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No. 11 Perry Hall boys rally past fellow 4A power Eleanor Roosevelt, 71-66, in overtime

The Perry Hall boys basketball team struggled through most of its game against Eleanor Roosevelt in a battle of the past Class 4A state champions Monday.

Senior guard Tyler Holley saw it as an opportunity for the No. 11 Gators to further toughen up.

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The defending champions didn't own a lead until overtime and even then, the visiting Raiders from Prince George's County wouldn't go away.

So there was the 6-foot-4 Holley under the basket among bigger players, doing all he could to help seal a victory.

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Anthony Walker scored 22 points to lead four Gators in double figures with Tyler Holley making big plays at both ends to seal the win in the final minute.

He grabbed a difficult rebound, went straight up for the follow basket and was fouled.

The converted three-point play came with 32 seconds left, giving the Gators a four-point lead on their way to a 71-66 win over Eleanor Roosevelt.

Holley tied the game in the final second of the fourth quarter — going the length of the court in seven seconds after a timeout — and finished with 17 points. Senior Anthony Higgs took game-high honors with 19 points, including a 3-pointer in overtime, to give the Gators their first lead of the game.

After going 26-2 and winning the program's first state title last season, the Gators beefed up their schedule and have had ups and downs with a 9-4 mark. Eleanor Roosevelt, ranked No. 8 in The Washington Post's Top 20 poll, is 9-4.

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Trailing by as many as 15 as late in the third quarter, the Gators found a way in a win they believe can go a long way moving forward.

"This is the game that we needed because we've played so many good teams this year and haven't won them all. … I'm really proud of the guys. We just beat a really, really good team that we may see again at Maryland," Perry Hall coach George Panageotou said.

Unsteady on offense at the start of each of the first three quarters, the Gators trailed 42-27 midway through the third quarter before going on an 15-2 run to close to within 45-42 going into the fourth.

Dogged defense from junior guard D.J. Cloude played a big part along with a 3-pointer from senior Laquill Hardnett (12 points), a dunk from Anthony Walker (12 points) and eight made free throws.

In the fourth quarter, they would tie the game four times — the last on Holley's sprint down the court in the closing seconds.

After all the earlier struggles, the home team found the answers in overtime. The Gators finished the game making 21 of 25 free throws — including six of seven in the extra four minutes — to pull out the win.

"The one thing I learned tonight is if we stick together, nobody is stopping us," Holley said. "That really showed in the second half and overtime. We started playing our game, worked the ball, got the ball inside, finished and got the win."

ER — Brown 13, Faulkner 6, Bailey 18, Gross 18, Allen 8, Davis 3. Totals: 23 13-19 66.

PH—Hardnett 12, Higgs 19, Walker 12, Holley 17, Cloude 6, Gravette 2, Johnson 3. Totals: 23 21-25 71.

Half: ER, 35-25.

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