Harris's 23 Pts. Not Enough
Tuesday night's clash between the Mt. Vernon Majors and host J.E.B. Stuart High School see-sawed back in forth for four quarters and a full overtime before the Majors finally distanced themselves to claim the hotly contested battle, 72-66.
The knockout blow came at the start of the second overtime when Mt. Vernon's Robert Coleman stole the ball at midcourt, drove to the hoop and threw down a ferocious one handed jam over a Stuart defender to send an already raucous road contingent of Mt. Vernon supporters into a frenzy. The Majors used the momentum to pull away in the second, four-minute overtime period, scoring the next six points after the dunk.
The Mt. Vernon (8-5, 4-1 National District) run in the second overtime ended what had been a back and forth affair since the start of the second half. The lead changed 11 times and the teams knotted the score seven times from the third quarter on, including 53-53 to end regulation.
Trailing by eight points after a three-point play by Mt. Vernon's Brian Green with 5:34 minutes to go, the Raiders (8-5, 2-2) rallied. Sophomore Antonio Harris, who led the Raiders with 23 points, closed the gap with a free throw, a three pointer and a layup over the next minute and a half. The 6-0 personal run by Harris brought the Raiders within two points and brought the home crowd to their feet. The bleacher seats their bottoms had occupied remained vacant the rest of the evening, as the two teams battled for the remaining four minutes of regulation and both four-minute overtime periods.
A pair of layups by junior Raymond Watson (12 points) tied the score at 51 and then gave the Raiders a 53-51 advantage with 48 seconds remaining. The Majors' Marquel De Lancey tied the game on the ensuing possesion, tipping in a missed three-pointer. With the final possession of the game, Stuart turned to Harris who was wide open for a three-pointer in the corner but it missed off the rim and a followup attempt by Domininique Kosh (12 points) refused to fall.
The Majors again had to rally to remain in the game in the first overtime. After a layup by Stuart's William Ford — two of his 10 points on the night — gave the Raiders a two-point advantage, 59-57, De Lancey dished to sophomore Skylar Jones for the tying layup with eight seconds left. Stuart had a chance to win however, but a put-back attempt by Mahamed Ibrahim rattled around every part of the rim before bouncing out.
Jones led the Majors with 20 points, while Coleman added 14, though none bigger than his second-overtime dunk.
Stuart was coming off a 72-60 win over Fairfax on Jan. 11. The Raiders next face National District leader Yorktown on the road Friday, Jan. 18.