Digital Harbor's day didn't begin very well. The Rams' bus showed up late, causing them to arrive 20 minutes after the scheduled 5 p.m. start for their game at the initial Northwestern/IAABO 290 Holiday Mixer.
Milford Mill then jumped out to an early 12-point lead. But senior point guard George Jackson brought No. 5 Digital Harbor back. He scored 15 of his game-high 34 points in the fourth quarter to spark the Rams' rally and then made some key plays to help them edge No. 12 Milford Mill, 72-71, in double overtime at Northwestern.
Jackson scored 13 in a row in the fourth period to keep Digital Harbor (5-1) close, and he made two free throws with 16.2 seconds left to tie the game at 59 and force overtime. He scored five of the team's seven points in the first overtime, but his biggest plays helped the Rams in the second extra period.
With Digital Harbor clinging to a 69-68 lead, Jackson made a steal and a long outlet pass to Lamar Lundy for a layup. Jackson later made a free throw to give the Rams a 72-68 lead with 34.3 seconds left, and Digital Harbor was able to hang on.
"My coach told me, in the fourth quarter, that 'You've got to take this game right here,' " Jackson said. "I'm the starting point guard, and I'm a senior, and that's what I have to do for us to win."
Xavier Drake (21 points) made a number of big plays that helped Milford Mill (5-3) lead from late in the first quarter through most of the game. Isaiah McCray (10), Tevin Hanner (10) and Kevin Fulton (10) made big shots, and Demetrius Johnson hit a three-pointer from deep in the left corner to cut the Rams' lead to 72-71 with 24.7 seconds left in the second overtime.
The Millers got a chance to win the game, but Johnson just missed on another shot from the same spot with two seconds left.
No. 6 City also had a tough time in its game, needing to rally in the second half for a 42-34 victory over No. 8 Woodlawn.
Woodlawn (4-3) slowed the pace to a crawl in the first half, holding a 13-11 lead at the break. The Warriors stayed patient against bigger City (4-2), which didn't do much to change things.
But City coach Mike Daniel talked to his team at halftime about trying to make the game faster in the second half. The Knights did just that, getting 6-foot-8 forward-center Jordan Latham into the mix more.
Latham, who has committed orally to Xavier, scored six of his 13 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half to help City pull away to a 12-point lead.
"We wanted to change it into a 94-foot game," Daniel said. "We pushed it up."
City was able to get out and run the break. Nardi Bogues (eight points), Jamal Williams (eight) and Maurice Johnson (seven) helped the Knights take command in the second half.
Tavon Rooks (10) led Woodlawn with his tough points inside, but the Warriors couldn't stay with City's fast break.
In the first day's other games, Edmondson beat Owings Mills, 72-61; Meade topped Northwestern, 67-64; and Mervo beat Lackey, 44-36.