At Friday's first UCBAC Boys Basketball Showcase game, the North squad came away with a victory in the high-scoring affair, beating the South team, 98-94, Friday night at Bel Air High School.
"This was a great event," Jeff Burrows, North Harford's head coach who led the winning side, said. "It was an awesome game, very exciting. These guys really wanted to win, both sides. During the last time out, when we were up by four with 17 seconds left, I said to my players, 'let's lock this down, because I know you guys want to win this thing.' I think everyone out there had a lot of fun tonight."
The game featured two sides of 12 players from UCBAC teams. The players were not organized by Chesapeake (upper) and Susquehanna (lower) Division.
"We thought a Susquehanna vs. Chesapeake game would be pretty close this year, but we decided to even it out," Burrows said. "This way, there was a mix of both divisions on each team, and I think it worked out just fine. They definitely scored enough points."
Trailing by 11 with three minutes left in the third quarter, the South made things interesting, scoring 10 of the final 12 points over the rest of the quarter. The surge made the score, 73-70, going into the final eight minutes.
The South's J.J. Butler made it a two-point game, draining a long three-pointer that put the score at 75-73 in the opening moments of the fourth quarter.
The North, however, started to pull away with Edgewood's Van Rolle scoring six straight points to put his team up, 88-79. Later in the fourth quarter, Aberdeen's Deandre Henson effectively buried the South, nailing back-to-back three-point shots to give the North a 98-83 advantage with two minutes left.
But the South wouldn't give in, beginning an 11-point run on a three-pointer from Butler. After North East's Maurice Dickey hit a two-point field gold to cut the North's lead to eight, Joppatowne's Terrell Adams posted four straight points to put his team within four in the game's final minute, but those would be the contest's last points, and at the final buzzer the North team was ahead, 98-94.
Henson, who finished with 16 points, was named the game's MVP. Edgewood's Thomas Dillard helped the North's cause with 12, while teammate Van Rolle had 13. Elkton's Sterling Cruz scored 14 points for the North, and fellow Golden Elk Raheem Gatewood scored 10. Aberdeen's Jevon Hill-Gee had six points for the North.
Butler and Joppatowne's Lavelle Banks, with 14 points each, led the South. Patterson Mill's Garett Burkhead had 13 points, while Perryville's Gabe Sherrod and Dominique Holmes each scored 11 in the loss. Patterson Mill's Jay Kuhn scored five for the South, while Dickey scored seven. Adams and Bo Manor's Ryan Clifton each scored six.
"Awesome, that's all I can say about this game," Jeroud Clark, Patterson Mill's head coach who led the South, said. "Having all that talent on this court was really impressive. It could not have turned out better."
"I wish I had this kind of team every day," Burrows said. "We only had two practices, but just watching those was exciting, because these players are so good."
"At our first team practice, I thought, 'Oh my goodness!,'" Clark said. "If I had a team with this much talent all the time, there's no telling what we would do. It was unreal watching a group of players this good on the same team."