Darren McClinton's two free throws with four seconds remaining iced a 55-52 victory for visiting Springbrook over Bethesda-Chevy Chase last night in a Montgomery County boys basketball before 1,856 boisterous fans.
The free throws killed a tooth-and-nail comeback by the Barons who, starting with just over five minutes remaining, closed an 11-point deficit to one with 1:08 left.
"We made a big mistake by letting them back in the game in the first place," Springbrook center Linwood Davis said. "Once you let a team think they're just as good as you, their momentum gets up and they catch up to you and might even beat you."
The Blue Devils (3-0) spread the halfcourt offense and played keep-away until McClinton drove the lane with 16 seconds left. McClinton was called for traveling and B-CC (2-1) had a last chance.
But Duane Quashie stepped out of bounds for a turnover as he drove the baseline with five seconds left.
Each team had the chance to run away with the game. The Barons scored 16 straight points at the end of the second quarter and into the third to open an eight-point lead.
But Springbrook countered with a 21-2 run to take a 49-38 lead midway in the fourth quarter.
Davis, who did not start because of a sore ankle, sparked the Blue Devils' spurt. With Tyrone Frazier on the bench with foul trouble, Davis put on a one-man show on the offensive boards, scoring 12 points, eight after offensive rebounds.
"I really hustle on the offensive boards," Davis said. "I work hard and just try to get them back up and in."
B-CC scrambled after offensive rebounds too. Mike Jarvis scored 12 points, mostly on second and third chances. Akil Waite also worked hard inside. But after tallying seven points in the first half, he was limited to one the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, Springbrook's guards repeatedly hit their outside shots. McLinton led all scorers with 15 points and Chris McGuthrie had 10.