A bag of ice took care of the bump on the back of Chanel Tharps's head, the result of a second-half tumble into the basket support. A tiebreaking, driving reverse layup in the final minute put a smile on her face -- and those of her teammates.
When she got the ball in the left corner, Tharps initially looked to pass. When her teammate was covered, Tharps dribbled along the baseline and made a shot she said she usually practices only in open gyms, helping lift fifth-ranked Largo to a 60-55 victory over No. 2 Eleanor Roosevelt in the Prince George's County championship game last night.
In the ensuing boys' game, Kwame Morgan scored a game-high 24 points and center Maurice Sutton came close to a triple-double as fifth-ranked Largo continued its undefeated season by rallying for a 71-63 victory over 10th-ranked C.H. Flowers before a standing-room-only crowd of 4,000 at Wise High in Upper Marlboro.
Sutton, a 6-foot-11 junior, finished with 10 points, 19 rebounds and 8 blocked shots. With Largo trailing 46-41 late in the third quarter, it was Sutton's alley-oop dunk that started an 8-0 run as the Lions (21-0) took the lead for good.
"We wanted to hold serve just like our girls did," Largo Coach Lewis Howard said. "It's a great program on both sides of the coin, the girls' program and the boys' program."
Center Daniel Thompson had 18 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out for Flowers (18-3).
Both girls' teams carried lengthy winning streaks into their game, neither having lost since holiday tournaments in late December. The Maryland 4A two-time defending champion, Roosevelt (19-3) had won 40 consecutive games against county opponents, a streak that seemed likely to continue after it scored the game's first 10 points.
Guards Brittany Hollins and Rachel Barnes, who scored 20 and 18 points, respectively, helped Largo (21-1) recover and take the lead. Two free throws by Roosevelt's NiKia Gibbs tied the game at 55 with 50 seconds left, leading to Tharps's decisive score.
"I was looking to dish it off to Ashley Williams in the post, but I couldn't see her," Tharps said. "I saw the baseline was open so I just took it."
Said Lions Coach Ayana Ball: "When she did it, I was like, 'Oh, Lord.' I'm just glad it went in."
County Championship Games
Back for Another Title?Largo Coach Ayana Ball was a reserve sophomore guard on the school's only state championship team, in 1997. The Lions are the top seed in the Maryland 3A South Region playoffs that begin tonight.
Clean Sweep:Largo is the first school to win the Prince George's boys' and girls' titles in the same season since the county began holding a championship game four years ago.