BOWIE – After ending the third quarter on a 15-0 run to forge a commanding 58-42 lead heading into the final frame of Friday’s 4A South Region opener, the Bowie High School boys’ basketball team appeared on the verge of coasting past Suitland and into Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Suitland responded, however, with a comeback in the fourth […]
BOWIE – After ending the third quarter on a 15-0 run to forge a commanding 58-42 lead heading into the final frame of Friday’s 4A South Region opener, the Bowie High School boys’ basketball team appeared on the verge of coasting past Suitland and into Tuesday’s quarterfinals.
Suitland responded, however, with a comeback in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime where Bowie finally prevailed for an 80-78 win thanks to a late bucket from Quinton Drayton.
Bowie (15-7) will now face top-seeded Eleanor Roosevelt in a quarterfinal contest on Tuesday. Suitland ended the season at 8-12, but the Rams departed with plenty of respect from Bowie coaches, players and fans.
“We knew they were going to put up a fight in the fourth quarter,” said Bowie coach Cedric Holbrook. “They took advantage of the little mistakes that we made. We had some chances to pull the ball out and run some clock, but we took too many shots early some possessions. They forced us to play an up-tempo game and that helped things go their way in the fourth quarter. Of course, a couple of their guys hit some tough shots.”
Bowie owned an 18-15 lead at the end of the first quarter and the Bulldogs extended the advantage to 41-36 at the intermission. Suitland narrowed the margin to 43-42 in the opening stages of the third quarter on free throws from Darrencio Daniels and a jumper from Darryl Smith, but the last five minutes of the quarter belonged entirely to the Bulldogs.
After Jaelen Thompson had a conventional three-point play for the Bulldogs, Drayton scored the next eight points for Bowie and then Jordan Hicks and Mike Gray each added a bucket in the final minute of play and suddenly the Bulldogs had turned a nail-biter into a potential romp. The Bulldogs’ 58-42 lead heading into the fourth quarter, however, would not be secure and Suitland coach George McClure, a former Bowie boys’ basketball coach, expected his players to rally.
“One thing about Suitland, we never give up,” McClure said. “In a way, this game was like the microcosm of our season. We had some real ups and downs. We dug ourselves into a big hole in the third quarter, but the kids never gave up. They just kept fighting back.”
In the early stages of the fourth quarter, Bowie looked as if it might be able to coast the victory. Three buckets and two free throws from Daniels in the first two minutes were countered by buckets inside from Anthony Barnes and Drayton and Bowie still owned a 63-50 lead with just under six minutes remaining. But as Drayton had done for the Bulldogs in the third period, Daniels would carry the Rams through much of the fourth.
In fact, Daniels would score the Rams next 10 points to bring the visitors within 65-60 with 3:15 remaining and later buckets inside from Donnell Graham and Devon Humphries would bring the visitors to within a point and then Smith gave the Rams a 66-65 lead with 25 seconds remaining. After Barnes made one free throw to tie the game, Christian Bryant missed two free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining that could have won it for Bowie in regulation.
Daniels promptly opened the overtime session with a three-pointer to give the Rams a lead, but then Bowie countered with a 6-0 run that was answered by another long-range jumper from Daniels that tied the game again at 72. Buckets by Bryant and Drayton gave Bowie a 76-72 lead, but Daniels countered with yet another three-pointer and then Smith had one that tied the game at 78-all with 30.5 seconds left.
On its final possession, Bowie looked to get Bryant a clear path to the basket, but he passed the ball to Thompson who missed at close range. Drayton, however, was in ideal position for an offensive rebound and then added the bucket that gave the Bulldogs the lead. Suitland managed to get the ball across half court, but turned the ball over without getting off a shot.