695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
MCDONOGH SHOCKS ROLAND PARK IN OVERTIME FOR IAAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Roland Park came back this season with a vengeance. They were so close last year to beating McDonogh for the title. They dedicated their off season to getting back and avenging that painful loss. They won the regular season championship and played their way to a 20-4 record and another shot at the title. They played inspired on championship Sunday at Stevenson University. They never stopped fighting. They won it, 50 to 47. Their student body and bench stormed the court. But the officials correctly ruled that 2 seconds remained and McDonogh needed to inbound and go the length of the court to tie the game. Roland Park coach Scott Buckley ran onto the court and ushered his players to the bench while security chased the fans back to the stands. Surely this was just a momentary delay of the celebration right?
McDonogh called a time out and drew up a play. Roland Park called a timeout to set up their defense after that. Coach Buckley set up the correct defense. The inbound pass was intercepted in front of the McDonogh bench. The Roland Park crowd erupted in joy again. But again, things went in McDonogh's favor. The defender could not stay in bounds after stealing the ball and McDonogh was now set to inbound in front of their own bench with 1.2 seconds left. McDonogh coach Brad Rees drew up a play. Coach Buckley's final words to his team as they broke the huddle were "Whatever you do, do not foul!"
McDonogh inbounded the ball to sophomore Kolbi Green who was deep in the left corner. She caught and turned to launch the game tying three point attempt but the ball never got that far. The Roland Park defender slapped at the ball and got her wrist. The ball bounced out of bounds as time ran out and the official who was right in front of the play blew his whistle. No time remained on the clock and Kolbi Green would have three free throw attempts. Chaos ensued as the McDonogh crowd exploded in with excitment and Roland Park supporters erupted in anger. The next few minutes were surreal for everyone witnessing this game. The arena was still as she stepped to the line. She calmly drained three straight free throws that touched nothing but net. This was probably most clutch moment in McDonogh girls basketball. Regulation was over and Roland Park looked deflated. McDonogh was energized. They had a second life.
(Kolbi Green at the line, photo by Rain Green)
Dajah Logan scored the first 4 points in overtime and that was all McDonogh needed because Roland Park scored only two points in the overtime period. The final score was 59-52. The game was a classic, probably the best championship game I have seen in 15 years. I anticipated a classic not because we had the two best teams on the court, but because both teams warmed up with intensity and looked confident. It was a slugfest early with McDonogh forging a 14-13 lead after one. Kolbi Green hit two threes in the quarter.
Kolbi added another 3 in the second quarter and Dajah Logan attacked on offense, but Jaia Alexander was determined to keep her team in it. Ryan Holder hounded Danielle Edwards throughout the game and made her work. The half ended up tied at 24. Roland Park has been good in the 3rd quarter all year and this game was no different. Jaia Alexander sparked the Reds with some help from Jeydah Johnson and Francesca Whitehurst and they opened up a 42-33 lead after three quarters.
Trailing 44 to 37, Dajah Logan went to work. She scored 5 quick points and gave her team the momentum. Roland Park missed a couple of free throws, Taleah Dixon hit a 3 pointer and Andrea Robinson blocked a shot that ignited the crowd. Jaia Alexander's free throw put the Reds up 48 to 47 with 22. 2 seconds left. Kolbi Green and Taleah Dixon missed long jumpers and Michala Clay made two foul shots with 2 seconds left. The rest will go down in history as one of the greatest finishes in DMV girls basketball ever. Dajah Logan scored 18 points, Danielle Edwards added 15 and Kolbi Green scored 13 for McDonogh. Jaia Alexander lead Roland Park with 17 points.
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