Host Lansdowne rallied from a 15-point third-quarter deficit and pulled off a 65-60 overtime win over Chesapeake, of Anne Arundel County on Tuesday night.
Lansdowne (1-0) trailed 39-24 with 3:50 left in the third quarter, but a pressing defense that produced 15 second-half steals helped them rally and Teddy Wilson (game-high 20 points) made two free throws with 2.5 seconds left to send the game to overtime tied at 53-53.
Wilson made two more with 21 seconds left in overtime to seal the victory.
Tayvon Williams added 20 points and Greg Scarborough had 10 points and 16 rebounds for the Vikings.
“That’s a great comeback win to open the season,” Lansdowne coach Greg Karpers said.
Chesapeake was led by Joe Seidler and Trace Carleton (13 points each).
The Vikings started the game fast with two baskets in the first 32 seconds and the second bucket was a breakaway dunk by Scarborough.
But the Vikings shooting against the 2-3 zone went south after that from the floor and the free-throw line.
Lansdowne made only 1 of 17 shots from the floor after the jam, and they connected on just 1 of 10 free throws, before making the final six of the half.
They also got eight points from Wilson in the second quarter, including a three-pointer with 35 seconds left, but they still trailed 30-20 at halftime because of three three-pointers by Carleton and nine first-half points by Dylan Young.
After playing 10 guys in the first half, Lansdowne’s Karpers settled on just six in the second half and overtime and they all delivered.
Using a zone press that forced a few early turnovers, they still fell behind 39-24 when the Cougars attacked and scored on layups.
But the defense kept forcing turnovers and they got 15 of their 22 total steals in the second half.
While Jones finished with six steals, Wilson, Williams and Scarborough had four each and Jerald Hurt added three.
“They did what you are supposed to do with a press, they got us out of our comfort zone and our guys just didn’t play as well as were supposed to breaking the press,” Chesapeake coach Shawn Rebstock said.
The Vikings also made four three-pointers in the third quarter, including three by junior Williams, who played on JV last season.
“You saw in that second half what we are capable of, our defensive pressure led to some offense and we kind of seemed to get in a rhythm and we were able to knock down some shots,” Karpers said. “In the third quarter we knocked down a bunch of threes to really get back in it.”
Williams also had a phenomenal 13 seconds when he made a trey and stole a pass and scored to cut the 39-24 lead to 39-29.
The Vikings still trailed 46-38 at the break and 48-42 with 6:10 left after a basket by Carleton, but they clawed back with more frenetic defense in the final six minutes.
Lansdowne finally got the lead, 51-50, on a three-pointer by Williams with 1:21 left in regulation, but Seidler pushed the Cougars ahead, 52-51, on layup with 1:02 left.
A free throw by Matt Kern stretched the lead to 53-51, setting up Wilson for the game-tying free throws with 2.5 seconds left.
The first free throw bounced high of the rim and back through the net. The second one swished.
“I was nervous, but I didn’t want to show it,” Wilson said. “Usually, when you think about missing, you miss it, so I just kept my composure and knocked down the tough shots.”
While Chesapeake made only 2 of 7 free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime, Lansdowne connected on 14 of 18 during that time.
“It’s something that has bit us the last two years and I thought we were making strides this year, but it came down to bite us this year in the last minute or two,” Rebstock said.
Beside the eight free throws in overtime, the only field goals the Vikings made were by Hurt.
But, after a free throw by Williams made it 61-56 with 1:00 left, the Cougars got a basket by Carleton to cut it to 61-58 with 42 seconds left.
After a turnover, Khalil Gary got the third straight offensive rebound for the Cougars and he converted and was fouled with a chance to tie.
But, trailing by one, he missed with 25 seconds left and Wilson made it 63-60 with 21 seconds left with his two free throws.
Lansdowne’s Jones got a steal on the Cougars next possession and he converted the final two free throws for the 65-60 victory.