Even after watching his team fritter away a 12-point lead, senior Anthony Goode never had any doubt that No. 8 Milford Mill would get the job done in Tuesday night's Baltimore County championship game.
The 6-foot guard then took matters into his own hands, nailing a 3-pointer from the corner with three seconds left to lift the Millers to a 59-57 win over host Randallstown, giving the county its first repeat boys champion in a decade.
After inbounding the ball under his basket with eight seconds left, Goode set up in the corner, took a pass from guard Chase Cormier and made the shot, with players and fans mobbing the court as time expired.
"I wanted the ball. I just had confidence, and I knocked it down," said Goode, who finished with 14 points. "It was supposed to go inside to the big man, but I got open."
The shot ended what at first appeared to be an easy night for Milford Mill (20-3), which built a 42-30 lead by the final minute of the third quarter. Randallstown (16-7), however, made a game of it, and then some.
The Rams got within two on Joe Caldwell's 3-pointer, then took a 47-46 lead on another 3 by Caldwell. They grew the lead to as many as four at the foul line.
Trailing by a point, however, the Millers forced a turnover on the inbounds, setting the stage for Goode's heroics.
"We knew at some point they would make a run," Milford Mill coach Al Holley said. "We held them off most of the game, but they made a run on us late. But then down the stretch my team made plays."
The game presented a formidable test for both teams entering the coming regional playoffs.
While Milford Mill will receive a first-round bye as the top seed in Class 3A, North, Randallstown has a tougher road, opening with Eastern Tech in Class 2A, North this weekend before a potential date with defending 2A champion City. Rams coach Kevin English believes his team is ready.
"We watch the standings and polls, and know that these guys aren't any better than we are," English said. "Tonight we came out there and tried to prove it, and came two points short."
GirlsNo. 10 Catonsville 71, Dundalk 45:
Zoey Whittington (17 points) led four Comets in double-digit scoring as Catonsville (21-1) successfully defended its Baltimore County championship. Tracy Carrington had a game-high 36 points for the Owls.
The Comets have not lost a county game in three years. Their only loss this season was to Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic on Dec. 29, 50-32.
Other leading scorers for Catonsville included Maya Torain (15), Maddy Hunt (14) and Candace McCray (14).
"We pressed them and caused them problems early," Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said. "We played our game and watched Carrington score 36 points. She was a one-player show and did everything she could."
8 MILFORD MILL 59,
MM-Branch 9, Cormier 2, Goode 14, Hamilton 11, Hanner 7, Jackson 1, Johnson 2, McCray 12, Miller 1. Totals: 18 18-39 59.
R-Curry-Davis 2, Hawkins 10, Sharp 11, Mitchell 10, Small 5, Doolin 2, Caldwell 9, Smith 2, Oyefusi 6. Totals: 18 20-34 57.
Half: Milford, 25-19
10 CATONSVILLE 71,
D-Carrington 36, Jones 2, Karl, Brittingham 2, Williams 2, Taylor 2. Totals 17 9-13 45.
C-Hunt 14, Flister, McCray 14, Whittington 17, Torain 15, Schwaab 3, Higginson 3, McGinty 4. Totals 28 7-13 71. Half: C, 37-22.