SAN MATEO -- Mills, after its two top scorers fouled out, saw Aragon erase a seven-point deficit in the final three minutes and draw even on a pair of free throws by Nick Frankel with 22 seconds left Friday night.
The Vikings needed someone to step up with both their likely go-to guys on the bench. That player turned out to be junior guard Robert Nolan, who drove into the line and tossed in a game-winning shot -- his first basket of the game -- with three seconds left.
"It couldn't happen to a nicer kid," Mills coach Rick Hanson said.
Marquis Adkins added two free throws after an Aragon turnover, and Mills escaped with a 59-55 victory in a Peninsula Athletic League South Division boys basketball game in front of a lively crowd with plenty of fans for both teams in the new Aragon gym.
Mills (9-5, 2-0) trailed 39-29 in the third quarter before going on a 24-7 run to take a 53-46 lead on two foul shots by Joseph Worku with 4:15 left. But then point guard Matt Wong (12 points) and Worku (17 points) fouled out in a 35-second span. So Mills had to play the final 3:23 with players in unaccustomed roles and find a way to hold on to the lead. For the game, Mills made 15 of 17 foul shots.
"It was pretty nerve-racking," Hanson said. "Ernest (Man) and Robert (Nolan) had never played in a game or a practice without Matt and Joseph. There was a lot of time left. They couldn't hold on to the lead without continuing being aggressive going to
After Aragon cut the Mills lead to 53-50, Serreno Esponilla (13 points) scored on a drive to boost the Mills advantage back to five. But Frankel (game-high 23 points) hit his sixth 3-pointer of the game to make it 55-53, then added the two free throws to tie.
After a timeout, the Dons extended their defense trying to force a turnover. Nolan almost lost it, regained control and drove into the lane to make the deciding shot.
Aragon (10-4, 1-1) connected on seven 3-pointers in the first half in taking a 30-21 lead at halftime and had its biggest lead of the game at 24-12 in the second quarter.
Mills' second-half rally was sparked by Worku, who scored 12 of his 17 points after halftime, and by Jeremy Gibbs, who came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers. His final 3-pointer gave Mills the lead at 45-43, its first lead since the score was 4-2.