in a contest that was much closer than the final score would indicate, the Thomas Stone High School boys basketball team ended Wednesday’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division game with visiting Lackey on a 10-1 run to pull away to a 58-49 victory.
Thomas Stone (14-5, 7-2 SMAC Potomac) and Lackey were tied at 48 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining, marking the third tie of the fourth quarter and seventh deadlock of the second half. The Chargers (10-10, 4-6) had only trailed by three points at the end of the first quarter and by just two points at the end of the second and third quarters.
‘I thought we came out with very little energy early,” Stone head coach Dale Lamberth said. “We really didn’t start to pick up the intensity until the last three minutes. We did a much better job running our plays and getting the ball inside. I thought we settled for too many jump shots in the first three quarters, so we basically told them no more jump shots.”
Lackey’s Darran Johnson scored inside to tie the game at 48 and the prospects of overtime loomed. Through the first 28 minutes of play, neither team had led by more than four points and Johnson’s bucket had onlookers perhaps expecting more deadlocks.
But the last 200 seconds of play belonged to Stone. Jacory Wilkes scored on consecutive possessions inside, then Leonardo Wilson added another layup to make it 54-48. Lackey’s connected on one of two free throws with 39.4 seconds remaining to end the Cougars’ brief 6-0 run.
It also proved to be the final point of the night for the Chargers as Wilkes scored inside and Jerrell McCready added a pair of free throws for the final margin. Wilkes led the Cougars with 20 points, while McCready had 13 and Wilson chipped in 11.
“The turnovers definitely hurt us down the stretch,” said Lackey head coach Sean Fox, whose team is scheduled to be at St. Charles at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday then close out the regular season slate next Friday at home against McDonough. “Stone also did a much better job of getting the ball inside. But we were right in this. We have played tough against the best teams in our league.”
Stone owned a 28-26 lead at the intermission as the Cougars connected on 6 of 7 free throws from the foul line in the first half, while the Chargers were just 1 of 7. Consecutive buckets by Eric Rowland gave Lackey a brief lead in the third quarter, one in which there were four ties and four lead changes and ended with the hosts up 44-42 as Wilson scored the last seven points for the Cougars.
Lackey led by as many as three points on two occasions in the first quarter, but Stone rallied for an 18-15 lead as Stone’s Curtis King and Lackey’s Johnson each scored eight points in the opener. Johnson led the Chargers with 15 points on the night, while Rowland had 10.
A 7-0 run during the middle stages of the second quarter gave Lackey a 24-20 lead, its biggest of the night. Stone countered with a 7-0 run of its own and took a 28-26 lead into the locker room at the break. Late in the fourth quarter, Lackey struggled from the floor and the Cougars pulled away for the win courtesy of an emphatic 10-1 run.
Stone is scheduled to host La Plata at 7 tonight in the finale of a boys and girls varsity doubleheader.
Chesley, Spartans top Rams
St. Charles High School senior Tremaine Chesley became the program’s all-time leading scorer on his first bucket of the night, surpassing the previous record of 647 held by Anthony Bowman, in Wednesday night’s 80-47 victory over McDonough in a SMAC Potomac Division contest.
The Spartans (18-1, 9-0) won their 13th straight game and look to continue the winning streak tonight when the team heads to Westlake for a 6:30 contest.