By Mario Diaz and Robert Eriksen
Hagerstown, Md. – Frederick trailed by nine with seven minutes left in regulation and outscored Allegany 36-24 to pull off the upset 108-105 in overtime of a Maryland Juco Men's Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game.
"Just mental and physical toughness, defensive toughness. Those are the three things we put on our board," said Frederick head coach Emonte Hill when asked about the game's turning point. "Understanding the game is played with ups and downs, highs and lows, and you have to stay locked in and continue to fight."
Dwayne Garner led the Cougars with 26 points (11-15), including a bucket with 1:47 remaining in overtime to put his team ahead. Frederick would not trail from that point.
Corey Barnett was second with 19 points (7-14) off the bench. He also grabbed seven rebounds.
Henry Okoye (6-8) and Ben Meredith (4-9) added 16 points each. Okoye also finished with nine rebounds.
David Garey chipped in with 15 points (5-15) and five assists.
A highly anticipated matchup, the game started with an early exchange of baskets.
It featured very consistent defense between both teams and very limited space for movement.
Allegany did a good job boxing out and getting good contested defensive rebounds, while Frederick was very dedicated on defense, transitioning missed Allegany shots into points.
Frederick's big moment of the first half was a 12-0 run from 14:50 to 12:18 that extended it lead to nine.
Allegany was generating turnovers midway through the first half, but could not capitalize.
Four straight turnovers by the Cougars turned into six points for the Skipjack's Demarcus Demonia.
Demonia had a game-high 42 points on 13-17 shooting. He collected 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
Frederick stayed tough and went on an 8-0 run from 7:37 to 6:33 to give them a comfortable lead again.
Garner finished the first half with 17 of his 26 points.
Frederick also dominated the paint, outscoring Allegany 28-16, while shooting 51.4% from the field to take a 49-37 lead into halftime.
The Trojans responded quickly in the second half. Antoine Lewis' fifth three of the day trimmed the Cougars' lead to 52-48 four minutes out of the break.
Allegany used good defensive play and an 18-5 run to tie the game at 54 with 15 minutes to play in regulation.
Moments later Demonia hit his sixth shot of the day to put the Trojans in front.
The Cougars went on a 14-3 run to pull within one at 84-83.
Demonia tied the score at 95 with a three-pointer and only nine seconds to play in regulation.
Saivon Word got a huge turnover off the inbound, but Allegany could not convert, as they headed into overtime tied at 95.
The extra frame was as close as the first two halves.
Frederick sank two huge free throws with eight seconds left to put the Trojans ahead 108-105.
The Trojans move on to tomorrow's semifinal round and will face Harford. That game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. tip.