For a moment, the Berlin (Md.) Decatur High boys' basketball cheerleaders storm the court, thinking their team had won the Bayside Conference championship, until they saw their Easton High rivals celebrating.
In their defense, Easton junior Tay'Von Emory's game-tying halfcourt 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds was fairly unbelievable (h/t Bob's Blitz). Of course, the Decatur cheerleaders weren't waving their pompoms so much when Emory scored his team's final six points in overtime to secure a 64-61 title-clinching win.
In fact, Emory (game-high 26 points) scored 12 of his team's final 14 points in regulation, too, but missed a game-tying free throw attempt with 3.1 seconds left, according to the local Star Democrat's game story. Two Decatur free throws on the other end seemed to seal the deal, but Emory had other ideas.
"I just knew I had a chance," Emory told the paper, confirming they practice such shots. "We've been practicing it, and we've been trying that shot and making it. I knew I could make it; I just had to do it."
Both coaches had equally fantastic reactions in the local paper. First, Easton coach Marty Bailey:
"I had confidence in the guys, even when we missed a free throw with only a few seconds left (in regulation)," Bailey said. "But this game, this is for all the people -- the doubters, some people claiming to be Warrior alumni, I’m told -- who didn’t have faith in us.
“They called our kids bums, said I couldn’t coach,” Bailey added. “This is for them. ... I’ve never been prouder of these guys. They fought for this and they deserve it, they deserve to enjoy it.”
Let's just say Decatur's coach viewed the final minutes from a different perspective:
“We had it,” Decatur coach B.J. Johnson said. “But on that last play (of regulation), I told the guys, ‘Don’t let anybody get behind you.’
“And then 23 (Emory) puts it up, and it goes in,” Johnson added. “It was unbelievable. And the kid who was supposed to be covering him... was on the other side of the court celebrating. ... It’s been a great season.
“But for us, these kids have never been in this situation before,” Johnson continued. “We’d never won the South in boys’ basketball before. Ever. And for them to get into this game -- well, all year, the reason we had such a great year was because they listened, and they worked together. And tonight, we just didn’t do that. Some of the guys, they wanted to do their own thing. Or they did something that was completely not like them all year.”
Same goes for the cheerleaders.