the gap at three through the third quarter before Callahan took over.
Headed to Assumption on a basketball scholarship, the 6-foot senior captain hit two 3-pointers of her own to keep the game tight until the waning minutes.
With the game coming down to the final minute, Callahan drove the right side of the lane, drew contact, and lofted a soft shot off the glass that fell in to the delight of her teammates. Her free throw forced Arlington into two long ball attempts to tie in the final seconds, including the last minute effort from Ewen.
Callahan led all scorers with 22 points, Pena added 11 points, and Murphy chipped in with eight. Ava Connolly led all Arlington scorers with 13 points.
Burlington finishes the season with an undefeated record of 13-0.