After he heaved an errant, half-court desperation three-point attempt in the waning seconds of Saturday’s Maryland 2A final at Comcast Center, Largo senior guard Derrick Colter hung his head and pulled his jersey over his head.
Despite overcoming a slow start and playing through foul trouble, Colter scored 21 of his game-high 23 points in the second half as he helped engineer a late comeback against Lake Clifton. But ultimately the No. 13 Lions ran out of time, falling 70-64.
After trailing by as many as 19 points midway through the fourth quarter, Largo cut the deficit to six points four times in the final four minutes.
It started with a three-pointer with five minutes left by senior guard James Coleman that trimmed the deficit to 59-46. Then Largo went on an 8-1 run.
“At the end, our momentum came,” Colter said. “As soon as James hit that three-pointer, it changed the whole game. We all got the energy and started playing harder and then time started ticking, ticking. It was going so fast. We couldn’t fight all the back to get the win.”
Largo (22-5) was plagued early by Lake Clifton’s defense and its own poor shooting. The Lions shot 25 percent (6 for 24) in the first half.
“It was just an off shooting night,” said senior guard Lafayette Nelson, who finished with 16 points. “They played good defense. Me and Derrick couldn’t find it. We didn’t find it until late and we just ran out of time.”
The Lions’ comeback came despite playing without senior forward Michael Graham, who fouled out early in the fourth quarter. Colter and senior forward Damante McNeill played with four fouls during the final period.
But with each late Largo basket, Lake Clifton (24-3) answered with strong rebounding and quick layups. Senior guard Aaron Parks led Lake Clifton with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
The Lions, who were co-champions of the Prince George’s County 3A/2A/1A league this winter, were appearing in their first state title game since 2008, when they claimed the 3A title.
“We got far,” Nelson said. “This is basically what we’ve been talking about for four years. We just didn’t come home with the trophy.”
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