Paint Branch overcame a seven-point deficit in the third quarter to rally past Dulaney, 64-54, in a Class 4A North Region boys basketball semifinal Tuesday night in Timonium.
The Lions (21-3) led, 27-20, early in the third quarter before the Panthers closed the period on a 13-4 run to put them ahead for good.
Senior guard Gavan Scanlan led Dulaney with 22 points after closing his four-year varsity career with a three-point shot in the waning moments of the game.
Guards Jason Lawson and Zach Hill contributed 10 points each for the Lions. The Panthers (21-3), who will meet Poly for the regional final, were paced by sophomore Donovan Walker's 19 points.
"Neither team played well in the first half," Dulaney coach Matt Lochte said. "And we didn't play well in the second half, either. They were a little more disciplined than we were."
Paint Branch coach Walter Hardy, a Towson University grad, said his senior-laden team "didn't lose its composure" despite the frenzied atmosphere in a packed, raucous gym in which the Lions were unbeaten this season.
Scanlan started a 6-0 run in the third quarter on a turnaround jumper that kissed off the glass before a drive by Hill and a pair of Lawson free throws gave Dulaney its largest advantage.
The visitors from Montgomery County countered quickly, however, on senior Dom Ortiz's three-pointer, a steal by senior guard Jordan Radway and four consecutive Walker free throws to retake the lead — and never give it back.
"We got down, and then we panicked a little bit," Lochte said.
After Scanlan scored on an assist from Hill to finish the third quarter, Walker opened the final period with a dagger three-pointer to widen the Panthers' margin to 36-31.
Consecutive stick-backs by Panther senior John Onukaogu forced Lochte to call a time out and the Lions to play catch-up the rest of the way.
"It's tough to end the season this way," Lochte said. "Especially when we didn't play our best."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun