No. 6 Boys’ Latin stuns McDonogh with late comeback; Locke becomes the Eagles’ all-time leading scorer in the loss
by Joe DiBlasi
McDonogh senior basketball star Noah Locke made history at Boys’ Latin, Tuesday night, as the University of Florida recruit poured in 21 points to surpass his brother Kayel and become the Eagles’ all-time leading scorer.
However, Locke and his McDonogh teammates, despite leading most of the way in this MIAA A Conference battle, suffered a fatal blow at the hands of a junior varsity call-up, as BL sophomore Jake Nichols broke free in the lane, took a feed from Laker senior star Jaylin Andrews, and converted the lay-in at the buzzer, lifting Boys’ Latin to a stunning, 48-46, victory.
After BL got a defensive stop, Andrews brought the ball up court with just three seconds to go in regulation. He was looking for an opening to trigger a shot when he spotted Nichols cutting free in the lane. He fed the ball to the young 6-foot-5 forward for the winner.
“I came down the court and I thought I had more time on the clock and I’d be able to pull up,” said Andrews, who was limited to 13 points in the game. “I saw him (Nichols) cutting, and he’s great at finishing layups and great at finishing with contact, so I’m going to hit him and I’m going to give him a chance.
“He did a great cut. That’s a veteran cut for a new guy on the team.”
Playing without offensive spark Cameron Spencer, who was ill with the flu, BL coach Cliff Reeves turned to the “new guy” to makeup for some of the production and the sophomore chipped in with nine points, none larger than the final two.
“I was thinking just make the layup,” said Nichols. “If you make it, it’s something you dream about.”
It was a unique setting throughout the night as Locke dueled with Andrews, who recently became BL’s all-time leading scorer, on both ends of the floor.
Outside of few seconds late in the third quarter, McDonogh led the entire way, leading by 11 at the half and as many as seven in the fourth quarter. The Lakers, however, hung around and made a charge, led by its defense, over the final three minutes to claim the win.
“I can’t say enough about our team defense,” said Boys’ Latin coach Cliff Rees. “It takes a team to stop Noah, and all the guys made all the right rotations.”
Locke came into the game needing just nine points to surpass the 1,938 scored by his brother, who now plays professionally in Finland, during his McDonogh career. The record tying and setting points came one at a time at the free throw line, in the second quarter. Locke now has 1,951 career points and will most certainly go over 2,000 for his career.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, Locke said, “We came together as a team. We’ve got to stay composed the whole game (to win).”
Andrews praised Locke.
“Noah Locke is a great shooter and a great player. My teammates helped me guard him.”
On the comeback win Andrews said, “Coach told us at halftime that we needed heart and we came out in the second half and showed heart.”
It was the second time in the last week that Boys’ Latin had defeated McDonogh and the Eagles (12-12 overall, 6-9 MIAA A) have now lost seven straight, all in MIAA play. The Eagles, however, are still in solid playoff position and they are in third place in the Black Division of the A Conference where the top four teams qualify for the post-season.
BL (20-5 overall, 9-4 MIAA A) is virtually assured second place in the Black Division.
Dogan Hardway added 10 points for Boys’ Latin, while Curtis Jacobs netted 13 for McDonogh.
NO. 6 BOYS’ LATIN 48, MCDONOGH 46
MCD 18 19 9 9 — 46
BL 13 13 7 14 — 48
MCDONOGH: Locke 21, Green. 3, Brown 4, Johnson 2, Jacobs 13, Michaelson 3.
BOYS’ LATIN: Lewis 6, Watts 5, Hardway 10, Grace 3 Andrews 13, Bates 2, Nichols 9.