Chantilly was not to be denied. Through 25-foot three-pointers, through a decided height disadvantage, through one of the toughest presses in Northern Virginia and through a five-year jinx, the 19th-ranked Chargers were not to be denied.
Chantilly gave all it had and then some, finally defeating fourth-ranked South Lakes, 83-81, last night before a raucous crowd in Reston to record its seventh straight win since losing to the Seahawks early in January.
The Chargers last defeated the Seahawks (14-2, 6-1) in the playoffs in 1986. Since then Chantilly Coach Mark Martino has thrown virtually every coaching plan he knew at South Lakes, only to come away empty.
Last night, however, the Chargers overcame Howard Hogan's eight three-pointers and shot 100 percent in the fourth quarter, sliding into a first-place tie with the Seahawks in the Great Falls District.
"When they felt things getting out of control, they kept their composure," said South Lakes Coach Wendell Byrd.
Indeed, even when Hogan hit a three-pointer with 2:15 left to give the Seahawks only their second lead of the game, Chantilly (14-1, 6-1) calmly went to center Tim Fudd for the remainder of its points.
Trailing by 79-78, Fudd hit a six-foot baseline jumper to return the lead to the Chargers. Theron Curry then lost the ball out of bounds, and Fudd took a perfect pass from Darryl Franklin and made a layup for an 81-78 lead with 1:05 to play.
The Seahawks brought the ball downcourt and instead of Hogan -- who had hit three straight three-pointers -- taking the shot, Randy Baugh shot and missed.
Fudd missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Seahawks had one last chance, but Hogan, despite being double-teamed, shot an off-balance three-pointer that hit nothing and went out of bounds.
Fudd clinched the game with two free throws and Hogan hit a three-pointer as time expired.
Fudd led Chantilly with 27 points, while James Taylor, Franklin and Shane Clancy all scored in double figures.
"We need that balance in order to win," said Martino.
Hogan led the Seahawks with a game-high 28 points and Curry, who shot one for 11 in the first half, had 20 points.
South Lakes' 6-foot-9 center Joey Beard scored 15 points, but was somewhat contained by foul trouble. He picked up his fourth foul with more than five minutes left in the third quarter and sat until early in the fourth quarter. He fouled out with 3:47 left in the game.
His absence gave the Chargers a tremendous advantage, not only giving Fudd more breathing room, but also giving Clancy and Franklin the oppurtunity to penetrate and score or pass off.
"I thought that played a crucial role down the stretch," said Byrd.
South Lakes started the game by scoring on an alley-oop from Hogan to Beard and a three-pointer by -- who else? -- Hogan to take a 5-2 lead. But the Chargers went on a 12-2 scoring run to take a 15-7 lead and never trailed again until Hogan's three-pointer in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks went to their 1-3-1 trapping defense and mixed it with an occasional press to pull to 35-34 in the second quarter. But the Chargers finished the first half with a 5-0 run.
Fudd made two free throws, awarded on Beard's third foul, and David Carroll completed a three-point play when he was fouled by Kent Harris underneath to give Chantilly a 40-34 halftime advantage.
"We played catch-up the entire game, which was a key for them," said Byrd.