With game on the line, McAfee wins it for Meade

His free throws give Mustangs 52-50 victory

Boys basketball

March 01, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Rochard McAfee took what the referees gave him.

The junior forward, awarded two free throws with one second left, cashed in on his opportunity by making both attempts and breaking a tie game to help No. 10 Meade oust visiting Frederick, 52-50, from a Class 4A East region semifinal in Fort Meade last night.

The Mustangs, who last won a regional championship in 1999 and 2000, earned a meeting with top-seeded Thomas Johnson, a Frederick County program that has captured seven state titles and is ranked 22nd by USA Today.

The Patriots routed North County, 68-35, last night in Glen Burnie.

Meade (19-6) advanced to the regional final courtesy of a last-second foul call - literally.

After senior center Justin Shade stole the ball and dropped in a layup to help the Cadets tie the game at 50, Mustangs junior guard Ray Williams inbounded the ball to McAfee with four seconds left.

Unable to get the ball to senior guard Louis Benson on the wing or to lob the ball to senior guard Elmer Jenkins on a back screen, McAfee took it upon himself to drive into the lane for a shot.

An official charged Frederick junior forward Elyon Bush with fouling McAfee in the act of shooting and awarded him two free throws.

McAfee calmly made both attempts with one second left.

Asked what was racing through his mind as he stood at the foul line, McAfee said, "I wasn't really thinking of anything. I was just trying to do my best and hit the shots."

McAfee batted away a Cadets inbound pass, but Frederick coach Derek Shackleford was incensed that the game ended on a foul call.

"I don't know how you make a call like that," he said. "It's not even the fact that [the official] made the call. It wasn't even a foul. That's the bottom line."

Meade coach Butch Young said he thought the referee made the correct call.

"There was a lot of body contact on that one," Young said. "The only thing I was worried about was the clock running out on us."

Benson posted a game-high 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting and added eight rebounds, while McAfee added 10 rebounds and five assists.

Meade made a pivotal stand in the third quarter. Trailing by three at halftime, the Mustangs enjoyed separate runs of 11-2 and 6-0 to take a 41-32 lead at the end of the period.

But Meade nearly squandered that cushion as the Cadets (15-9) chipped away. Down by five with less than a minute to play, senior guard Bryan Lewis nailed a layup, was fouled and completed the three-point play, and Shade had his steal and layup to set the stage for McAfee's heroics.

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