John Woldu hit the back end of two foul shots with one second left to give the H.B. Beal Raiders a razor-thin 49-48 victory over Mother Teresa Titans and the bronze medal at the provincial boys’ basketball tournament at York University on March 5.
It was a tough way to end a successful season run for the Titans who finished ranked No. 2 in the Toronto Star’s Top 10, with a 33-9 record.
“I wanted to end the season with a win for Romaine because this was his last year, but I can at least say that we played hard,” said Maurice Walker, whose sharp shooting and blocking helped keep the Titans alive in the fourth quarter.
Walker finished with 22 points.
Trailing by one, Titans’ Romaine Lawrence drew a foul with 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter, sending him to the foul line for two shots. After making the first shot and missing the second, the game was at a 48-48 stalemate.
As the clock wound down, Beal’s John Woldu was fouled by Titans’ guard Akeem Isaac-Phillips, sending him to the foul line shooting two. The foul had come off an inbound pass following a traveling call on Mother Teresa.
Woldu was on his way to an easy shot for the winner when Isaac-Phillips stepped in to make him earn it.
The Beal guard missed his first attempt, but made his second, giving his team a narrow victory.
“A couple of key turnovers toward the end of the game killed us,” Walker said.
Walker started the third quarter strong making several drives in the paint and drawing fouls in the process. The Titans, however, were not rebounding in their end, allowing for the Raiders to pick up several points off offensive rebounds.
Points in the paint were scarce for the Titans in the first half as the Raiders defence shut them down in the paint, forcing them to shoot from the outside.
Although the Titans led for most of the half, a series of fouls and traveling calls against Mother Teresa in the final two minutes in the quarter gave Beal a 22-28 lead at halftime.
The game marks the end of a strong season for the Titans that saw them finish the league play with a perfect 8-0 mark, losing the TDCAA championship game to Henry Carr by 3 points.