Two successive three-point goals shot Aberdeen into the lead with five minutes left and the Eagles hung on for a 51-48 Harford County League victory at C. Milton Wright last night.
The Mustangs (4-1) contributed to their downfall when, after building a 46-41 lead with 5:50 left, they managed only one basket the rest of the way.
They were still in position to get a tie at the end after Aberdeen turned the ball over with 30 seconds remaining, but -- despite pleas from the bench -- they did not get a timeout until there were four seconds left. A desperation three-point shot was well off the mark at the buzzer.
"We needed that timeout [sooner] but even so, I thought we could get a good shot at the end," Wright coach George Constantine said.
Both teams showed flashes of good play, but each time one was in position to break away, the other responded.
With the Mustangs (1-2) up 46-41, Hosea Edwards scored from underneath for Aberdeen. Moments later, working against a zone, Jimmy Greene and Fred Cole nailed three-pointers for a 49-46 Aberdeen lead at 4:45. A minute later, Toby Jordan worked around Shawn Crouch down low for a layup and it was 51-46.
The 6-foot-5 Crouch narrowed the margin to 51-48 with a minute left, but the Mustangs could get no closer.
"We keep it interesting," said Aberdeen coach Ron Petrey, referring his team's last three games -- a two-point win, a three-point loss, and a three-point win.
"You have to give the kids credit, because they did what they had to do to get us back in it, but overall we did not play well. We're still one-pass-and-shoot instead of passing the ball more. We don't have to take every open shot.
"We wanted to get the ball into Jordan (a 6-7 senior) more, but even when we did, he missed some [put-backs]. When he's going up two or three times in succession, it was hard to believe he wasn't fouled more often."
Jordan led all scorers with 20 points, including eight in the third quarter to help his team stay in contention. Crouch had eight of his team-high 16 in the second quarter, then had three baskets
in the last two periods. John Bowman added 15.