In Maryland's Class 4A boys baksetball regional finals, Upper Marlboro (Md.) Wise High didn't just beat Goddard (Md.) DuVal High -- a team that had handed the Pumas their only two losses in the past two months. Wise ran its Prince George's County rival off the floor in an 85-54 victory, as detailed in The Washington Post's game story.
Never fear, dear DuVal fans.
DuVal head coach Lafayette Dublin had one reasonable explanation for the upset.
“That’s playoff basketball,” Lafayette told The Washington Post. “You always know that can happen. It’s always in your mind. You just hope that it’s not you.”
Reasonable enough, sure. But the grandmother of DuVal leading scorer Michael Cunningham, who was held to a season-low six points in defeat, has a far better explanation for the loss in The Post's comments section (h/t Deadspin via @lindsapple):
I just wanted to go on record in defense of my grandson's, Michael Cunningham, weak performance last night by letting readers know that he was battling a severe cold. He called me early in the day and asked could I bring him cough medicine or something because his throat was sore and he was stopped up but he wanted to be at the game. I found out when I got to school that he also had a fever. I should have taken him home but being the kind of person he is, a total team player, he insisted he would be better by game time. I left him some mild over the counter medicine but had no idea that he hadn't eaten all day because his throat eas sore so I feel totally responsible for his lackluster performance last night. Now know this, this is not an excuse because basketball is a team sport and last night the best TEAM won. I just wanted everyone to know why Michael was so off his game.
Now, I'm sure that makes Cunningham and his Tigers teammates feel much better. After all, a high schooler has never received a ribbing when his grandma comes to his defense.
So, just how big of an upset was it? Wise senior Markell Young (27 points) and his Pumas move within one game of their school's second ever Final Four appearance when they face Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.) High in the regional finals on Friday.
For his sake, let's hope Roosevelt's Holy Cross-bound senior star Malachi Alexander doesn't feel a cold coming on.