Sunday, May 19, 2013 6:15 AM
Published on: Thursday, January 17, 2013
By Andrew Tomlinson
SILVER SPRING - After trailing for the entire game, Springbrook High School tied the game in the closing minute to force overtime and went on to upset Paint Branch High School 55-49.
Riding three upperclassmen in the fourth quarter and overtime, the Blue Devils started slow but got it together when it counted and were able to force overtime despite never leading in the game. Springbrook looked like they flipped a switch on offense and defense, putting it together late.
“We have to take care of the ball a lot better than we did, and at times tonight, we put up some ill advised shots I would think,” Springbrook Head Coach Tom Crowell said following the game. “But when we got to late in the game and overtime, we did run our offense and we seemed to do a lot better job and cashed in.”
Crowell said a big piece of their success late came from their three-quarter press. Despite not getting a lot of steals, it got the ball in the hands of Paint Branch players who were not necessarily comfortable shooting the basketball. It showed too, with the Panthers going cold in overtime.
Paint Branch looked like the much better team most of the night, leading at the half 21-16. Playing in front of their home crowd, the Panthers had the momentum, largely due to the hot shooting of senior guard Jordan Radway. The momentum carried over with them to the start of the third quarter too.
Tristan Toliver put Paint Branch up by seven after hitting a jumper to put the Panthers on a 4-2 run to open the third. Despite having control of the ball consistently and the lead, Paint Branch could not get over the hump to take full command of the game.
With the third quarter winding down, Springbrook made it a one point game on a Deion Haynes layup and then tacked on another point after the free throw. The quarter was not over yet though, and Justin Hackley showed Paint Branch was still in control when he hit a buzzer-beating two to make it 33-28.
Paint Branch found itself up seven again in the fourth, but this time it could not hold on. Tomazye Anderson, who struggled for Springbrook most of the night, heated up in the fourth, scoring eight points to lead his team back.
“We had our opportunities, we made a nice steal to go up, I don’t know, six or eight there late, and we just lost our heads,” Paint Branch Head Coach Walter Hardy said. “We [have to] be smarter with the ball. We dropped a couple passes, made some easy turnovers, tried to force some things.”
Radway had a game-high 13 points, while Haynes had a team-high 10 points for Springbrook.