Wednesday was a big day for three Harford County boys basketball teams. C. Milton Wright, Harford Tech and Havre de Grace all won section final games in three different classes to advance to Friday’s region championship games.
In Havre de Grace, Jayden Hyman’s only basket of the game was a huge one for the Havre de Grace boys basketball team.
Hyman, a senior, scored a layup as time expired, leading the Warriors (23-0) past the visiting Joppatowne Mariners (13-7), 57-55, in the Class 1A East, Section I final.
Havre de Grace will host Crisfield (22-1) Friday for the region championship.
“At first I was thinking about passing it back, because how hot Marlon’s been throughout the whole game,” Hyman said. It was Marlon Lewis who rebounded the Joppatowne miss in the closing seconds, leading to Hyman’s game-winning basket. “I saw that we didn’t have that much time left on the clock, so I just put it up. I was ecstatic that it went in. That was a crazy game right there.”
The Warriors got off to a slow and rough start, falling behind 8-0. The Warriors were cold on one end and the Mariners were beating them back down the floor at the other end for easy baskets.
Jalen Morris scored 12 for the Mariners in the quarter and DeAnthony Creighton added seven. The Joppatowne lead at its largest was 13, at 18-5. Josiah Scott (10 points) had the hot hand for the Warriors.
The junior point guard made two, three-pointers and finished with eight in the quarter. Joppatowne’s lead was 23-14 after one quarter. A significant moment occurred with :30 left in the quarter. Mariners point guard Christian Corley picked up his third foul.
With Corley sitting, the Mariners weren’t quite the same. Jordan White’s three, his lone basket, cut the deficit to six, 25-19, but the Warriors went cold again.
The Mariners pushed the lead back to 10, 29-19, and on Alan Brown’s three-pointer, led, 32-19. Both teams struggled in the quarter, but with a 9-7 edge, Joppatowne was up 11 at the half, 32-21.
White picked up his third foul in the first minute of second half play, but the Warriors were still able to put together a 6-2 run. Mariners coach Johnny Brooks, who spent a number of years as head of the Warriors program, called timeout.
The stoppage came with 6:22 to play in quarter three and his Mariners were ahead seven, 34-27.
“The defense, we had to pick up our defense intensity and when that picked up that changed the game for us,” Warriors coach Brian Eberhardt said. “There’s going to be nights when you don’t make baskets, your shots are not gonna fall, but you can always play defense. Defense is always there.”
With the defense tightening things up, Havre de Grace junior forward Quentin Ware (six points) came up big for the Warriors on both ends in the third quarter. Ware’s back-to-back baskets had Havre de Grace to within three, 36-33, at the 5:00 mark.
With 3:11 to go in the quarter the Warriors drew even. Gary Gibson’s drive to the basket resulted in a three-point play that tied the game 36 all. It was also Corley’s fourth foul.
Gibson’s follow two minutes later gave the junior another three-point play opportunity, but a missed free throw kept the game knotted at 40. Joppatowne led, 42-40, at the end of three.
It was Gibson’s three-point play early in the fourth quarter that gave the Warriors their first lead, 43-42.
A pair of Brown free throws and a Morris basket, though, pushed Joppatowne back out front, 46-43, but Lewis scored and was fouled with 6:06 to play.
His free throw re-tied the game at 46-46 and equally important, it was Corley’s fifth foul.
Morris’ last basket on a 24-point night gave Joppatowne a 48-46 lead, but Lewis answered for Havre de Grace with a three and a 49-48 Warriors lead.
Brown (12 points) drained a three with 5:00 left to begin a 7-0 Mariners run. With 2:53 left in the game, Lewis stepped to the line for Havre de Grace. He made both free throws to make 55-51.
With 2:12 left, it was still 55-51.
Over the next 1:11, free throws from Jai’erre Hoke (1-for-2) and Marlon Lewis (3-for-4) re-tied the game, 55-55.
With 35.1 left, Morris, who missed all four foul shots in the fourth quarter, missed the front end of a 1-and-1. He made all five foul shots over the first three quarters.
With time winding down, Gibson (12 points) missed a shot, but the rebound was battled for, resulting in a tie-up, and possession went to Joppatowne with 17.2 left.
The Mariners inbounded the ball and after a bit of struggle getting it up-court, with under 10 seconds left, Frank Okigweh had his shot from inside the paint fall short.
That’s when Lewis (21 points) pulled down the rebound and headed down the floor. A few dribbles and a pass to his left to Hyman led to the game-winning basket.
“i think we got hurt when we had some foul trouble. That kind of put us in a different situation where I had to play people that normally don’t play,” Mariners coach Brooks said. “When he [Corley] came out, that’s when the lead started c changing.”
Cobras beat Elks in double OT
Harford Tech (15-8) won at Elkton (17-4), 75-70, in double overtime i the 2A East, Section I final.
“All I can really say is instant classic,” Tech coach Drew Gill said. “One of those games neither team deserved to lose, both teams gave tremendous effort and I’m just extremely happy for our guys that they we were able to come out on top.”
Elkton jumped out to a quick 12-5 lead and led 18-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The Elks maintained the lead throughout and led 33-28 at half.
“We had a great defensive third quarter, holding them to six points,” Gill said. That allowed Tech to lead at the end of three quarters, 44-39.
Elkton made up the five-point difference over the final eight minutes to create overtime with the score locked at 53 all.
Both teams scored 10 in the first overtime to require the second extra period tied at 63.
Tech then had a 12-7 advantage in the second OT period to win, 75-70.
Jalen Dangerfield, who was dealing with a thigh injury sustained in the previous game was truly questionable to even play until warmups, led the Cobras with 18 points. “One of the toughest kids I’ve ever been around,” Gill said.
Contributing to the scoring, TJ Lowery, Jr. scored 14 points, while Laday Cooper added 13. Curtis McKisset netted 12 and Khoury Harris scored eight.
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“I could not be more proud of the way our guys competed for 40 minutes in a terrific environment to play a high school playoff basketball game up at Elkton,” Gills said. “One of those games you probably never forget and just feel lucky to have been a small part of. Congrats to Elkton on a terrific season.”
The Cobras will travel to the Eastern Shore Friday to meet Wicomico for the region final. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
Mustangs beat Owls
C. Milton Wright (19-3) won the 3A North, Section II final over visiting Dundalk, 46-38. The Mustangs led the low-scoring contest, 21-15, at the half.
Quincy Haughton led the Mustangs with 12 points and three steals. Jalen Jackson added 10 points and three assists.
Corey Patterson had six points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, while Brye Hopkins scored eight points and Bryan Stiemke scored seven.
The Mustangs will host Woodlawn in Friday’s region final. Game time is 7 p.m.