Bullis survives late rally to claim IAC
BULLIS 62, G’TOWN PREP 60
While the ball hung in the air, Vado Morse’s thoughts swung back and forth. Yes, that shot — Anthony Scafide’s one-handed, sidearm heave at the buzzer — is falling. The spin looks good, the arc is true, and No. 18 Georgetown Prep will have erased a 15-point second-half deficit to stun Morse’s Bullis Bulldogs in the Interstate Athletic Conference title game.
But no, Morse thought. It can’t. Scafide wasn’t even looking at the rim when he slung the ball, but it sailed near the hoop anyway.
“I thought he made it,” Morse said. “I was about to cry.”
It caught the left side of the rim, rolled around and finally spilled out, just like the Bullis fans who sprung from their seats and onto the court. Bullis held on for a 62-60 win over the Little Hoyas on Saturday night in Potomac.
The Bulldogs split the regular season title with the Little Hoyas. They won the tournament crown outright in an instant classic.
“It’s a surreal feeling,” senior forward Chyree Walker said.
Bullis (19-6) vaulted ahead in the second quarter on a 16-0 run. Sophomore guard Phillip Smith came off the bench hot and had 11 points in the period, including eight straight in one stretch that featured a three-pointer, a layup in traffic and another triple.
“The shot felt good today,” he said, “but we’ve been working all year for this.
The Bulldogs came from three points down to take a 35-22 lead. The margin ballooned to 15 in the fourth quarter on an acrobatic reverse layup from Morse, who led the team with 16 points.
But then the Little Hoyas (20-6) made a run.
“We knew they were going to make a push the whole game,” Bullis junior guard Lincoln Yeutter said.
The question was when. Prep forced Bullis Coach Bruce Kelley into an early timeout after a seven-point spree in the first quarter.
“No one needed to be the hero,” Morse said. “Stick to the game plan and execute.”
That early push wasn’t it, though. The Little Hoyas outscored Bullis 19-6 in the game’s final six minutes. Junior guard Mezie Offurum sank a pair of free throws with 24 seconds left to tie the game. Kelley put the ball in Morse’s hands to take a potential game-winner, but his threepointer rimmed out.
Morse jousted for the rebound with junior Jared Bynum — a middle school teammate and Morse’s self-described best friend — and came up with the ball while Bynum (game-high 26 points) committed his fifth foul.
Two seconds remained. Morse made the first free throw, and Kelley told him to miss the second on purpose so time would expire.
“But he’s never purposefully missed a free throw in his life,” Kelley said.
Instead the second shot banked in, and Prep inbounded with a chance to tie or win the game. But Scafide got spun around at midcourt and chucked a prayer from 50 feet away that just missed and triggered the Bulldogs’ celebration.
TOP: Bullis won the IAC tournament championship after sharing the regular season title with Georgetown Prep. ABOVE: Senior Chyree Walker, left, helped Bullis take a 15point lead in the fourth quarter.