Eastern and Wilson needed last-second heroics to pull out victories in the Interhigh League basketball tournament last night at Coolidge.
Arthur Miles' layup with 14 seconds left provided Eastern with a dramatic, 76-75 triumph over McKinley, and Malcolm Doster's four free throws in the final 45 seconds helped Wilson down H.D. Woodson, 72-69.
Earlier, Buffy Wages scored 29 points, 10 during a 17-0 first-half run, to lead H.D. Woodson to an easy 69-33 triumph over Ballou, and Brenda Small sank a bank shot with five seconds left to give Anacostia a 29-28 win over Dunbar in first-round games of the girls tournament.
In the girls semifinal games today at Coolidge, Woodson (20-4) faces Coolidge (24-3) at 3 and Wilson (22-3) meets Anacostia (16-7) at 6:30.
In the boys' semifinals, Spingarn (19-7) faces Eastern (12-12) at 4:45 and Coolidge (25-2) plays Wilson (12-17) at 8:15.
Led by Miles (27 points) and Donald Perritt (21), Eastern's boys went in front by 13 points before McKinley rallied. Perritt fouled out, McKinley forced ball-handling errors and Jeff Porter (13) and Louis Banks (23) sank clutch baskets to get their team back in the game.
Porter scored inside to bring McKinley within a point, 74-73, with 1:12 left. Eastern had ample chance to put the game away, but three players missed free throws in the final 1:04.
After forcing a turnover, Eastern got a big break when Miles broke free and scored uncontested to put his team up, 76-73. Porter scored 10 seconds later but Eastern held on.
The Wilson boys used two mini-runs sparked by Rahn Lewis (18 points, 15 rebounds), George Richardson (15) and Thierno Johnson (six) to take their largest lead, 62-50, with 3:48 to play.
But the Tigers couldn't put the Warriors away. A three-point play by Rudy Peters started a spurt that pulled his team to 66-64 with 50 seconds left.
Doster and Spencer Johnson (16 points) each made two free throws around a pair by Anthony Barnes to make it 70-66 with 37 seconds left. The teams exchanged turnovers before Woodson's Rodney Hounshell hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 70-69 with four seconds left.
In girls play, Dunbar and Anacostia missed countless scoring chances in the first three periods.But Anacostia couldn't clinch it until Small, who missed three free throws earlier in the period, got the ball near the free throw line, took a step down the lane and banked the winning shot off the glass at the buzzer.
Woodson's girls started slowly, falling behind, 15-9. Wages picked up the tempo and her team's spirits with several steals and more importantly, points, 10 of them coming during a 17-0 spurt that turned a six-point deficit into a 26-15 lead.