In the locker room after South River's 72-70 overtime victory over host Glen Burnie on Friday, Coach Ken Dunn was telling his Seahawks that "success was an illusion."
Simultaneously, Glen Burnie coach Terry Bogle stood in a distant hallway wishing he had dreamed the wholegame-ending sequence.
His 5-3 Gophers, particularly 5-foot-10 senior guard Chris Collins (21 points, six assists, seven steals), had done all that Bogle asked to prevent the Seahawks (8-1) from winning their eighth straight game -- and their second consecutive overtime triumph.
South River's Al Lee, who averaged nearly 22 points entering the game, was comingoff a 32-point effort in Tuesday's 84-83 overtime win over Meade.
But the Gophers forced him to turn over the ball three times, with just 10 points and five each in steals and assists. Lee fouled out with his team trailing, 69-68, with 33 seconds left in overtime.
The Gophers had shot out the lights with eight three-pointers, including one each by Collins, 6-1 Ted Wolf (18 points) and 6-0 Mike Mahaney (11 points) in a 17-4 run that turned a 20-12 second-quarter deficit into a 29-24 lead with two minutes left in the period. The visitors trailed, 31-29, at halftime.
Thanks to a 12-point third quarter from 6-7 center Darren Hall (26 points, 11 rebounds), the Seahawks turned that deficit into a 49-43 lead heading into the fourth period.
Collins, who scored 13 fourth-quarter points, did an admirable job of getting his team back into the game after the Seahawks built their biggest lead of the night, 62-53, with just over three minutes left in regulation.
The Gophers trailed, 66-63, with 10 seconds left in regulation when Collins dribbled into the lane, changed his mind, turned and went back into three-point range, where he nailed his fourth three-pointer to send the game into overtime.
"We were going to give him the two, but when he saw that he wasn't going to get fouled, he came back out for the three," Dunn said. "That was a very, very smart move."
With six seconds left in overtime, a foul by South River's Corey Davis sent Collins to the line, where the Glen Burnie senior sank a free throw to put the Gophers ahead, 70-69, for an apparent victory.
"To tell you the truth, I was thinking, 'Oh . . . we're gonna lose,' " said South River's 6-4 forward Edmund Hicks, who scored 23 points with five rebounds. "But I was hoping we'd have one last chance."
That opportunity came.
Davis went from goat to an accompliceto the victory, taking an inbounds pass, dribbling three times to the midcourt line and tossing the ball past a Gopher defender to Hicks,who iced the game with his buzzer-beating three-pointer -- only the fourth of the game for the Seahawks.
"I have a lot of confidence in my outside shooting," said Hicks, who scored 20 against Meade. "ButCorey did a great job of getting it to me."
"It was just a matterof someone picking us up," said Hall, who had 20 each in points and rebounds against Meade. "We just never quit."
Bogle probably wished they had.
"The kids did everything I asked them to, they responded exactly the way I wanted them to," said Bogle, who still was shaking his head long after most Glen Burnie fans had left the parking lot.
Said Dunn: "They out-hustled us, they out-coached us, and our kids know we were fortunate to win."
Vernon Osborne had nine points for Glen Burnie, and Fred Goodson (six boards) had eight for the Seahawks.