As the clock started to trickle down Wednesday night, Woodlawn’s Emanuel Rice was left wide-open behind the 3-point arc. With a left-handed stroke, Rice hit the shot to seal his boys basketball team’s 75-70 victory over Dulaney.
“What was going through my head was that all three coaches were telling me that I have to shoot the ball, I have to play harder, and I knew that I had it in me to make a shot like that,” said Rice, who finished with 12 points. “My teammates set me up, and I got the good shot.”
Senior Tyray Cooper is often looked to for his leadership on the floor for the Warriors, and he ended the night with a game-high 22 points. A couple of technical fouls and controversial calls were levied against Woodlawn, but he pulled his teammates together during a huddle and got their heads straight.
“I was telling the fam that we’ve got to keep our heads straight,” Cooper said. “Everyone was acting a little jittery and scared at first, but I told them that, ‘They bleed the same blood that we bleed.’ We all had to lock in, and they weren’t as good. We made the game harder and could’ve made it easier. We were working together towards the end and that’s how we came out and fought against adversity.
“We had the refs against us and them against us. So, it was like seven-on-five. We just had to play against that and come out with the dub.”
Jordan Allen had one of his biggest performances of the season, scoring 20 points and helping put the game away with two late free throws. Overcome with emotion, Allen credited his teammates and coaches for putting him in position to contribute.
“First, I want to give a shout-out to all of my coaches,” Allen said. “With this program, they’ve allowed me to be ‘Mr. All-Around’ — anything that they need me to do. We’ve never had a real big [program], but even though we are small, we have a big heart and we had to bring it to this game.”
Dulaney’s Cameron Byers began the first quarter by scoring nine points with Cooper answering with eight as Dulaney took a 21-19 lead. Jaylin Webster and Jaylen Amoruso each scored four points in the second quarter for Dulaney, along with contributions from Byers, Cole McGee, Crevon Adams and Latrell Harper to push the Lions’ lead to 36-26 at the half.
Allen stepped up in the third quarter to hit several 3-pointers, including one before the buzzer to cut Dulaney’s lead to 52-47. With just 2:43 remaining, Allen hit another jump shot to trim the Lions’ lead to 67-64, and Rice’s corner 3 and a few free throws by Allen put Woodlawn on top for good.
Dulaney coach Matt Lochte’s team had to play short-handed. Before the game, one of his team’s top scorers, Ryan Conway, suffered a foot injury, and Ethan Anderson went down in the first half Wednesday night with an ankle injury. In their absence, Jaylin Webster finished with 19 points. The Lions still sit in second place in their division.
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“I thought there were some spurts where Jaylin Webster played excellent,” Lochte said. “He hit three or four straight 3′s at some point. His game is continuing to develop and he’s becoming a shot-maker, which is important for this team. When arguably one of our better shooters goes down with an ankle injury, Ethan Anderson and Ryan Conway not playing from the jump, you’re going to have to have guys that make open shots.
“The way that our guards penetrate, you have to be ready to catch and shoot. He was able to do that tonight, it’s definitely a positive.”
With the victory, Woodlawn improved to 16-3 and stayed atop the Baltimore County Division II standings at 10-0 in league play.
“I see us going all the way,” Cooper said. “We pushed way too hard to even stop now. We’re going to keep working, keep fighting and keep trying to go. If we keep putting up big numbers, we’re going to make a name for ourselves. Everybody is sleeping on us — we’re going to keep working.”
WHS (16-3, 10-0): T. Cooper 22, J. Allen 20, E. Rice 12, K. Downs 11, D. Pickney 6, C. Barnes 3