With 6 minutes, 33 seconds left in a game tied at 33, Western Tech (19-6) had three starters on the bench, and hopes for a repeat trip to the state tournament looked problematic against host New Town (19-7).
But the two remaining starters, Daija Coles and Autumn Tapley, and clutch performances by reserves Christina Spliedt, Ashley Gourdine and Bria Johnson helped the Wolverines girls basketball team outscore host New Town 13-9 the rest of the way en route to a 46-42 victory in the Class 1A North championship game.
The reserves were thrust into action because junior Ebonee Dixon (six points) fouled out late in the third quarter and junior point guard Sydney Clopton (12) and Deja Dennis (13) had to leave the game after their heads collided with 6:33 left. Their heads cleared quickly when they saw Tapley feed freshman Gourdine for her only two points, giving the Wolverines a 35-33 lead with 6:15 left.
Clopton returned with a bruised forehead and launched an errant 3-pointer, but Coles put in the offensive rebound for a three-point play and a 38-33 lead.
New Town's Candis Taylor (five points) hit a 3-pointer and Tiana Davis (nine points) made a layup to tie the game at 38 before Dennis took over.
She followed a free throw by Clopton with a pair of clutch baskets that pushed the Wolverines' lead to 43-38 with 2:04 remaining.
Destiney Davis-Betts made it 43-40 with 30 seconds left, but Clopton sealed the victory with three free throws in the final 25 seconds.
"It's great because I didn't think anybody thought we would repeat, because we lost talent, but look at the people that stepped up," Western Tech coach Nolan Roe said.
No. 14 Patterson Mill 64, Queen Anne's 28: Patterson Mill outscored the Lions (18-5) by at least six points every quarter and the host Huskies (19-5) won their second straight Class 2A East regional.
Patterson Mill applied a man-to-man defense from the start, which led to a handful of turnovers and tested the visitors' shooting. The Lions made just three field goals in the first half, and the Huskies led 30-14 at the break.
Queen Anne's scored just four field goals in the second half.
Qalea Ismail and Morgan Golec scored 12 points each to lead the Huskies. Sam Herman finished with nine and Lydia Moro had seven.
Patterson Mill will play in the 2A state semifinals at UMBC on Friday at 5 p.m.
Baltimore Sun Media Group
Randallstown 60, Chesapeake-BC 50: D'Anna Dawson had 16 points and 17 rebounds and the host Rams (16-4) held off a third-quarter rally by the Bayhawks to win in Class 2A North.
Dunbar 54, Surrattsville 43: The visiting Hornets charged to within three points with five minutes left, but the Poets (17-8) made seven of eight free throws in the fourth quarter to preserve the win in Class 1A South.
Shamar Prilliam and LaShay Stackhouse each scored 12 points for Dunbar, which led 28-20 at halftime.
Joppatowne 78, Rising Sun 32: Matt Jones and Khalil Gore scored 13 points each to lead the host Mariners over the Tigers in Class 2A East.
Chapelgate Christian Academy 66, Annapolis Area Christian School 57: Matt Frierson made a 3-pointer to give the Yellow Jackets (16-15) a 60-57 lead with two minutes left. Chapelgate made its free throws down the stretch to beat the Eagles in a Maryland Christian Schools Tournament semifinal at Greater Grace Academy.
Chapelgate faces Grace Brethren in tonight's championship at 7 at AACS.