COLLEGE PARK -- Stung by upstart Wilde Lake's early 13-point lead, Edgewood dodged the upset of the state basketball tournament so far by rallying to edge the Wildecats, 68-65, on Maurice Boone's driving 25-foot jumper at the buzzer last night.
The victory moved top-seeded Edgewood into today's 6 p.m. Class 2A final versus Forestville, a 70-62 winner over Watkins Mill in yesterday's other semifinal.
Boone's game-winner was a personal redemption, he said. Two seconds earlier, the sophomore point guard had committed Edgewood's 25th turnover by dribbling the ball off his foot. That allowed Wilde Lake's Phil Chenier, Jr. to forge the fourth quarter's eighth tie on a leaning jumper in the lane.
But Boone -- the game's high scorer with 25 points -- took Steve Lewis' inbounds pass and quickly dribbled over halfcourt before launching the shot, which swished through.
"Was that the shot of a lifetime? It's my shot of a lifetime," Boone said. "I guess I was saving it for the right time. I redeemed myself -- it was a life-saver."
Edgewood entered as the top-seeded winner of 23 of 24 games. No. 4 Wilde Lake was 16-9, but for the longest time carried the fight to the Rams.
Wilde Lake scored 18 unanswered points to cap a 20-2 second-quarter run and mount a 31-18 lead. Edgewood scratched back in the second and third quarters to regain the edge, 39-37, on the last of Damon Bomar's four straight points.
The Rams never trailed again, but could not mount more than a two-point lead after Wilde Lake's Randy Miller tied the game, 51-51, on Randy Miller's follow shot to open the fourth quarter.
"We did not take Wilde Lake lightly. It was just lack of concentration, and that's traditional for us," Rams coach Bob Slagle said. His team turned the ball over on 10 of 11 trips down court -- and badly misfired on the other -- during Wilde Lake's second-quarter run.
"Obviously, we don't have any huge, physical players, and it can be a game of streaks. When we play well, we play well. When we don't, we don't," Slagle said.
"Fortunately, we've been able to turn it around this year," Slagle said.
Damon Bonar sandwiched two baskets around a score by point guard Maurice Boone as Edgewood scored the first six points. Boone had nine points in the Rams' early 16-9 lead, but Wilde Lake raced to its 31-18 advantage with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left before halftime.
"Our press held them well. It probably caught them off guard because we haven't done much of that lately," Wilde Lake coach Paul Ellis said.
WILDE LAKE -- Miller 12, Chenier 13, Tyer 10, Guyton 14, Bradford 6, Crawley 10. Totals: 27 11-14 65
EDGEWOOD -- Lewis 2, Bomar 20, Worthington 12, Boone 25, Johnson 5, Hobbs 4. Totals: 26 13-17 68.
Wilde Lake 11 24 14 16 -- 65
Edgewood 16 15 20 17 -- 68
WATKINS MILL -- Muhammad 5, Thomas 16, Herod 13, Robinson 16, Rene 7, Ballou 5. Totals: 25 8-14 62.
FORESTVILLE -- Woodby 3, Clark 9, Freeland 22, Adusei 11, Starkey 9, Reaves 4, Dorsey 6, Thompson 6. Totals: 32 3-8 70.
Watkins Mill 14 22 14 12 -- 62
Forestville 12 22 20 16 -- 70