Havre de Grace overcame some erratic play early to wear down visiting C. Milton Wright with quickness and athleticism in the last four minutes and earn a 58-53 Harford County League triumph last night.
The win enabled the Warriors (10-4, 5-2) to claim sole possession of second place in the league, and remain one game behind No. 11 Aberdeen (13-2, 6-1), which defeated Joppatowne.
Wright (8-6, 4-3), an early pace-setter with a six-game winning streak, has lost its last three.
For the second time in 12 days, Havre de Grace whipped the Mustangs in the last four minutes.
It put this one away with a 10-2 burst, holding the Mustangs without a field goal for 3:25 after Chris Russell's third three-point basket had given Wright a tie at 46.
Previously, there had been eight ties and seven lead changes in the second half, and no more than three points separated them.
In the earlier meeting, Wright went without a field goal for the last 5:15, and the Warriors eventually broke away from a tie at 48 to build an eight-point margin en route to a 62-54 win.
Havre de Grace lost four of five games decided by three points or less earlier in the year, but has won three in a row with solid play down the stretch.
"We have a lot of seniors on the team, and I think we know what it takes to win, especially in the close games," guard Billy Jackson said after leading his team in scoring against the Bel Air school for the second straight time.
He hit five of six foul shots in the last 2:30 to help protect a lead and finish with 14 points. A 14.9 scorer on the year, he had 24 in the meeting at Wright.
J.R. Clark and John Sawyer each had 12.
"J.R.'s shot wasn't falling early, but even without them, his presence makes a difference," said Havre de Grace coach George Leonard.