For Aberdeen, a program that has won three state boys basketball titles, it was one of the bigger regular-season victories in school history.
For Eagles coach Richard Hart, Aberdeen's 66-65 overtime victory over Baltimore City power and 10th-ranked Douglass on Wednesday was simply proof of what he believed all along.
"I thought from the beginning that if we had all our players, we could play with anyone and be one of the best teams in the metro region," said Hart, whose team is 13-5 but lost to local powers Lake Clifton and St. Frances by a combined 71 points earlier this season. "We hadn't shown that to this point, but it was nice to go down there and prove that we are a good basketball team."
Hart attributed some of his team's occasional struggles, which were highlighted by a shocking loss to Havre de Grace two weeks ago, to the late start his team got with three-fourths of its players still competing for a state football title.
Injuries haven't helped, either. The Eagles traveled to Douglass without four players from their regular rotation to face a team that just knocked off No. 1 and undefeated Southern-Baltimore two days earlier.
Guard Erin Henderson was out with an ankle injury, and might be lost for the season depending on the results of a doctor's visit in two weeks. Guard Zach Grubb was out with an ailing shoulder while swingman Devron Galloway sat with an ankle injury, suffered against Havre de Grace.
Junior guard Jamal McDonald was ineligible, though he has since returned to the team.
None of that mattered as the Eagles got huge games from senior forward Shawn Lewis (25 points, 11 rebounds), junior 7-foot center Robbie Jackson (14 points, 17 rebounds), and senior guard Phillip Brown (16 points).
Aberdeen got all the points it needed in overtime on Jackson put-backs.
"We went down there, played pretty well and beat a very good basketball team, but I told the guys to keep things in perspective," said Hart, whose team beat C. Milton Wright on Friday, to go to 8-1 in the top division of the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference.
"The timing of the win couldn't be any better, but we have to keep in mind our goal, which is winning the conference championship."
Races down home stretch
The inaugural UCBAC basketball champions will be crowned on Feb. 25 at C. Milton Wright.
The games, pitting the winner of the Chesapeake and Susquehanna Divisions, will tip off at 5:30 p.m. with the girls' final, followed by the boys' game at 7:15.
Spots in the games are still largely up for grabs.
The winner of Wednesday's boys game between Aberdeen and Bel Air (16-1, 8-1) will have the inside track to represent the Chesapeake Division, likely facing upstart Harford Tech (8-0 league), which is in command of the Susquehanna Division.
In girls, Edgewood (9-1 league) took a huge step with recent wins over Joppatowne and Harford Tech, both 7-2 in the league.
If they prevail, the Rams opponent will be either Fallston (9-1), Aberdeen (8-2) or C. Milton Wright (7-3). Fallston and Aberdeen meet on Tuesday, while C. Milton Wright and Fallston still have to play twice.
Pfarr fulfills goal
North Harford senior Mike Pfarr, a first-team all-county selection in cross country and outdoor track, has been notified of his acceptance to the United States Military Academy at West Point, ending a lengthy application process that included interviews with congressmen and senators and a physical aptitude test.
Pfarr will also run for the Black Knights, but that's clearly not the reason he is headed to West Point.
"My career goal is to serve my country as a military officer," said Pfarr.
Along with a 3.7 grade point average, Pfarr is the senior class delegate in the student government, founder and president of North Harford's Political Club and a National Honor Society member. He showed his mettle on the track last spring, setting a school record (4:25.53) in the 1,600-meter race at the Harford County championships despite breaking his foot early in the race.
Pfarr said that achievement paled in comparison to his acceptance at West Point.
Said Pfarr: "Once you achieve something like that, you're satisfied by how hard you've worked."
New AD at JC
Larry Dukes was appointed as John Carroll's new athletic director on Friday replacing Jerry O'Brien, who is retiring after 30 years at the end of this academic year.
Dukes, who is currently in his third season as Patriots swim coach and is also the school's water polo coach, will begin his duties on July 1. Dukes is a part-time computer programming teacher at the school.