When a three-point attempt to tie the game clanged off the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded to end the game, the Dulaney Lions had—for the second time this season—narrowly defeated the Hereford Bulls. Despite poor shooting and another low-scoring second half, the Lions left Hereford with a 46-43 victory, their first in four games.
The last-second shot felt eerily similar to the teams’ contest earlier in the season, which ended in a 59-57 Dulaney victory after Kyle Williams blocked a three-point attempt in the closing seconds.
But unlike the previous meeting, Williams and senior forward Justin Williams didn’t take over the game. The two combined for 19 points Tuesday night, 14 of which came from Williams. That point total was 16 points less than their outing in early January.
Both teams looked flat, especially in the second half, and Dulaney head coach Matt Lochte said he was surprised by his team’s performance after a strong practice the previous day.
“The guys, on our end, kind of never got off the bus,” Lochte said. “I really expected us to come out and score a little better, and we didn’t. But you know what, I’ll take it. We got a win. … Lord knows we needed a win.”
After taking a 30-24 lead into halftime, the Lions turned in their second-straight poor third quarter performance. Last Friday against Kenwood, Dulaney scored only five points in the period. Tuesday night went even worse.
Dulaney scored only three points, coming off a shot from beyond the arc by senior Nick Libertini. And even though Dulaney couldn’t sink a shot, the Bulls couldn’t either, mustering nine points to even the score at 33.
The Lions started the fourth quarter with more confidence, as Will Darley sunk a three-pointer 13 seconds into the period to match the previous quarter’s output. Kyle Williams hit a layup just over 30 seconds later to give Dulaney a five-point lead.
Hereford fought back and took a 43-42 lead with 51.3 seconds left. With the crowd as loud as it had been all game, sophomore Gavan Scanlan answered with a running jumper from the foul line to regain the lead, 44-43, with 35 seconds remaining. Darley hit two free throws before Hereford’s final possession ended in the miss.
“I think we’re fortunate to get out of here with a win,” Lochte said. “They got an open look for the tie and that kid’s a great shooter… He didn’t make the shot. Next time he will.”