By Tom Worgo, firstname.lastname@example.org
10:02 PM EST, February 26, 2013
Good things happen when Laurel senior shooting guard Aaron Brown has the ball in his hands.
Two good things happened when Brown had the ball in the Class 4A South Region quarterfinal against host High Point Tuesday night — in the final eight seconds of the game.
Brown went nearly the length of the court to score what would be the winning basket on a layup with eight seconds remaining, then he came up with a steal four seconds later to lead Laurel to a 52-51 victory.
Brown had to be carried off the court with less than a second remaining. He hit the floor hard after getting fouled as he drove to the basket for a layup.
Laurel coach Torrence Oxendine said Brown, a transfer from Meade, suffered a sprained ankle and will be a game-time decision when the Spartans travel to Wise Thursday for a playoff semifinal.
"Aaron made some mistakes early on, so we had to sit him down at certain times," Oxendine said. "But we take pride in telling a kid whenever you make a mistake, try to make up for on defense. And he made up for it."
It looked like the Spartans (10-12) would win comfortably.
They led 36-21 midway through the third quarter, but by the end of the period, the Eagles trimmed the lead to 38-33.
Midway through the fourth quarter, High Point sophomore guard Lester Smith (team-high 21 points) tied it at 45-45 on a layup.
Soon after that Brown came to the rescue by scoring his team's final seven points. He hit a three-pointer and sank a pair of free throws to put ahead the Spartans ahead twice in the final 3:13.
The free throws made it 50-48 with 2:01 remaining.
Neither team scored again until High Point's Oladoyin Fadojutimi grabbed a rebound, converted a putback and was fouled to make it 50-50 with 17.2 seconds with left.
Fadojutimi completed the three-point play when he hit a free throw.
But Brown made a layup and followed it up a steal to send the Spartans onto the next round of the playoffs.
Mamadou Ndiaye (9 points), Cailen Walker (9), Devonte Cook (4), Frank Williams (2), Xavier McFadden (2), Greg Barber (2) and Tai Marshall (1) also scored for Laurel.