No. 5 Edmondson boys edge Wicomico, 56-54, for Class 2A state title

Darius Walker's bank shot at the buzzer gives Red Storm its first state championship in school history

March 16, 2013|By Jeff Seidel, For The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — Edmondson guard Darius Walker learned from something that happened earlier this season, and that lesson helped the Red Storm win its first state title Saturday night.

Walker snaked through traffic and made a driving left-handed bank shot as time expired to give No. 5 Edmondson a 56-54 victory over Wicomico in the Class 2A state title game at the University of Maryland's Comcast Center, the school's first championship in basketball.

Fresh in Walker's mind was his choice at the end of regulation in the Baltimore City title game against No. 1 Dunbar last month.

The score was tied, but instead of driving to the hoop, he surprisingly pulled up for a long 3-point attempt that missed. Dunbar later won in overtime, and Walker realized he made a poor choice.

But when Edmondson (22-5) called timeout after Wicomico (25-2) tied Saturday's game with 24.2 seconds left, Walker began to remember the city championship.

That's when Red Storm coach Darnell Dantzler also made sure his guard knew he believed in him.

"I said I'm going to ride your shoulders," Dantzler said. "You're my captain. I'm going to ride with you. We put the ball in his hands. He was fortunate to get to the basket, hit an unbelievable shot and we were able to come away with a win."

Walker, who finished with a team-high 15 points, got the ball with about 11 seconds left near the top of the key. He cut through the crowded lane and was able to get a shot off the glass. It might have been slightly deflected, but it went through just before the final buzzer, touching off a wild celebration from the Edmondson fans.

"I was looking to get to the basket," Walker said. "Last time, I shot a 3, it didn't work out. I learned from last time. Nothing was going to stop me from getting to the basket this time."

Walker scored seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to help Edmondson hold off the Indians. The Red Storm led for most of the second half after Wicomico took a 36-33 lead at the break.

Edmondson also used a four-corners type offense to eat up lots of clock in the back part of the third quarter and into the fourth period. Still, Wicomico rallied and eventually tied the game on a follow-up from Thomas Brown with 24.2 seconds left.

That's when Dantzler called timeout to set up the winning play.

Even though this was the team's first state title game, Edmondson didn't look nervous.

In fact, the Red Storm made 17 of 21 free throws, something that proved crucial because the Indians hit only 12 of 19 from the line.

Myrek Fowlkes, who played at Patterson on last year's Class 3A state title team, added 13 points. Brown led Wicomico with 15 points and 12 rebounds, but the Indians couldn't stop Walker at the end.

"They're a good team," Wicomico coach Butch Waller said. "They can all move, and they can all play."

Edmondson 56, Wicomico 54 W- Handy 8, Ennis 13, N. Brown 11, T. Brown 15, Hayward 2, Siggers 2, Pritchett-Coles 3. Totals: 19 12-19 54. E-Walker 15, Hubbard 8, Fowlkes 13, Tripp 4, Smith 6, Coles 8, McClain 2. Totals: 19 17-21 56. Half: W, 36-33.

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