Einstein Coach Rich Porac had no timeouts remaining at the time, but even if he did, the second-year coach is unsure what good it might have done.
Trailing by two with 1.8 seconds left in Tuesday’s game against Springbrook, the Titans prepared for an inbounds pass underneath their own basket, and Porac offered what help he could. He pointed senior Josh Ogburn to a spot near midcourt and advised junior Joe Bradshaw, “Throw it high.”
What happened next Porac won’t soon forget.
Bradshaw, a 6-foot-6 forward, reared back and winged a perfect overhead baseball pass toward Ogburn. The 6-foot-3 swingman ran onto the heave and launched a 28-footer through contact. Ogburn hit the deck as the ball banked through the net for an improbable 56-55 victory over the perennial Montgomery County power. (Check out the video below courtesy of http://mocomdhssports.com/.)
“I was just praying to God I’d get a second chance,” said Ogburn, who had turned the ball over on the previous possession. “I wanted to make it for me and my team because my team works very hard in practice. We’ve been battling some tough times here.”
Indeed, Ogburn’s two-year varsity career has been short on highlights. Einstein went 2-21 a year ago and started this winter with 11 losses in their first 15 games.
But thanks in large part to Ogburn’s heroics, the Titans (9-12) have now won five of six games, drawing a surge of attention for a player long under the radar. He scored a career-high 29 points against Springbrook in a game his team never led until the final play.
Porac, a former junior varsity coach at Magruder, said he saw parents in tears after Ogburn’s shot, which brought a throng of students out of the stands to celebrate. After returning home, the coach kept replaying the scene over in his mind and finally sent his player a text message.
“I told him I’m so happy and proud that it happened to him,” Porac said. “I’m glad that we won, but more than anything I’m glad a great kid got that experience. That will stay with him the rest of his life.”
Ogburn, who leads Einstein in scoring at 15.8 points per game, likely will play at a junior college next year. He just turned 17 years old in October, and Porac believes he will benefit from time to continue to get stronger.
The swingman has had strong interest from Hagerstown Community College and Frederick Community College, but has also talked with Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia about taking a prep year. He dreams of suiting up for a Division I team, eventually.
No doubt those suitors have had a look at his latest highlight. The play that capped his career-best performance certainly added to his popularity in the halls of his Silver Spring school on Wednesday.
“A lot of people were coming up to me, saying congratulations, Ogburn said. “I was feeling a lot of love today.”