Havre de Grace junior Jai’erre Hoke became an instant hero in Elkton Tuesday night.
Hoke's three-point shot at the buzzer banked off the backboard and in to lift the Warriors (6-0, 12-0) to an 61-58 UCBAC Susquehanna Division win over the previously undefeated Elks (5-1,11-1).
"No, I wasn't expecting to take the last shot,” Hoke said. “It just happened to come to me.”
More remarkably, Hoke was fouled on the shot, but, obviously never attempted the free throw as the court was swarmed by celebrating Havre de Grace fans. “Practice, I just did what I do in practice,” Hoke said on his ability to make the basket.
Hoke’s (eight points) shot finished off a wild final minute of play. The Warriors, despite throwing the ball away two straight possessions, were ahead 55-53 with just over a minute to play. Elkton's Trevor Ewing scored and was fouled with 55.6 to play.
Ewing missed the free throw, leaving the score locked at 55. With 22.2 second left, Havre de Grace’s T.J. Turner sank his three-point shot to push the Warriors back ahead, 58-55.
Elkton answered. Marques Battle set up and drilled a three-point shot as well, to retie the game and set up the last-second dramatics.
“We had a few possessions where we just kind of turned it over, back to back to back and kind of let them back in the game,” Warriors stand-in coach Da’Saun Jones said. “We didn't get, too, down on ourselves, so I told them, dig deep, let's take care of the ball and finish the game and they went out there and handled it.”
The Warriors had their largest lead of the game, 41-31, early in the third quarter. Elkton scored seven straight to close to within three, 41-38, but Havre de Grace’s Marlon Lewis drove the baseline for a two-hand slam and the foul.
Lewis (eight points) made the free throw and Quentin Ware’s (11 points) follow as time expired in the quarter allowed Havre de Grace to lead 46-38 through three quarters.
Elkton’s running game led to the Elks early 9-3 lead. Havre de Grace senior Jordan White brought the Warriors back and kept them in it with three consecutive three-point shots. “Actually it was pretty uncomfortable the whole time, we started out the first half playing with a watery ball, it was terrible,” White said. I'm just glad my shots came in and started to bring the team back."
The Warriors defense also played a major role. The Warriors drew three charging fouls in the first quarter and five for the game. The Elks lead could have been much greater.
The Warriors trailed after one quarter, 18-17, but Gary Gibson’s (13 points) nine-point effort in the second quarter aided in Havre de Grace retaking the lead, 30-29.
The Warriors actually closed the second quarter on an 11-2 run to lead at the half, 35-29.
“I told them before the game, been telling them all week, this will be one of the best crowds you play in front of,” coach Jones said. “It's good for both teams, to get a gym like this, get the gym packed, the gym's rocking, the fans are chanting. That's a credit to our team, that we stayed together.”
Ewing led all scorers with 25 points and Farad Stevens added 11 for Elkton. Battle finished with 12.
Mustangs thump Eagles
C. Milton Wright (6-0, 11-3) stayed unbeaten in Chesapeake Division play Tuesday, easily defeating visiting Aberdeen (3-3, 3-6), 89-30. The Mustangs led at the half, 45-20.
Corey Patterson scored 15 points to lead four Mustangs in double figures. Brye Hopkins added 13 points, while Quincy Haughton and Bryan Stiemke added 11 points apiece.
Patterson also had eight rebounds and three blocks and Haughton had five assists.
Jermere Bush-Williams led Aberdeen with eight points and seven rebounds.
Huskies beat Cougars
Patterson Mill (2-4, 8-7) snapped its four-game losing streak Tuesday with a 62-46 win at Fallston (0-6, 2-11) in Chesapeake play. The Huskies led at halftime, 38-20.
Connor Madsen led the Huskies with 22 points and Luke Harris added 13.
Chase Adomiak led Fallston with 11 points and Alex Flasch scored 10.
Cobras beat Rams
Harford Tech (3-2, 7-7) beat visiting Edgewood (2-3l, 3-8), 57-38, Tuesday in Chesapeake play.
Up just four points at the half (29-25), Tech did a great job of playing team defense in the second half and held holding the Rams to 13 points.
Senior Antawan Corprew came off the bench to lead Tech with 14 points, including four three’s.
Laday Cooper had 12 and Jalen Dangerfield, 11.
Omari Johnson scored 11 points to lead Edgewood and Monzell Ware added nine points.
Hawks beat Tigers
North Harford (5-2, 6-7) won at Rising Sun (0-5, 1-5), 60-51, Tuesday in Susquehanna play.
Sam Macatee led the hawks with a double-double of 21 points and 10 boards. Paul Keeney added 11 points.
Bobby Duffy added nine points and Jared Hedrick came off the bench and sparked the Hawks with six points. North Harford led 28-23 at the half.
Bobcats beat Eagles
The Bel Air Bobcats (4-3, 5-6) hosted and beat Bo Manor (3-3, 3-8), 54-48, Tuesday in Susquehanna play,.
Down 16 points early, the Bobcats battled back in the second half to come away with the win. Sophomore Adam Piercy led Bel Air with 13 points, four rebounds and five steals. Junior Mason Bosley had six points, 10 rebounds and four assists., while Josh Stocum added 12 points.
Bo Manor led at halftime, 28-20.
Patriots fall again
John Carroll (3-17) lost at home Wednesday night, 77-62, to Glenelg Country School.
Jalen Bryant scored 25 points to lead the Patriots and Tyson Commander added 13 points. Cesar Tchilombo contributed nine rebounds.
Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports