Dulaney boys basketball edges Catonsville in overtime in Class 4A Region semifinal

Basketball teams usually only dream about the kind of comeback Dulaney had against Catonsville Saturday night with the pressure of the playoffs adding to the drama.

The Lions rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to post a 63-62 victory over the Comets in overtime in the Class 4A North Region semifinal at Dulaney High School.


"We haven't been down 15 all season," said Dulaney coach Matt Lochte, whose team advances to play host Springbrook Monday at 7 p.m. in the regional championship.

Dulaney senior forward Jair Williams scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and teammate Scott Harrelson had 16 points and 10 rebounds.


But Lions' sophomore reserve point guard AJ Richardson was the hero in overtime.

Richardson stole the ball from Eric Sheppard and converted it into a layup to put Dulaney ahead 61-60 with 26 seconds remaining.

After Catonsville's Kajuan Jeter made a layup seven seconds later to give his team a 62-61 lead, Richardson came up big again.

He went end-to-end for another layup to make it 63-62 with nine seconds left.

"He got the game ball tonight," Lochte said.

Catonsville (15-9) had one last chance, but the Comets were called for traveling with 1.7 seconds to go.

Dulaney's Gary Bernardez inbouded the ball to Harrelson to run out the clock.

Dulaney's fans stormed the court when the buzzer sounded.

"Did we spin our wheels early?" Lochte said. "I would say so. But we had unbelievable third and fourth quarters (43 total points). At halftime, the coaching staff challenged the team to play for the guy beside them and not for themselves."

Senior point guard Brannon Johnson led Catonsville with 21 points and senior forward Antwann Pearson finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Catonsville coach Matthew Fannon, however, mostly likely remember how his team ended the contest.

"We talk about it in every game: How important layups and free throws are," said Fannon, whose Comets went 11-for-25 from the free throw line. "But also just cherishing every possession and especially in tight games like that."


Dulaney (18-4) trailed 38-23 late in the third quarter, but closed the period on a 9-1 run.

After Catonsville's Jeffrey Sewell hit a three-pointer on the first shot of the fourth quarter to move the Comets ahead 42-32, Dulaney put together a 12-2 spurt to tie it at 44 midway through the quarter.

Bernardez ended the run with four consecutive free throws.

The game was tied five more times in the fourth quarter before Sheppard, a junior forward, sank one of his three 3-pointers to give Catonsville a 56-53 advantage with 1:40 left.

Harrelson tied it at 56 on a three-point 66 seconds later.

Dulaney had a chance to win it in the closing seconds.

Bernardez inbounded the ball with 1.7 seconds remaining to Ben Stevens near the basket, but Pearson blocked the shot to send the game into overtime.

"He's been our leader all year," Fannon said. "He played his heart out tonight."

Dulaney 63 Catonsville 62

D: Williams 22, Harrelson 16, Bernardez, 12, Richardson 4, Bonner 4, O'Dwyer 4, Stevens 1

C: B. Johnson 21, Pearson 15, Sheppard 11, Sewell 6, J. Johnson 3, Wichart 2, Kidd 2, Parish 1, Chambers 1.

Half: 23-13 C

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