Lansdowne junior Tyler Jones scored a team-high 19 points, but it was a pair of plays he made at the defensive end of the court that secured the host Vikings’ 66-62 overtime victory over Overlea (8-10).
With the scored tied at 57-57 in the final seconds of regulation, the Falcons’ Terry Lawson (9 points) missed a three-pointer with five seconds left and Derrick Jones got the rebound five feet from the basket, but his follow shot at the buzzer was blocked by Jones, sending the game into overtime.
With 43 seconds left in the overtime and the score tied at 62-62, Jones blocked a layup attempt by Daquan Pittman (game-high 21 points) that led to a follow shot by Jones and 64-62 lead with 31 seconds left.
“They were both buckets if he didn’t block them,” said Lansdowne coach Greg Karpers, whose squad improved to 6-8.
A steal by Alfred Allen with 18 seconds left stopped an Overlea attempt to tie the game, but he failed to convert his free throws and the Falcons had another chance to draw even or win with a three-pointer.
After Lansdowne’s Edrick Mallard (7 points) deflected a ball out of bounds, the Falcons had one last chance off an inbounds play, but Lawson’s three-point attempt from the top of the key bounced off the rim and Shawn Brown (10 points) grabbed the rebound and sunk two free throws with 0.5 seconds remaining to ice it.
“In the end, they made one more play than we did,” Overlea coach Dave Iampieri said. “We had a good look at the three and he’s our best three-point shooter, that’s why we went for the win, instead of the two and it just didn’t happen. He hits that shot, it’s sweet, but it just didn’t happen.”
Lansdowne had trailed 26-20 at halftime, but rallied and finally took the lead, 36-34, on a put-back by Tevor Morris (15 points) with 2:25 left in the third quarter.
The biggest lead either team had rest of the way was three points by Lansdowne as the game see-sawed back and forth.
“I thought it was going to come down to the fourth quarter and I liked our energy a lot,” Karpers said.
Allen replaced Morris after he fouled out in the fourth quarter and made a tough bank shot in regulation and added a clutch rebound in overtime.
Sophomore Mark Kelly (13 points) also sparked the Vikings with hustle on defense.
“He really works hard,” Karpers said.
Overlea’s Jamal Burgess and Derrick Jones (10 points each) fouled out in the fourth quarter and the Falcon offense got out of rhythm while the turnovers increased.
“Our guys turned it over in overtime and you just can’t turn it over on possessions like that,” Iampieri said.
Lansdowne had its share of untimely turnovers, but they were steadied by the heady play of Mallard.
“He’s not going to light up the scoring column, but when you look up, he can rebound, run the offense and always has his head up looking for teammates,” Karpers said.
Jones proved to be most popular after halftime, when he scored 14 of his 19 points.
“That’s him, you look at the scorebook and you’re like ‘he really had that many,’” said Karpers, who surely won’t forget the two big blocked shots he had to save the game.