Eagles rally to show Elkton heart of champion -- again

February 25, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Elkton Christian boys basketball coach Bill Smith had his team look at Heritage Academy's 2008 Maryland Christian State Tournament championship banner -- hanging on the wall directly behind the visitor's bench -- before the fourth quarter.

Smith reminded the Crusaders of Heritage's 58-55 victory over them in last year's state final. And Elkton did everything it could to pay the Eagles back on Tuesday night.

It wasn't enough.

Cody Butts scored 20 points and drained a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to give Heritage the lead before Travis Barthalow sank two foul shots with 2.5 seconds left to give the Eagles a 53-52 victory over the Crusaders in a tremendous MCST Division I quarterfinal.

"This was more intense than even last year's game," Heritage coach Mike Kidd said.

And what a finish.

Elkton (18-7) led the entire fourth quarter until Andrew Harrell scored a tough basket inside and was fouled with 58.1 seconds left. Harrell made the foul shot to tie the game at 48.


Dom Bond made two foul shots with 34.8 seconds left to put Elkton up, 50-48. Heritage (22-4) brought the ball up and moved it to the left wing before almost losing it. Eventually, Butts was wide open with the ball at the top of the key and hit his fourth and final 3-pointer of the night to give the Eagles a 51-50 lead. Elkton called timeout with 15.3 seconds left.

"We just kept working it around and I got an opening," Butts said. "Coach tells us to take open shots, so I just took it."

"He has not been shooting well lately, so it was huge for him to come through like that," Kidd said.

After the timeout, Elkton inbounded to Dave Segure, who made a leaping catch near the sideline and was fouled by Butts with 14.2 seconds left. Segure, who led the Crusaders with 19 points, made both free throws for a 52-51 lead.

Heritage brought the ball upcourt and got the ball to Harrell on the right baseline. His shot with 7 seconds left sailed long, but Barthalow got the rebound, worked inside, went up strong and was fouled by David Long. Just as he did at the end of the first half, Barthalow calmly sank both free throws.

"Travis hurt his wrist the other day and he couldn't even shoot yesterday," Kidd said. "He's probably shooting 55 percent for the year, yet he makes two at the end of each half."

On Elkton's final possession, Bond was called for traveling after catching the inbounds pass.

Heritage was at a physical disadvantage inside -- Long had 13 points and scored four baskets on strong offensive putbacks as Elkton racked up a 40-23 rebounding edge -- but the Eagles had just nine turnovers to the Crusaders' 19, and Heritage made seven 3-pointers in the second half.

"Fortunately, we were able to hit a few 3s to stay in it," Kidd said. "We played our two best games back-to-back, and both games, we had the opportunity to fold. It's a 32-minute game and we kept battling."

Butts added six steals and five assists for Heritage. Barthalow and Harrell each had five rebounds.

* Morgan McIntire had 13 points -- including a 50-foot 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter -- and added four assists, and Brianna Dorsey had 10 points, seven rebounds and seven steals as Heritage's girls thumped shorthanded Greater Grace 56-21 in the MCST Division I quarterfinals.

The Eagles (25-2), who won the Division II title last year, took advantage of Greater Grace (18-7) missing two starters. Heritage forced 41 turnovers and made 20 of 71 shots compared to Greater Grace's 9 of 37.

"Defense was the key today," Eagles coach Ed Dorsey said. "We started out sluggish, not defensively but offensively. We missed a lot of layups, but our defense stepped up."

Callie Butts had eight points and Rebekah Clarke added seven points and eight rebounds for Heritage.

* Both Heritage teams will play in the MCST semifinals on Thursday at Anne Arundel Community College.

Heritage 53, Elkton Christian 52

Smith 5, Wolfe 7, Long 13, Segure 19, Emery 2, Bond 6. Totals 16 17-20 52.
Butts 20, Barthalow 7, Clark 6, Harrell 14, Hendershot 6. Totals 18 9-13 53.
Elkton 12 10 15 15 -- 52
Heritage 7 12 15 19 -- 53

3-point goals -- Elkton 3 (Smith, Wolfe, Segure), Heritage 8 (Butts 4, Clark, Harrell, Hendershot 2).

Broadfording 66, Greater Grace 57

J. Hadley 3, Lane 14, Watson 4, C. Hadley 15, Alderson 21. Totals 22 4-6 57.
Economos 10, Hirsch 5, Cradduck 9, Whitt 8, Miller 27, Colliflower 5, Wyand 2. Totals 21 23-34 66.
Greater Grace 9 10 12 26 -- 57
Broadfording 16 15 16 19 -- 66

3-point goals -- Greater Grace 9 (J. Hadley, Lane, C. Hadley 3, Alderson 4), Broadfording 1 (Whitt). Fouled out -- C. Hadley.

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