FREDERICK, MD. - Two clutch shots. One defensive stand. Two overtimes.
Yes, Lycoming's trip down to Hood College wasn't easy. But the Warriors are in the playoffs after a double overtime 97-95 win.
It won't be called pretty. It certainly won't be referred to as effortless. But the win, which featured two buzzer-beating 3-pointers to force overtime and double overtime, gave Lycoming (16-9, 9-9 CC) some much needed confidence.
Now, the third-seeded Warriors will set their sights on a third chance to beat second-seeded Albright in a Commonwealth Conference playoff game slated for Wednesday night in Reading.
No scene embodied the last night's game better than a hobbled Jerald Williams lying on the floor after a collision on Hood's offensive end. Although Williams was awarded two fouls shots, he stayed on the ground in obvious pain.
But, in a display only a senior staring down what could possibly be his final game can make, Williams shook off the pain, refused to be subbed, and connected on the second of two attempts from the line to set the final score.
"I bruised my hip in our last game and it's been hurting ever since," Williams said. "We wanted to make the playoffs so bad. It's why we fought so hard and finally won in the second overtime."
"Jerald has been trying to overcome a hip injury from the last game. He's wearing a pad on it and has been trying to overcome it," Lycoming coach Guy Rancourt said. "His toughness and unwillingness to settle for a loss is just fantastic."
Lycoming certainly fought hard, but it was its ability to shake off desperate situations that proved to be the difference.
With just 7.2 seconds left in regulation, Lycoming called a timeout down 70-67. Once back out on the court, time seemed to melt off the clock as the Warriors scrambled to find a shot. And with time running out, Patrick Dougher unloaded an NBA-range 3-pointer to knot the score at 70 apiece.
"Pat just did what he does best," Williams said. "We knew he was going to make it."
"We wanted Anthony (Martin) to have the shot," Dougher said. "Coach said if anyone collapsed down to just toss it back to me. He told me to be ready to shoot it."
Lycoming then turned around and scored the first basket of overtime, but fell apart defensively as Hood (14-11, 8-10 CC) ripped off a 10-0 run. Cameron Cook connected on two long 3-pointers over the stretch, which appeared to bury Lycoming's chances of a second consecutive playoff appearance.
Cook was a constant thorn in the sides of the Warriors. He converted six of his nine 3-point attempts and finished with a team-high 27 points.
The game-high, though, belonged to Martin, who posted 35 points, which included a five-point surge at the end of the first overtime. Martin also banked in a 3-pointer with less then 10 seconds left to force the second overtime.
"I'm a terrible three-point shooter, but you have to concentrate in those situations, so I put it up," Martin said. "Pat (Dougher) said he was going to set the flat screen. I put it up and it happened to go in."
The self-proclaimed "terrible 3-point shooter" was anything but when the game mattered most. Martin was a perfect 11 for 11 on free throw attempts, 11 of 19 from the field, and 2 of 3 on 3-point attempts.
"It's win or go home," Martin said. "We are too talented of a team to not make the playoffs. That would have haunted me for a long time. I just tried to put it all on the line and get us the win."
William Wingate (14 points, 5 boards) completed a 3-point play as he made a layup and converted a free throw to put Lycoming up 92-91 at the start of the second overtime. Both teams then exchanged baskets before Dougher was grabbed and sent to the line with 35 seconds left. Dougher made both attempts from the line to give Lycoming a 96-95 edge.
"We're very resilient," Dougher said. "We lost a couple overtime games early in the season, but now we've proved we can just keep fighting through it. We'll always keep trying to win."
And no player manifested that statement more than Williams as he flew to a loose ball, despite the nagging injury to his hip.
The pain, and pressure, Williams faced was immense. But he proved it was something he could overcome as he hit the second of two free throws to give Lycoming a two-point advantage.
"Even though they were at home the pressure was on them," Williams said. "My leg was hurt so I couldn't get the bend I wanted, but I knew I had to make one to at least get it to one possession."
The Warriors then turned to their defense, knowing one stop would give them the playoff berth. Hood's final attempt was blocked inside the paint.
Lycoming received quality minutes from just about every player on the roster.
Michael Rudy, who blocked five shots in the game, finished with 17 points. Chris Foreman buried three clutch triples en route to finishing with 11 points. Wingate opened the second overtime with a 3point play and Williams added eight assists and four steals.
"It means a lot to the whole team," Williams said. "We wanted to make the playoffs bad and we fought until the end."
"The biggest thing today was this being a playoff environment," Rancourt said. "It gives us a snapshot of what we are going to face Wednesday."
LYCOMING (16-9, 10-8 CC)
Anthony Martin 11-19 11-11 35; Michael Rudy 8-15 1-2 17; William Wingate 5-8 4-4 14; Patrick Dougher 3-6 2-2 11; Chris Foreman 4-11 0-0 11; Rob Pillow IV 1-4 0-0 3; Jerald Williams 1-2 1-4 3; John Monkam 1-4 1-2 3; Kevin Anthony 0-1 0-0 0; John Ryan Wolff 0-0 0-0 0; Justin Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-70 20-25 97.
HOOD (14-11, 8-10 CC)
Cameron Cook 8-14 5-6 27; Reggie Daniels 7-9 2-2 16; Matt Galloway 6-16 0-0 15; Justin Bowens 4-9 5-6 14; Justin Stone 4-12 3-6 12; Trey Quinn 3-8 1-6 7; Jeremy Veres 2-4 0-0 4; Terell Buyck 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 34-74 16-26 95.
Halftime - Hood 38-35. 3-point goals--Lycoming 9-23 (Foreman 3-9; Dougher 3-5; Martin 2-3; Pillow IV 1-4; Rudy 0-2), Hood 11-23 (Cook 6-9; Galloway 3-9; Bowens 1-2; Stone 1-1; Buyck 0-1; Daniels 0-1). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Lycoming 37 (Rudy 7; Williams 7), Hood 46 (Stone 13). Assists--Lycoming 19 (Williams 8), Hood 19 (Quinn 11). Total fouls--Lycoming 24, Hood 18. Technical fouls--Bowens. A-936