Never in Oxon Hill senior guard Chris Pugh's life -- not on the playground, in the high school gymnasium or in his dreams -- had he envisioned making the game-winning shot.
So when Pugh saw his three-pointer go through the net as the horn sounded, he ran down the sideline before diving near center court, reveling with his teammates in the Clippers' 53-52 victory over ninth-ranked Gonzaga in a non-bracket game in the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament.
"I never thought something like that would happen to me," said Pugh, who scored a game-high 18 points. "I've never even thought about it. Now, I know what it feels like to hit a shot to win the game. It's amazing."
Pugh's heroics capped an impressive comeback for No. 2 Oxon Hill in front of a near-capacity crowd of around 2,000 at Cape Henlopen High. The Clippers (6-0) rallied from a 10-point deficit with 4 minutes 21 seconds remaining to hand Gonzaga (7-3) its third loss in its past four games.
Bowers Stands Tall
Senior Will Bowers scored eight of his game-high 16 points in the final quarter as No. 5 Spalding limited No. 20 Georgetown Prep to only one field goal in the final seven minutes en route to a 45-40 victory.
"We needed a big game from [Bowers] and he came through," Spalding Coach Mike Glick said.
Trailing 38-33 following a three-pointer by Georgetown Prep senior guard Pat Coyle, Spalding senior guard Tim Brackney made a layup and Bowers, a 7-foot center, followed with a three-pointer -- just the third in his career -- to tie the game at 38.
Spalding (7-1) took the lead for good when junior guard Rudy Gay converted two free throws with 3:42 left, and extended its lead to 42-38 when Bowers added two more free throws with 52 seconds remaining.
A Signature Game
Though Spingarn senior Sohi Frazier was asked by several spectators for his autograph this afternoon, it was his play in the Green Wave's 75-57 victory over Eleanor Roosevelt where the forward really made a name for himself.
Frazier scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half to power No. 6 Spingarn to a commanding 41-15 halftime lead, enabling the Green Wave (7-2) to roll past the reigning Maryland 4A champion and its fifth straight victory.
"I couldn't believe people were asking me for my autograph," Frazier said. "But I really thought as a team we made a statement out there. We're the best team in D.C., and we showed them what D.C. basketball is all about."
Senior guard Kevin App made a three-pointer and two free throws in the final 36 seconds to lift Good Counsel (7-3) to a 57-54 victory over Bergen Catholic of New Jersey.
After Bergen rallied from a 13-point third-quarter deficit to tie the score at 52 with 1:12 remaining, App's three-pointer from the right wing with 36 seconds left gave the Falcons a 55-52 lead. Bergen, the New Jersey defending Parochial A champion, pulled to within 55-54 before App (game-high 22 points) converted a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to provide the final margin.
Bullis Steals One
Junior forward Travis Lay scored a game-high 19 points and senior guard Tanard Jackson's steal with seven seconds remaining secured Bullis's 43-40 victory over Sanford School of Delaware.
Trailing 41-40 with 44 seconds remaining, Sanford (5-1), the reigning Delaware champions, had two chances to win, but committed turnovers -- the last when Jackson stole the ball from sophomore guard Jerome Harper. Bullis (6-2) made two of its final four free throw attempts for the final margin.