Brandon McGill had missed his only two shots. He had gotten into foul trouble, picking up three in the first half. And when the backup senior guard went to the bench in the third quarter after getting called for his fourth, Suitland Coach Tyrone Massenburg said to stay ready.
"He told me he was going to need me in the fourth quarter," McGill said.
The final minute of the fourth quarter, actually.
With the game tied and the clock running down, McGill never hesitated when he took a pass from guard Darnell Anthony in the left corner. His high-arcing shot swished through the net and put the visiting Rams on top for good in a 68-64 victory over Wise last night in a Maryland 4A South Region first-round game between teams hoping to make a run in a most competitive bracket.
"I saw [6-foot-11 Roscoe Davis] coming so I knew I had to put a little arc on it," McGill said. "I was nervous, but I knew we had to play. You lose and you go home."
Davis, a standout junior, tallied 27 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks despite playing with a glove to protect a broken left knuckle suffered in a car accident last week.
Freshman point guard Daryl Traynham, Wise's other top player, played through pain to finish with 10 points and five assists. He fell and cut his left cheek on a piece of glass earlier this week, requiring 30 stitches to close the gash.
While Davis and Traynham played through their injuries, they did not have quite enough to overcome Suitland (14-7). Forward Joseph Jones scored 21 points and Anthony added 19 for the Rams, who have won six of their past seven games. Suitland also got solid play off the bench from 6-7 Chris Butterworth, who played much more than he normally would in order to try to defend Davis. Massenburg said his next tallest player is 6-1.
The game swayed back and forth, neither team leading by more than six points. Wise (13-9), a first-year school without seniors, pulled even at 62-62 on a tip-in by Davis with less than two minutes left. After the teams traded possessions, Suitland held the ball for nearly one minute before McGill's shot.
Suitland 68, Wise 64
Home Again:Guard Darnell Anthony played a key role two seasons ago as Suitland won its first league title in 20 years. He transferred to Crossland last season and returned to Suitland this season.
Up Next: Suitland will play at Laurel on Monday at 7 in a Maryland 4A South Region quarterfinal.