Kendall Hayes's Best of . . .

Sunday, March 5, 2006

The Games

Potomac 73, T.C. Williams 66

March 11, 1995

In a state quarterfinal against the Titans, the game sold out hours before tipoff, and hundreds of fans were turned away from a buzzing Gar-Field gymnasium. Potomac pulled out the victory over a T.C. team that featured future college guards Michael Horton (Cincinnati) and Daymond Jackson (Georgetown). Mike Neal hit several clutch shots, and Tinail Harris had 27 points and 14 rebounds, prompting Hayes to remark afterward, "He played the game of his life in the game of his life." Two games later, Potomac won the only state title a Northern Virginia boys' team has claimed since 1981.

Potomac 49, Woodbridge 45

Feb. 27, 1997

In a region semifinal home game, Potomac fell behind 13-0 and was down 45-34 entering the fourth quarter but outscored the Vikings, 15-0, that period -- forcing 15 turnovers in those eight minutes -- to secure a state tournament berth. It was the teams' fourth meeting that season. Mookie Felder, the only holdover from the '95 championship team, led the effort with 14 points, and Robert Hall sank three of four foul shots in the final 5.8 seconds. "It really wasn't until the game was over that we realized what we had done," Hayes recalled.

Potomac 56, GW-Danville 54

Feb. 28, 1998

In a region championship against undefeated George Washington-Danville, at Lynchburg College, Potomac missed 17 of 19 shots in the second quarter and was down 14 points midway through the third but rallied to win on a running bank shot at the buzzer by Sherman Rivers. The Panthers, playing without star guard Mookie Felder, who had been suspended earlier in the week, switched to a 2-1-2 three-quarter-court press in the second half that gave the Eagles fits. "They were on us like white on rice," GW Coach Chris Carter said afterward, calling it his team's lowest point total in more than five years. Recalls Hayes, "The kind of euphoria and bedlam that followed was probably second to none of any game that we experienced." Potomac lost to the Eagles later that season in the state championship, 71-50.

Potomac 71, Jefferson-Richmond 68

March 11, 2000

In a state quarterfinal at Lee-Davis High School in Mechanicsville, the Panthers trailed for most of the game against the taller opponent but managed to tie the score late, even though point guard Anthony Jones had fouled out early in the fourth quarter. Dee Adams, off a Cameron Kirby screen, hit a slightly off-balance three-pointer -- the team's ninth of the game -- at the buzzer for the win. Adams scored 15 points, his first double-figure total of the season. "To this day," Hayes said, "I can see him, after making it, turning and running down the opposite end of the court with his teammates all chasing after him."

Potomac 90, Geo. Wythe 86 (2 OT)

March 10, 2004

In a state semifinal at the Siegel Center in Richmond, the undefeated Panthers knocked off George Wythe in double overtime, bouncing the team that had eliminated them from the previous two state tournaments. Jason Flagler scored 33 points, including a putback at the buzzer to force the second overtime, to help offset a 39-point game from Wythe's Tyree Evans (34 came after halftime). "Beating them was big for us," Hayes said. "We felt like we owed them something."

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