Howard speedster Brian Bush is better known for his football talents than his basketball prowess.
But he started against league-leading Wilde Lake (5-3, 7-8) yesterday and made the most of it.
Bush turned in a career performance by scoring 12 points and grabbing six rebounds as the Lions upset the Wildecats, 59-56.
Wilde Lake rallied after trailing by 17 points with 5:45 left to play, but Howard sank six straight free throws in the final minute to thwart the Wildecats' comeback attempt.
Aaron Graf sank four of those free throws, including two with 10 seconds left, and DaLawn Parrish sank two.
Bush's shooting kept the Lions in the game in the first quarter. Hescored four baskets and displayed a flawless jump shot as Howard took a 12-11 lead after one period.
"I tried to go out and get busy today because I heard last week that Hammond had a scouting report on me that said I was no threat and had no jump shot," Bush said. "Wilde Lake was leaving me open and I hit my shots. I think they thought it would be an easy win for them today.'"
Bush also contributed defensively by holding Wilde Lake's high-scoring Seth Willingham to just seven points -- six of those in the last minute of the game. Willingham scored 28 last Friday and 29 last Wednesday.
Bush and teammate Mike Green took turns guarding Willingham in abox-and-one defense.
"Brian Bush made the difference for us tonight," Howard coach Kevin Broadus said.
Green, a sophomore, also played a key role with 10 seconds left and Howard leading 57-54.
Howard's Aaron Graf was at the foul line shooting a one-and-one when Willingham tried to outsmart Green. Just before Graf shot, Willingham came up behind Green and gave him a little push hoping to get him to give up his rebounding spot and thereby create a double-lane violation that would have resulted in Wilde Lake's possession.
Instead, Green held his ground and Willingham was called for a lane violation as Graf missed his first free throw.
Given another chance, Graf then sank two straight.