There was 2:25 left in the third quarter when Francis Scott Key guard Mike Crawmer went diving on the floor for a loose ball.
The Eagles trailed Monocacy Valley Athletic League leader Middletown by 46 points at the time, but the Eagles wouldn't quit.
About 20 seconds later, Key's Topher Casserly grabbed a rare defensive rebound and headed up court only to dribble the ball off the heel of one of his own players. That's how things went last night for the Eagles, who fell, 96-48, to a very talented Middletown team that came in with only one loss this season.
The visiting Knights (15-1, 11-1 in the MVAL) dominated from start to finish, scoring the game's first 15 points and opening up a 25-5 lead after one quarter. The lead was 53-18 at the half. Twelve of the Knights' 14 players scored in the win, led by Matt DeOrsey's 19 and Jon DeGrange's 16.
"They're very tough, but we didn't play anywhere near our potential," said Key coach Jeff Cook.
"They just took it to us on both offense and defense and we didn't do much about it. You have to give them credit."
The one consolation for the Eagles was their second-half play. Despite the game being well out of reach, Cook was pleased with the play of some of his reserves, particularly Bill Kennedy (team-high 10 points and seven rebounds), Chris Hild (nine points) and Dave Johnson (three points).
"At halftime I told them to just go out there and get a little respect," Cook said.
"I told the starters they wouldn't see as much time to give the other guys a chance to see some time. They came in and worked really hard."
Middletown senior center John Bennett, at 6 feet 9, set the tone at both ends. He was either blocking or altering every shot the Eagles (6-8, 5-7 in the MVAL) would put up on the defensive end and dominating the boards at the other end to convert easy baskets. He was the third Knight in double figures with 14.
The Eagles didn't get on the board until Casserly hit one of two free throws with 2:20 left in the first quarter.
Their first field goal didn't come until Kyle Stephenson scored inside with 32 seconds left in the quarter. The Knights were leading 22-3 before the basket.
The Knights then scored the first 14 points of the second quarter to put any thoughts of a Key comeback to rest. Cook said the big difference was his team's poor defensive play.
"We just gave them to many easy layups," he said.
"In the past we've had some very good defensive teams. This year, we have more offense, but the defense isn't always there."
Cook will get a good idea what his team is all about when it gets back into action by playing host to MVAL foe Smithsburg tonight.
"I told them to get a good night's rest and be ready for tomorrow," he said. "We'll definitely see what we're made of."