- The Enterprise
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Freshman point guard Randall Broddie tied his Potomac High School basketball shorts moments before the Class 3A South Region title game, but he tugged the drawstring a bit too hard and ripped it.
“I was kind of nervous at the time,” Broddie said.
“I was like, ‘Are you OK?’” Potomac boys basketball coach Renard Johnson said. “He said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Are you really?’ He said, ‘No.’”
Broddie started the game anyway, sprinting into the locker room during first-quarter free throws to change shorts, and junior Dion Wiley helped finish it.
Wiley made a three-pointer on the left wing in the fourth quarter and high fived his coach while running back on defense. That was part of a 10-0 run that broke open a tight region final, as top-seeded Potomac pulled away from visiting Thomas Stone, the second seed, for a 76-70 victory Friday.
After winning its first region title since 2006, Potomac will play in the state semifinals Thursday at the University of Maryland, College’s Park’s Comcast Center.
“I get caught up sometimes and become a fan of his,” Johnson said of Wiley, who scored a game-high 24 points, “because he hits big shots when I really need them.”
After Wiley’s three-pointer — he also assisted two baskets and blocked a shot during the decisive run — he and Johnson collided during their hurried high five.
“I would have knocked him over because I was that pumped up,” Johnson said. “He’s too cool.”
Introducing Wiley during a net-cutting ceremony after the game, Johnson called the junior “Franchise.” Wiley helped Potomac finally overcome Thomas Stone.
The teams have met in three of the past four 3A South championships with Thomas Stone winning 87-57 in 2010 and 79-63 in 2012, but Wiley said this wasn’t the same Potomac.
“We have more grit,” Wiley said. “We wanted it more.”
Thomas Stone coach Dale Lamberth, whose team was 5-5 on Jan. 4, said this wasn’t the same Stone team, either.
“After the sting is gone, they’re going to appreciate what they did, because we weren’t supposed to be here,” Lamberth said.
Broddie scored four of his 22 points with his waistband folded over to hold up his shorts, helping Potomac take an early 8-3 lead. For more than three quarters, neither team led by more than five, and the game featured nine ties and 15 lead changes — before Potomac’s 10-0 run.
“We’re a team that’s jab, jab, jab and then knock you out,” Johnson said. “We’re not a knockout team. We’ve got to get cooking. We’ve got to get seasoned. We’ve got a lot of guys that handle the ball, so we have to get warmed up into it. While we’re doing it, we’re wearing teams down. So, I know we’re going to have a 10-0 run at some point.”
Stone (17-8 overall) led 17-16 after the first quarter, but Potomac (21-3) went to the locker room with a 35-33 lead. The game was tied at 53 heading to the fourth.
Michael Briscoe led the Cougars with 21 points, while Jourdan Lamberth added 14. Tony Doublin and Jasc Williams each contributed 11 points.
Stone reached the championship game after an 84-46 victory over seventh-seeded Northern in the quarterfinals and a 72-67 win over county rival Westlake, the third seed, in the semifinals.
Potomac 76, Thomas Stone 70
Stone 17 16 20 17
Potomac 16 19 18 23
Stone: Briscoe 21, Lamberth 14, Doublin 11, Williams 11, Battle 7, Gross 5, Toms 1
Potomac: Wiley 24, Broddie 22, Saunders 11, Winn 6, Smith 4, Ridley 4, Dickson 3, Newman 2