Tavi Thomas ended the Oakland Mills dream of a perfect season Thursday night.
Thomas drilled a 3-pointer with nine seconds left that gave visiting Calvert a come-from-behind 69-67 victory over No. 6 Oakland Mills in the Class 2A South region championship.
Oakland Mills entered the game as the only unbeaten public school team left in the state — for boys — and the Scorpions finished with a 24-1 record.
Oakland Mills was trying to make the state final four for the first time in 12 years, and a state championship would have meant the Scorpions did it with a perfect record.
Oakland Mills also led for most of the game but just couldn't put away a stubborn Calvert team. Lavon Long paced the Scorpions with 25 points, and Oakland Mills led by as much as 10 in the second half, but the Cavaliers kept coming back.
"They made the plays down the stretch," Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said. "We didn't make enough plays, and they did."
The biggest problem for the Scorpions came at the free-throw line where they made just nine of 16 shots. They also missed five of seven free throws in the final five minutes, including the front end of two crucial one-and-ones in the final 55.8 seconds.
That left the door open for Calvert (19-6), and the Cavaliers took advantage.
"[Free throws] has been an Achilles for us all year," Browne said.
Oakland Mills took a 67-64 lead on Long's three-point play with 1:47 left. Long missed the front end of a one-and-one with 55.8 seconds remaining, and Calvert cut the lead to one when Jermaine Hunter (20 points) made two free throws with 37.3 seconds left.
Nekhi Bradley had a chance to extend the lead for Oakland Mills with 28.7 seconds left, but he missed the front end of his one-and-one. That gave Calvert a chance to take the lead or win the game.
Hunter drove into the lane and passed to Thomas in the right corner. Thomas was wide open and easily sank the 3-pointer to give Calvert a 69-67 lead.
"My heart was just pounding," said Thomas, who finished with 17 points."But I had a good release. I felt good with it."
The Scorpions had one more chance but missed a long shot with one second remaining. Dajuan Dent (16 points) and Deshawn Willis (15 points) also helped the Oakland Mills offense.
Josh Smith led Calvert with 23 points as the Cavaliers pulled out a tough victory. Calvert hasn't had an easy season as construction at the school has forced the Cavaliers to play all 25 of their games on the road.
Even though Oakland Mills came in at 24-0, Calvert coach Jeremy Kurutz thought his team would have a shot if they remained close.
"I'm just really proud of these kids," Kurutz said. "They worked hard."
Class 2A South Region Finals
Calvert 69, Oakland Mills 67
C-Smith 23, Upton 5, Hunter 20, Thomas 17, Gantt 4. Totals: 27 11-15 69.
O-Bradley 9, Dent 16, Zayatz 2, Willis 15, Long 25. Totals: 27 9-16 67. Half: C, 33-32.