Milford Mill senior guard Xavier Drake talked about the intensity and focus his team showed early against City in the nightcap of last night's IAABO 290 Holiday Mixer at Northwestern.
His next thought was about the No. 12 Millers' need to stay on opponents over the course of an entire game.
Finally, the team captain got to his three-pointer with six seconds left that gave the Millers (6-3) a 46-43 upset win over No. 6 City (4-3).
"That's basic. That's all we do in practice - penetrate and kick it out," he said.
Drake was stationed at the left corner, receiving a pass and quickly releasing a shot that hit nothing but net to spoil City's comeback bid and make amends for a tough 72-71 double-overtime loss to Digital Harbor in the tournament opener Monday.
Joshua Glascoe led the Millers (6-3) with 13 points, while Drake, Kevin Fulton and Isaiah McCray each finished with nine points. Milford Mill limited City to 20 percent shooting from the field (7-for-35) in the first half to take a 27-17 lead at the break.
But the Knights, who started slowly before beating Woodlawn, 42-34, the night before, found their range in the third quarter behind Jamal Williams, who hit three three-pointers in the period to give City a 33-31 lead with 2:31 left.
With the game tight throughout the fourth quarter, City got a follow from Adam Johnson (10 points) to tie the score at 43 with 22 seconds left before Drake hit the deciding three. Williams had one final chance in the left corner, but his three-point try at the buzzer rimmed out.
NO. 8 WOODLAWN 72, NO. 11 EDMONDSON 48:: Woodlawn coach Eddie Green's team played well for parts of Monday's loss to City in the Holiday Mixer. But Green and the Warriors wanted more in last night's game against unbeaten Edmondson.
The intensity was there from the start this time for Woodlawn, which scored the game's first 10 points and rolled to a victory over Edmondson on the final day of Northwestern's inaugural tournament.
"We were trying to have a good performance tonight," Green said. "The key was the intensity. I think it kind of wore them down."
Woodlawn (5-3) pushed Edmondson (7-1) at both ends. The Warriors controlled the first half thanks to a disciplined half-court offense and dominance inside - and then showed the Red Storm they could run with it in the second half.
Rashid Hines (19 points) and Corey Thomas (17 points) led a balanced effort in which 10 Warriors scored. Woodlawn was able to stay focused against a quick Edmondson team that disrupted its offense at times.
Edmondson forced four straight turnovers and cut the lead to 18-17 with 4:32 left in the first half. But the Warriors scored 14 straight points for a 32-17 halftime edge.
Jerome Smith and Stanton Kidd each scored 11 for the Red Storm, which couldn't find much offensive consistency. Edmondson tried to speed up the game in the second half, but Woodlawn ran with the Red Storm and did a much better job finishing its layups.
Getting the 10-0 lead in the first 3:15 helped Woodlawn play with some badly needed confidence.
"It helped give us the momentum, and we kept it," Thomas said. And "the intensity was there the whole game."