Playing with a little added incentive, the Aberdeen boys basketball team visited Harford Tech Friday night in an UCBAC Chesapeake Division battle.
The Eagles (4-3) trailed after one quarter, but they took a lead in the second quarter and despite trailing by two in the third quarter, the Eagles went on to win, 65-60.
"It was very special, I looked into this game, it was on my schedule then past year,” Eagles point guard Jaquane Hayes said. “I really want to give this game to Coach Jones because helming;es the one that influenced me.”
Hayes, a former Tech player and Coach Jones, Bill Jones, guided the Cobras for 13 seasons. He's now an Aberdeen assistant.
Aberdeen led 7-5 early, but Tech ran off eight unanswered points to lead, 13-7.
A three from Hayes (19 points) and two from Nahjuan Rodgers put the Eagles back on top, 37-34, and they never trailed again.
Rodgers came off the bench for Aberdeen to score eight points in the second half and finish with 15. “I was frustrated, but when I got my first shot off, I was on fire,” Rodgers said. “They got us at our house, we got them here.”
The Eagles closed the quarter on an 9-4 advantage to lead 46-38 with one quarter to play.
A three from Rodgers and two baskets by Hayes to start the final quarter had Aberdeen ahead, 53-40.
Marcellus Carroll’s three-point play a little later kept the lead at 13, 59-46. Tech, though, had a little life.
Curtis McKisset scored eight of his 18 points and Jalen Dangerfield added nine of his 15 in the final quarter to give the Cobras a chance. A Khoury Harris basket brought the Cobras to within three, 63-30, with 18 seconds to play.
Aberdeen senior Jermere Bush-Williams then calmly sank two free throws to close the scoring. Bush-Williams finished with 17 points.
“Tonight I just wanted to come out and make a statement game," Hayes said. “Tonight we played as a team all-around, so I just wanted a statement game for us."
The Eagles (4-7) were back in action Monday and lost, 65-63, to visiting Parkville in non-league action.
Bush-Williams led the way with 16 points and Mo Whitley added 15. Hayes added 14 points, 10 assists and five steals. Jahiem Jones added six rebounds.