BRUNSWICK -- Andy Griffiths' short turnaround jumper with three seconds left gave the third-seeded Brunswick Railroaders a 46-45 win over visiting Francis Scott Key last night in a Class 1A South region game.
It wasn't without controversy. After the sixth-seeded Eagles (8-13) took their first lead of the game on a Mike Crawmer runner with 59 seconds left, Brunswick's Cory Brawner tried to answer with a three-pointer with 23 seconds left, but missed the mark.
The long rebound came to Key's Kyle Stephenson, who wrapped the ball up with two Brunswick players draped over him. The referees called a jump ball, giving Brunswick another chance and setting the stage for Griffiths' game-winning basket. Key coach Jeff Cook thought Stephenson was fouled.
"That cost us the game," he said.
"We did everything we needed to do. We made them take [Brawner's shot] and got after the rebound. I'm not one to get on the officials, but there's no reason we shouldn't have had the ball back or been shooting free throws."
Cook said the Eagles' poor shooting in the first half, lack of defensive rebounding in the second half and a defensive breakdown in Brunswick's last possession also contributed to the loss.
With two fouls to give before the Railroaders when in a one-and-one situation, the Eagles didn't take advantage of the fouls. Instead they gave Griffiths a pretty good look at the basket inside.
"That was a breakdown on our part," Cook said.
"We had two fouls to give at that point and I told them not to give them a shot."
It was the second win for Brunswick (10-11) in three tries against Key. The two teams split during the regular season with both teams winning its respective home games.
The Eagles kept coming back in the second half, but couldn't get over the hump against Brunswick until the final minute.
Topher Casserly (game-high 18 points) hit eight straight Eagles points to start the third and Steve Wright made a three-pointer with 3:20 left to get the Eagles even at 27. Brunswick answered with the last seven points -- including a big three-pointer from Paul Brohawn -- to take a 34-27 lead into the fourth quarter.
Wright (14 points) hit two three-pointers in between two baskets Casserly before Crawmer got hot.
After having shots fall in and out all night long, Crawmer hit three big field goals down the stretch -- including the jumper with 59 seconds left to give the Eagles their only lead.
Griffiths did the rest.
"I thought our best chance was to get the ball inside and go up strong. I told them to look for Andy in back," said Brunswick coach Jim Sklencar.
Poor shooting and turnovers plagued a first half in which Brunswick took a 20-16 lead into halftime.
The Eagles missed on their first nine shots to open the game, but only trailed 5-3 when Bill Kennedy hit their first field goal with 2:48 left in the first quarter.