No. 7 Potomac, trailing by 21 points on the road in the fourth quarter, rallied to tie the game with 12 seconds left in regulation and surged on to beat Gar-Field, 84-80, in double overtime last night in what Potomac Coach Kendall Hayes called the greatest comeback in his 15 years at the Dumfries school.
Once the Panthers (8-1, 2-0 Cardinal District) battled back to tie, leading scorer Jernavis Draughn figured they could finish the job.
"If we could come back from 21 points, we knew we could come back and win," said Draughn, who led Potomac with 29 points and nine rebounds.
That outcome looked highly unlikely after Gar-Field (7-1, 1-1) reeled off 10 consecutive points to take a seemingly commanding 66-45 lead with 6 minutes 30 seconds left in regulation. Less than three minutes later, however, Potomac had pulled within 66-61 on two free throws by Draughn.
It was hard to believe this was the same Potomac team that earlier had prompted Hayes to disgustedly slam a clipboard after a timeout. Potomac had committed uncharacteristic turnovers and allowed Gar-Field penetrators to pass off for several easy baskets.
"I was very frustrated with our thought process, and that's as much my fault as anyone's," Hayes said. "I told them I don't know how we're going to finish this thing, but you better finish it hard."
Potomac went up by three points in the first four-minute extra period before the Indians answered with five straight points, thanks in great part to David Hooper. Hooper, who finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds, during that short span had two steals, three points and a rebound. Draughn tied the game at 76 on an inside basket off a pump fake with 45 seconds left.
In the second overtime, Draughn sank two free throws with 2:22 remaining, and Anthony Jones (17 points) took a defensive rebound all the way for a basket that gave the Panthers an 80-76 lead. Gar-Field's Joaquin Jackson (15 points) sank a short jumper on the right baseline with 1:08 left to cut it to two.
After the teams traded turnovers, Jones hit a free throw to make it 81-78. Aaron Andrews (23 points, 18 rebounds) scored on a dunk with 23 seconds to play, and Draughn hit a foul shot to increase the lead back to two.
Gar-Field had a final chance. Jackson missed a three-pointer, and Kevin Hunter pulled in the offensive rebound and missed a short jumper that Potomac's Cameron Kirby rebounded with four seconds left. Mark Cunningham (14 points) sank two free throws for the final margin.
Gar-Field had swept the Panthers in three games last year.
CAPTION: Anthony Jones seeks an opening around David Hooper in No. 7 Potomac's double-overtime victory. Jernavis Draughn had 29 points for the Panthers.