COLLEGE PARK -- Hereford continued its Cinderella run through the boys Class 2A state tournament last night, making three free throws in the last 40 seconds for a 52-49 upset over top-seeded Edgewood at Cole Field House.
This was a game of streaks, as first Edgewood would go ahead and then Hereford would come battling back.
No more than three points separated the two teams in the last quarter, and when Kenton Worthington got a steal and a basket with five minutes left, it gave Edgewood a 47-44 margin.
The final five minutes belonged to Hereford. The Bulls capitalized on superior rebounding and some much-needed free throws to take control.
The outcome was still in doubt when Hereford led 51-49 and Mike Shive missed a free throw with 27 seconds left and Edgewood charged upcourt. Rob Spencer eyed the clock and with six seconds left got off a 15-foot shot that bounced off the rim, and 6-7 Jamey Mathews got the rebound to seal the win.
The Bulls have won four playoff games by a total of eight points, including two in overtime.
"They have far more depth and speed than we do. They have some super athletes, but in these playoffs, we seem to have come together. We pick it up where we have to," said Hereford coach Steve Power.
The winners shot 21-for-34 from the foul line to Edgewood's 6-for-10, and all 10 of their fourth-quarter points came at the line. The winners also had a decided shooting edge from the field, 44-33, as the Rams picked this night to have one of their worst games of the season.
Credit Hereford with some of that.
The first two periods were streaky, too, as Edgewood went ahead, 6-0, and Hereford tied it; the Rams forged an 18-11 lead after eight minutes, and Hereford tied again.
Two minutes later, it was Edgewood by 26-18, before the Bulls rallied behind 6-5 Dewayne Fowble (two baskets and three rebounds), his second basket tying it at 26 with 1:23 to go in the half.
The front ends of successive one-and-ones by Shive and Matt Saunders pushed the Bulls in front, 28-26, before senior Rob Spencer's shot beat the buzzer to tie it at 28.
At this point, Edgewood was in foul trouble, as starters Dwayne Winder and Alfred McAllister had three apiece, and Kenton Worthington and Jamie Coons, two apiece.
Although Hereford came back with eight straight points in the second quarter, the Baltimore County school could have had more.
Down the stretch, the Bulls had chances for five foul shots and got none, and then in the last few minutes got just two of a possible nine points.