Senior Vernon Irvine and sophomore Rudy Gay each scored 25 points and visiting Eastern Tech went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in the final 45 seconds of overtime to shock No. 8 Southern of Baltimore, 67-64, yesterday and claim the Class 2A North Regional boys basketball title.
The Mavericks (19-7) will play Central, an 88-78 winner over Bladensburg, at Cole Field House in College Park at 9 p.m. Friday in the 2A state semifinals.
"It will be the first time we've ever been to Cole Field House, so absolutely, this is the biggest win in our program's history when you consider that we were playing a city team in their gym, and with all their tradition," said Mavericks coach Todd Wade.
The Mavericks got two huge plays to send the game into overtime.
The first came from freshman Luke Herold, who had not scored until he drilled a three-pointer from the right corner to tie the score at 51-51 with 12 seconds left.
After Southern freshman Desean Williams made two free throws with 10 seconds left, the Mavericks' Antoine McCall drove the lane and threaded a bounce pass to an unmarked Irvine, who converted a layup with two seconds left to force overtime.
"I just rolled in, and they left me," said Irvine, who was 8-for-11 from the field and 9-for-14 from the foul line. "I had been making shots all day, and I couldn't miss that one."
In overtime, Irvine took an inbounds pass from Jack Lambie and scored on a layup, breaking a 55-all tie with 1:20 left.
Junior Josh McKay hit six straight free throws and Gay nailed all four of his, and the Mavericks would need every one of them.
Southern senior Damien Spence (game-high 30 points) hit two long three pointers in the final 15 seconds to give the Bulldogs (14-7) a glimmer of hope.
But Williams' game-tying three-point attempt drew the side of the rim at the buzzer, prompting a Mavericks celebration at half court and a "Cole Field House" chant.