Paul Delaney's improbable rebound shot with one second left after a Dennis Paul miss lifted St. Albans to a 72-71 upset over visiting Georgetown Prep in an Interstate Athletic Conference game yesterday.

"I knew if Dennis didn't hit his shot and I got the rebound I had to tip it back," Delaney said. "There wasn't time for anything else."

The Bulldogs (11-7, 7-2 IAC) found themselves in a murky predicament before Delaney's last-second heroics. The Little Hoyas (13-2, 7-1) nursed a four-point lead with 51 seconds left and had the possession arrow in their favor.

But St. Albans displayed a steady down-the-stretch temperament that allowed it to climb back despite Georgetown Prep's unforgiving zone defense.

After the Little Hoyas' Marty King followed a missed free throw by Brian Leftwich to make it 70-66, Paul sliced it to two with two foul shots.

Prep's John Douglas, who had a team-high 15 points, then converted one of two free throws to make it 71-68. Paul (game-high 27 points) answered with a turnaround five-footer with 12 seconds left, pulling St. Albans within 71-70.

The pressure then shifted to Prep's A. J. Wood, who was fouled dribbling the ball forward. But Wood, normally an excellent free-throw shooter, missed the front end of the one-and-one, giving the Bulldogs their last chance.

"I had to do it in the last second," St. Albans Coach Bob Brown said. "In all seriousness though, the key was that we were able to score points on them. They play a great zone defense. I also wanted to try to keep them under 50."

The Bulldogs led, 55-53, at the outset of the fourth quarter after forward Mark Hammond made a jumper to close the third period. St. Albans increased its lead to 57-53 on Steve Belin's short shot to open the final period.

St. Albans made seven three-point baskets in the game, which provided immediate therapy for a lackluster inside game. The Bulldogs missed six easy layups in the first half.

"We were trying to hit the middle and we knew that we could kick it back if {Prep} collapsed inside," Brown said. "We didn't make as many shots on the baseline as we would have liked."

Georgetown Prep went on a 12-2 run early in the second quarter to build a 26-19 lead before St. Albans' Eddie Volchko hit a three-pointer, cutting the lead to four.

At halftime it was tied at 33.

"Everyone played hard and gave a good effort," Brown said. "This is by far the biggest win of the season for us."