The Wilde Lake girls basketball team had seen this scenario before.
Take a double-digit lead in the second half. Squander the advantage. Settle for the moral victory.
Except the Wildecats swapped endings last night. They scored the last 10 points of the game and overtook host Centennial for a 48-42 win in Ellicott City.
"We knew we could come back and win," said Wilde Lake senior forward Melissa Sims. "We just needed to hustle. We weren't going to let it happen again."
Sims was referring to a 13-point loss to No. 2 River Hill on Tuesday. In that game, the Wildecats owned a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Hawks made their comeback.
Last night, Wilde Lake had a case of flashback. Up by just three points early in the third quarter, the Wildecats scored eight unanswered points to assume a 38-27 lead with about three minutes left in the period.
But the Eagles fought back. When sophomore center Katie Barrett sank a jumper and an ensuing free throw after being fouled with 4:32 left to play, she capped a 15-0 run for Centennial.
Then, having missing its first seven shots of the period, Wilde Lake rediscovered its offensive stroke.
Freshman forward Ashley Myrick scored a lay-up off a feed from senior forward Tierra Wilkins. Then Wilkins' twin, Kierra, connected on two free throws to tie the score at 42 with 2:24 left.
After the teams exchanged possessions, Sims stepped in front of a pass from Eagles senior guard Allie Gugliotti and drove the length of the court before banking in a short jumper in the paint.
Centennial misfired on its next two possessions, while Kierra Wilkins drove into the middle of the lane and dumped a pass off to her sister for an easy lay-up with less than 30 seconds left.
Myrick sealed the outcome with an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and a put-back with 11 seconds left.
The comeback was a welcome relief for Wildecats coach Natalie Williams.
"When that momentum turned [against River Hill], we couldn't get it together," she said. "Today, we were able to keep our focus."
Kierra Wilkins led Wilde Lake with 14 points and three rebounds. Myrick registered 10 points and nine rebounds, and Sims finished with eight points and eight rebounds for the Wildecats, who improved to 8-10 overall and 7-8 in the county.
Senior forward Claire Anderson paced Centennial with a game-high 16 points and four rebounds. Barrett collected 12 points and seven rebounds, while freshman forward Brittany Kelley recorded 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals.
But the Eagles connected on just 28.6 percent (16-for-56) of their attempts from the field and dropped their fourth straight game to fall to 6-12 overall and 4-11 in the county.
"Our fourth-quarter shots weren't falling like those in the third quarter," said assistant coach Juan Dorsey, who filled in for a flu-stricken Ed Trout. "That was the key."