Westminster did all it could to send last night's county opener against visiting South Carroll into overtime. But once the Owls did, they simply ran out of manpower.
Cavaliers forward Matt McGrane, who scored 18 points and added 10 rebounds, led the Cavaliers to the 66-61 overtime win.
Four Westminster players fouled out before the night was through -- including three of its top big men -- and most of the fouls came trying to contain McGrane, who also had three steals and three blocked shots.
The Cavaliers (3-9) went on a 10-0 run late in the fourth quarter to take a 55-49 lead, but Westminster's Matt Laczkowski hit a three-pointer with three seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Derrick Brightful, who scored 17, had banked home a three-pointer with 17 seconds left to get the Owls (2-10) within striking distance.
But the four-minute overtime period belonged to South Carroll. Matt deWitt took a feed from Greg Mihalko with 2:42 left to give the Cavs a 59-57 lead and they never trailed again.
South Carroll got to the free-throw line 46 times, hitting 28, and often got the offensive rebounds when it missed -- particularly late.
"We really hurt them on the boards," said South Carroll coach Jim Carnes.
"It was an exciting game and there was a lot of intensity for a couple of 2-9 teams."
Both teams went in looking for an identity in a season filled with parity in the county.
North Carroll and Liberty are in the hunt for the title, while Francis Scott Key plays a limited schedule in the county.
"It's a situation where all of the county teams are dealing with inexperience," said Westminster coach Dave Byers.
"This wasn't a great artistic game, but there was a lot of heart and it means a lot to the kids. Everybody gave all they had."
Justin Sholkoff (17 points) scored the Owls' first seven points of the fourth quarter to give them a 45-41 lead, but the Cavaliers got a three-pointer from Mihalko (15 points) and McGrane hit four straight free throws to give the Cavaliers the lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
After Laczkowski hit the three late in regulation to tie it, he became the third Owl to foul out on the Cavaliers' first possession in overtime.
"We still had opportunities in overtime where they missed some foul shots but got the ball back. We just gave them too many opportunities," Byers said.
Neither team could build more than a six-point lead in the first half and that came when the Owls opened the game with the first three baskets.
Both teams played some solid defense and were helped by some poor shooting and turnovers as the Owls took a 24-22 lead into intermission.
The Owls, who have tried a number of players at point guard this season, got a 10-point first half from Brightful, who also had a number of assists and rebounds before leaving the game with three minutes left in the second quarter with his third foul.
The Cavaliers got some offense from Bryan Hershe late in the second quarter to keep things close.
His three-point play with 1:23 left in the first half got the Cavaliers even with the Owls at 22 apiece before Laczkowski's basket in the final minute gave the Owls the two-point lead at the intermission.