"I eyed up the shot the whole time," said Santell. "I was feelin' it. It's the highlight of my career. The momentum of the game, being the tournament and to win the game. We came back with some guts tonight."
Santell had 11 first-half points and Rico Provitt had eight of his 10 points in the second quarter as South led by as many as nine points.
A bevy of South turnovers - eight in the first four minutes of the third period - allowed FSK to take a 31-27 lead before Santell, Cory Shank and Jason Chase put the Rebels back on top 39-37 by the end of the quarter.
"We got a little lazy on defense and sloppy with the ball," said South coach Kevin Naylor of the third-period lapse.
Things appeared bleak when FSK took a 54-52 lead with 1:55 remaining by converting on two turnovers.
Pierre hit a 3-pointer from the deep corner following a time out and Tyree Jones hit a free throw. Irv Jeffries tied it for FSK at 56 on a jumper.
Naylor yelled 'no' as Pierre let go of his shot.
"I wondered what he was doing but it worked out," said Naylor, who got nine points in the final quarter from Pierre. "(Pierre) responded. He wasn't happy he got pulled earlier."
Santell led South with 18 points and Pierre had 11.
"We had two good days of practice," said Naylor. "We got some senior leadership tonight. "Tyree and Andre are in there and do a lot of the dirty work."
Pierre had eight rebounds and Jones added seven as South held a 36-30 advantage on the boards. The Rebels were fortunate their foul shooting was not a decisive issue, hitting only 10 of 23.
The victory was South's first since Feb. 5 when it stood 9-7.
- The season of major improvement came to an end for the South girls against a Liberty team that looked more polished than one with eight losses.
South (7-16) trailed only 8-6 very early with the help of a Luna Jefferson 3-pointer before Liberty's Shelby Nemecek went to work.
The 6-footer scored 10 of Liberty's next 15 points bridging the second period to give the Lions (14-8) a 27-16 lead. To seal the deal, after South's Alex Silva hit a deuce, Liberty finished off with a 7-0 run and 36-18 lead.
"Liberty shot very well but our defense left too many openings, too many gaps and we weren't hitting anything," said South coach Amy Schmuck.
By the half, Liberty had shot nearly 50 percent while South was hitting 21 percent.
"They had a lot of shooters and we just couldn't match up with them," said Schmuck. "We didn't get any second chance shots."
Silva ended with 16 points and Jefferson had 12 for the Rebels, who hit 17 of 64 shots for 27 percent.
Schmuck was happy with the overall effort in which the Rebels were guilty of a season-low 14 turnovers.
"We gained alot of experience, the pressure of a tournament game and a lot of learning on what it takes to get to the next level," said Schmuck.
Nemecek led Liberty with 20 points and Cheyenne Skidmore added 16.
South Hagerstown 62, Francis Scott Key 56
FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (2-19)
Jeffries 13, Lee 11, Zimmerman 3, Blanchette 12, Koshitony 2, Miller 15. Totals 22 9-12 56.
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (10-13)
Santell 18, Shank 5, Bucher 2, Jones 5, Pierre 11, Provitt 10, Baymon 1, Chase 10. Totals 24 10-23 62.
FSK 14 8 15 19 - 56
South 16 11 12 23 - 62
3-point goals - FSK 3 (Jeffries, Lee, Blanchette); South 4 (Santell 2, Pierre, Chase).
Liberty 71, South Hagerstown 44
Cross 2, Skidmore 16, M. McCormick 12, Nemecek 20, Karr 9, Tomlin 2, Marlatt 6, K. McCormick 4. Totals 28 12-14 71.
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (7-16)
Jefferson 12, Thornton 3, Stahl 4, Silva 16, Freeman 1, Forsythe 8. Totals 17 5-11 44.
Liberty 18 18 16 19 - 71
South 9 9 13 13 - 44
3-point goals - Liberty 3 (Karr 3); South 5 (Jefferson, Silva, Forsythe 2, Thornton). Technical foul - Liberty bench.