Hereford guard Matt Saunders picked off a pass with five seconds left as the Bulls held off host Overlea, 67-66, in a Class 2A, Region II semifinal boys basketball game last night.
With :01 left, Overlea's Jerald Palmer threw the ball the length of the court for a last shot, but it hit off the back of the rim.
The Bulls (13-11) led the entire game until the fourth quarter when Palmer converted a three-point play to give the Falcons (16-5) a 61-60 lead with 5:47 left.
"Our defense's intensity and our constant changing of defense brought us back," Overlea's coach Tom Dere said.
Hereford then extended its lead to 4 with 2:48 left off Jamey Mathews' foul shot, but Overlea's J. J. Kent hit both ends of a one-and-one to bring the Falcons back within two points.
Palmer, who led all scores with 30, then made one of two shots from the foul line with 1:11 left, but Overlea turned over the ball as it was looking to take the winning shot.
Overlea, the No. 1 seed, had beaten Hereford, the No. 4 seed, both times during the regular season.
The Bulls started the game outscoring the Falcons 17-2. Overlea did not make its first basket until Palmer hit a baseline jumper with 2:50 left in the first quarter.
"In the first half, we scored a lot getting baskets off of the press," Hereford's coach Steven Power said.
Hereford mixed up its offense throughout the game with forward Mike Bailey hitting five of six three-pointers in the first half and forward Dewayne Fowble and center Mathews scoring under the basket.
Fowble scored 20 and Mathews tipped in 19 for the Bulls, who will play at Hammond tomorrow.
Bailey had been 0-for-14 from the field in the past two days. Last night, he finished with 18 points, 6-for-10 from three-point range.
Rob Ennis' jumper brought the Falcons within four with 2:10 left in the first half, but the Bulls went on a 13-2 run, highlighted by three-pointers from Bailey and Saunders to give Hereford a 45-31 lead at the break.