QO Falls Short in OT to Perry Hall 59-56 in MPSSAA 4A Championship (PHOTOS)
College Park, MD Saturday March 11: Quince Orchard took it all the way to the end Saturday night with a lot of grit and fight. This team is made up of young men who are fierce competitors, determined defenders, accomplished ball handlers and scorers. The outcome of the game in overtime was certainly a huge disappointment to the team and its coaches. The game was continually in doubt as a result of how hard those young men played against a much bigger Perry Hall squad that pounded the ball inside. Perry Hall’s front court were 6’9” and 6’8” tall. The Gator’s scored 38 of their 59 points from inside the paint.
As the first half ended Perry Hall was up 24-17, by the time the 3rd quarter ends the Gator’s lead was 40-37 and they know things have changed as the momentum swung to the Cougars. However, Perry Hall goes on a 7 – 0 run to begin the fourth quarter as Coach Foringer calls timeout with 6:35 remaining in the game.
This is where mental toughness and all the hard work of a season brings out the best in a determined team like the Cougars. Shots for Quince Orchard start to fall, the Cougar defense made stops and Perry Hall starts turning over the ball and with 2:48 to play it’s tied at 46-46.
The score remains knotted until #4 Matt Kelly (who led all scores with 22 points) makes two free throws and the score is 48-46 with 29 seconds to play. The Cougar defense did not allow a decent look at the basket and Perry Hall calls time out with 13.7 to play in regulation. The Gators did not score however there is time to get the ball up the floor for Quince Orchard to get the shot to win. Matt Kelly is triple teamed as time runs out and this observer recognizes that calling a foul at this point in the game is highly unlikely. The championship game goes to overtime 48-48.
The Cougars in overtime played their hearts out and the game was in doubt even in the final seconds of the final QO possession, but it was not to be. No single event in a hard fought competitive close game like this one is ever the reason for a loss. The Cougars played hard and left everything out on the court and soon will reflect on what an amazing season they had. Congratulations to Coach Paul Foringer and his staff and to the young men of the Quince Orchard basketball team for a great season.
On a personal note…I had the good fortune to be witness to these state championship games, thanks to MCM and sports photographer Phil Fabrizio, who was unable to attend the playoff rounds.
Let me add this sidebar note to put the championship round games into perspective; I reconnected with a referee from my earlier career, who in my opinion is by far the best referee I ever saw call a basketball game, his name is Bill Dixon. Bill was on hand to call the championship games in past years. I asked him on Saturday before the final game, “how long have you been doing this state tournament”, and he said “38 years.” I then asked, “have you ever seen as upset like the one Thursday when Quince Orchard beat #1 ranked Wise?”
His reply was, “there has not been a bigger upset in tournament history ever.” There you have it – it may not be much solace for QO but it was indeed a memorable run for this championship team.
Photos to Follow:
2017 © Daryl Schultz