For Walbrook, ranked No. 3 in The Baltimore Sun high school basketball poll, things can't get much tighter.
Yesterday's Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference Division II game against No. 6 Towson Catholic was the Warriors' seventh in the last eight days, thanks to a quirk in the schedule. It also was their third come-from-behind victory in that span, thanks to forward Jermaine Porter.
Porter's baseline jumper with 5 seconds left gave host Walbrook its first lead since early in the game and a 66-65 win.
"You could see that our guys were sluggish," said Walbrook coach Gus Herrington, whose team can enjoy a four-day respite. "At the end we knew we could win it. We've been in that same situation a lot this year."
Four times to be exact. The Warriors (7-1, 2-0) were down 11 to Cardinal Gibbons and eight to Johnson (Calif.) before rallying to win both. They also trailed by eight to Philadelphia's Simon Gratz, ranked No. 3 in the USA Today national poll, before moving to within three late in the game.
Yesterday, Towson Catholic (4-3, 0-2) used precise outside shooting and a number of back-door cuts to keep pace with the quicker Warriors. The Owls hit 63 percent from the field in building a seven-point lead late in the game.
But led by Antwan Wingo (22 points before fouling out) and Sean Evans (12), the Warriors pulled to within one at 65-64. Then, after a missed Owls' foul shot, Porter got the ball on the baseline with 5 seconds left and hit a 15-foot jumper to win it.
"We only needed two [points] to win, so I wanted to get as close as I could," said Porter, who finished with seven points. "I got the shot I was looking for. It's probably the biggest one I've hit this year."
Towson Catholic coach Mike Daniel said, "We thought we had it won. We just did some things that we shouldn't have late in the game."
But so did Walbrook. Both Wingo and forward Andre Rafus fouled out, forcing Herrington to go to the bench. He had used nine players in an effort to keep his team fresh.
After seven games in eight days, however, he knew his players needed a break.
"I don't think we were really that tired," said Rafus, "but I'm glad we got this one out of the way."