BERLIN- In the blink of an eye, Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity basketball team’s dream of a first-ever Bayside championship disappeared with a miraculous buzzer-beating three-pointer by Easton in the conference championship game on Wednesday, but the loss did little to dampen what has been a remarkable season for the Seahawks and the quest for bigger things continues.
The Seahawks beat Parkside, 69-41, in the regular season finale last Thursday and the victory coupled with a simultaneous loss by Bennett to Wicomico earned the Decatur boys their first-ever Bayside South title. Coach B.J. Johnson called his core players the “Magnificent Eight” for much of the season and the Seahawks lived up to the moniker by making school history and advancing to the Bayside Championship game against Bayside North champs Easton on Wednesday.
However, a seemingly impossible three-pointer at the buzzer by Easton’s Tay’Von Emory at the end of regulation tied the game at 54-54 and the Warriors ultimately won the game in overtime, 64-61, to take their third Bayside crown in four years. With just .7 seconds left in the game and Decatur leading 52-51, Randy DuPont made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 54-51.
The big bipartisan crowd along with the Decatur players sensed the Seahawks had just clinched their first Bayside championship before Emory’s heroics dashed the dream. With .3 seconds left, Emory launched a high, arcing shot toward the basket and the ball hit nothing but the bottom of the net to tie the game at 64-64 and send it into overtime.
In the overtime period, Easton lead 62-59 with 14 seconds left, but a slashing basket by Decatur’s Torrey Brittingham cut the lead to 62-61. Emory then made a pair of free throws to extend Easton’s lead to 64-61. Decatur got one more chance to match Easton’s regulation-ending three-pointer to tie the game again, but the shot was deflected and fell harmlessly to the court.