In roughly a four-minute span of game play, the Bowie High School boys basketball team experienced the upset that was, then wasn't, then was again en route to a 60-55 overtime victory against previously undefeated and top-ranked Eleanor Roosevelt in Greenbelt Friday night.
Trailing, 51-49, with four seconds left in regulation, Bulldogs swingman Dejuan Smith sank a 3-point attempt with Roosevelt's Trevor Evans draped all over him to secure what looked like a likely win for the Bulldogs, especially after Bowie's Michael Giles stole the ensuing inbound pass and was fouled with three seconds left.
“My teammates set good screens and they just tried to get me the ball and it went in,” Smtih said. “It's a big game. We were fighting so hard because we know the atmosphere in here is crazy. We tried to not let the crowd get to us and play hard. We just fought hard to the end.”
Bowie was unable to inbound the ball, however, giving Roosevelt new life. The Raiders took timeout and called for a backdoor screen to an ally-oop to Malachi Alexander, who missed his initial field goal but who was fouled attempting a stick back with 0.4 seconds remaining. Alexander sank the first one to tie the game at 51 but failed on the second attempt to forge overtime.
Bowie (9-4, 6-4 4A League) regrouped to take 56-54 lead on a layup by Develle Phillips on a pass from Jalen Robinson late in overtime and then won the game with four straight free throws by Smith and Giles plus a late defensive stop to pull out the victory on Roosevelt's home court.
“All this win really means is that we're capable of playing with the better teams in the league,” Bulldogs coach Cedric Holbrook said. “I've been saying that for a while; just every time we've played against an upper echelon team, we've lost except for Suitland, but today was probably the first time we played an upper echelon team at full strength, which puts us in a different position. They're learning how to win basketball games.”
Much like the final minutes of the game, Friday's contest went back and forth with Roosevelt scoring 20 first quarter points for a six-point lead but Bowie tied the score at halftime with a 11-7 run with its 1-2-2 halfcourt defense slowing the Raiders to seven second quarter points.
Roosevelt (13-1, 9-1) revved up the offense again in the third quarter behind the shooting of Evans, who had a pair of 3-pointers and nine points in the quarter, and a high-flying slam dunk by Tiwian Kendley for a 41-31 lead before two quick baskets by Giles made the game more manageable, 41-35, going into the final quarter.
The Raiders led by as many as eight points, 50-42, on a 3-pointer by Alexander with 3:16 remaining but an 8-1 run by Bowie that involved some costly turnovers by Roosevelt while working the clock eventually forged the late 52-51 advantage.
“A couple of bad turnovers, a couple of missed layups, we didn't make plays down the stretch,” Roosevelt coach Brendan O'Connell said. “I felt like we played a great second half to get us into that position; we just didn't close it out tonight. We had periods where we struggled to score; unfortunately, the overtime period was one of those times.”
The Raiders scored just three points in the extra period.
Bowie 60, Eleanor Roosevelt 55 (OT)
Bowie 14 13 8 17 8 — 60
Eleanor Roosevelt 20 7 14 11 3 — 55
Bowie (9-4, 6-4): Dejuan Smith 18, Michael Giles 15, Jalen Robinson 9, Cory Washington 8, Jared Gray 7, Develle Phillips 2.
Eleanor Roosevelt (13-1, 9-1): Tiwian Kendley 13, Trevor Evans 15, Lerenzo Foote 4, Emmanuel Matey 2, Malachi Alexander 16, Jesse Ason 5.