BRANDYWINE– After trailing by as many as 11 points, the Gwynn Park High School boys’ basketball team came back on Senior Night to upset Largo High School to prevent the Lions from going undefeated in conference play.
The Lions, now 19-3 after the loss, found themselves without their best player and leading scorer, Abdulai Bundu who left with an injury after fighting for a rebound.
“It’s his hip…It’s just a light stinger,” Largo head coach Lewis Howard said. “He could’ve played. He wanted to go back in, but it’s not worth it. This game, we actually just played it because it’s on the schedule.”
With Bundu out, the rest of the team picked up the slack. Lions guards David Luckett finished with 24 points and six assists. He went to the foul line 10 times, hitting on seven of his attempts.
However, after leading by 10 points with just over minutes left in the game, Largo started to let the game slip away.
“It’s just valuing the basketball. We made some pretty boneheaded plays and it happens after a long layoff and school delays,” Howard said. “It was a great basketball game. Hats of to Gwynn Park. They played a great game.”
Gwynn Park junior guard Aaron Parker scored six points on three straight possessions in transition, and then assisted on another 3-pointer to cut the lead down to 45-44 with just under four minutes to go.
A defensive change by assistant coach Spencer Way helped spur the comeback, said Gwynn Park head coach Michael Glick.
“His call was to go to a 1-2-2 half court trap, and I think that’s what changed the whole momentum of the game,” Glick said. “So I give credit to coach Way. I thought that got them out of their rhythm and that got them to shoot quickly.”
After Largo guard Isaiah Boggs snatched an offensive rebound and scored to put the Lions up 47-44 with just under four minutes left, they did not score again until six seconds were left in the period.
Parker fouled out of the game after being called for a charge with just over two minutes left, but forward Isaiah Miles picked up the slack. Miles scored eight points and dished out two assists in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Miles scored all five of the Yellow Jackets’ points throughout the rest of regulation, increasing their lead to 53-47.
The Lions looked out of it down by six points with just 44 seconds left on the clock. However, with the ball in the hands of David Luckett they remained confident. He hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead down to 53-50 with just ten seconds left to play.
“He’s played that way all year long,” Howard said. “Abdulai went down, so someone had to step up and he did.”
After the three, Largo forced a Gwynn Park turnover on the inbounding play. The Lions had an opportunity to tie the game up, but missed the initial 3-point shot.
However, Luckett came out of a scrum of players with the offensive rebound. He dribbled into the left corner beyond the arch and let the ball go. His jumper fell and tied the game at 53-53.
“Miami Heat game winner (against the Spurs). Chris Bosh and Ray Allen,” Glick said. “That’s the first thing I thought of (when Luckett hit the shot).”
As overtime started, Luckett found himself at the rim once again and he dished to forward John Nwokoro under the rim and he scored the first bucket to give Largo the lead.
But Gwynn Park responded. Miles caught the ball in the high post, attracted two defenders and kicked the ball out to Evan Crump, who hit his fifth 3-pointer of the night to put his team up 56-55.
The teams would trade baskets as Gwynn Park took a 61-59 lead with 15 seconds lrft.
The score would bloat to 60-59 as the two sides traded bucket after bucket, but Largo had a chance to steal the ball with 20 seconds left on the clock and failed to come up with the ball. After Gwynn Park recovered the ball and held it for five seconds, they were forced to foul with 15 left on the clock.
Largo beat the press with an outlet pass to sharpshooter Francis Hawkins who drained a three, but the shot did not count because he caught the ball with his heel out out-of-bounds.
The Yellow Jackets inbounded the ball after the turnover and the clock ran out. The team stormed the floor in celebration as they sent the Lions with a loss—Largo’s first in conference play.
“I was really proud of how resilient the kids were after giving up a six point lead with 20 seconds left,” Glick said. “To be able to come back and win the game in overtime shows a lot of character for our kids.”