Carter’s late hoop helps the Eagles take an overtime thriller in Marriottsville; No. 19 ICS remains unbeaten

by Nelson Coffin

With Khilel Williams and Bryce Collier having fouled out, Indian Creek’s 19th-ranked boys’ basketball team was minus two starters for the critical moments of Friday night’s tussle at Chapelgate Christian Academy in Marriottsville.

Their absence meant that the the remaining starters, Jordan Lewis, Khyion Washington and Malik McKinney, would have to come through in order for the Eagles to run their record to 11-0 and remain atop the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference standings with a perfect 6-0 mark.

A little help from sophomore reserve guard Sam Carter also made that happen as coach Josh Pratt’s club gutted out a 64-61 overtime victory over the Yellow Jackets, who saw an eight game winning streak come to an end as they fell to 11-7 overall and 2-4 in league play.

McKinney, Indian Creek’s leading scorer with a 21.3 average, converted a free throw in the final seconds of regulation and then iced the game with five seconds to go in OT by swishing a pair of shots from the charity stripe.

Sam Carter scored just three points, but with his team in foul trouble, he came off the bench to hit a clutch driving layup that put Indian Creek ahead for good in its overtime battle with Chapelgate Christian.

Carter also shined in his short stint, most notably when he put his team on top for good with 23 seconds remaining in overtime with a dazzling drive through the paint on his only field goal attempt of the game.

“I felt like we were under pressure,” Carter said. “But when I saw a lane to the hoop, I thought I had to take it or else I would have been passing up an opportunity to score.”

McKinney said that his free throw makes were redemption for him.

“I was in the same position last year (against Chapelgate) and I missed them both,” the senior said. “I knew I couldn’t do the same thing again.”

Lewis’ contribution in the final three minutes was a clutch three-pointer to give his team a 56-55 advantage moments before he finished a fast break to widen the margin. Washington chipped in with a drive as well to make it 60-55 with just over two minutes to go.

That’s when the Cameron Heard went to work for Chapelgate, penetrating for one bucket and then getting a put-back when Odell Dickerson missed a free throw.

Brandon Wise completed the 6-0 run on a drive that put Chapelgate in the lead, 61-60, with 52 seconds left.

But those would be the last points the Yellow Jackets would score, even though Heard found a teammate for an open look at a three-pointer as the clock ran out.

All in all, it took a total team effort for the Eagles to beat Chapelgate for what the McKinney and Carter said was the first time in school history.

And while Chapelgate coach Frick Frierson could not confirm the rivalry has been quite that lopsided, he did admit that the Yellow Jackets have dominated the Eagles during his tenure at the Howard County school.

It appeared that might happen again when the Yellow Jackets went on a 14-0 run to open the third quarter behind a Jalen Morant scoop, two three-pointers by Blake Hatcher, a Dickerson up-and-under, a Morant three-ball and a Heard free throw to turn a 30-23 deficit to a 37-30 cushion.

“Our message at halftime was that we had 12 turnovers,” Frierson said. “So we needed to execute and trust the system, and we did that. We ran our stuff really well and jumped into the press well.”

Still, the Eagles fought back, although it took them until the middle of the final period to draw even and the lead see-sawed the rest of the way until Carter and McKinney prevailed when they were needed most.

“We’ve been preaching all year that there are going to be times when we get in foul trouble or guys are injured,” said Pratt, the veteran coach who once won MIAA A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League titles with now defunct Towson Catholic in addition to a successful tenure with the St. Vincent Pallotti girls team. “What Sam did tonight was great.”

ICS 15 15 7 14 14— 64
CGA 16 7 20 8 10— 61
INDIAN CREEK SCHOOL: Khilel Williams 13, Malik McKinney 12, Jordan Lewis 11, Bryce Collier 9, Cole Washington 8, Evan Rashes 5, Khyion Washington 3, Sam Carter 3. TOTALS: 22 13-23 64.
CHAPELGATE CHRISTIAN: Odell Dickerson 14, Cameron Heard 12, Brandon Wise 12, Blake Hatcher 11, Jalen Morant 8, Bo Wesley 4. TOTALS: 21 12-23 61.