T.C. Williams dodged a bullet, defeating Annandale 67-66 on the road after Ryan Yates 14-foot jumper went in with 4.2 seconds remaining in the January 26 contest.
With the win, T.C kept their amazing Patriot District winning streak intact. The Titans have now won 62 consecutive games (regular season and post-season) dating back to the 2004-2005 season.
The Titans trailed 66-65 with 1:20 remaining, after Annandales DAngelo Boyce made one of two free throws. The last minute ticked away before T.C. inbounded the basketball from three-quarters court with 26.2 seconds left on the clock.
With the clock winding down to under 10 seconds, Yates took the ball himself, elevating to knock down the game-winning jumper.
We had a slow start in the fourth quarter, but fortunately I was able to make a clutch shot [to win the game], said Yates, a junior.
Few of the Titan wins this season or in the recent past have come down to a final shot the majority of the their wins have generally been decided much, much earlier in the game.
Senior point guard Gavin Peterson was one of the other T.C. players on the court when the game-winner went through the hoop, and according to Peterson, Yates saving grace made up for a less-than-stellar final period.
Early in the fourth quarter, we stopped playing good defense and Annandale did a good job getting back into the game, Peterson said. Ryan hit a big shot tonight to win it for us.
Both teams played hard tonight, said Marcus Via, the junior football and basketball standout who sent the ball inbounds with less than half a minute to play. I was able to set the pick for Ryan on his game winning shot. He cut back and knocked down a good shot.
T.C. led Annandale 40-32 at halftime, having trailed 17-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Through three quarters, T.C. held a narrow 56-51 lead.
Annandale fought its way back during the fourth quarter, part of a comeback bid that came oh-so-close to victory.
A Melvin Robinson lay-up narrowed the Atoms deficit to 60-57 and John Welshs three-pointer with 4:27 remaining leveled the score at 60-60.
Eventually, Annandale overtook T.C. for its first fourth quarter lead, 65-63, with less than two minutes to go following a 3-pointer by Allen Stalp.
Titans standout guard Edward Jenkins 12-foot jumper tied the contest 65-65, before Boyces trip to the free throw line set the score in the Atoms favor, 66-65.
Ultimately, Yates score settled the affair, nullifying what was a valiant effort by the Atoms.
We prepared hard for this game. Our kids were ready to play T.C. tonight, said Annandale head coach Anthony Harper.
Our kids didnt give up, Harper said. Melvin (Robinson) not only played like a bully, but he also played very smart. Then T.C. hit that one [game winning] shot down the stretch.
Jenkins led T.C. with 18 points. Yates and Peterson both chipped in with nine.
Annandale had three scorers in double figures, led by Robinson (15 points), Stalp (14) and Boyce (11).
With the win, the Titans record stands at 14-2 overall (9-0 Patriot). With the loss, Annandale fell to 7-9 overall (5-4 Patriot).
NOTES: So far this season, T.C. has beaten Mount Vernon (70-66), Edison (68-57), Annandale (68-58), West Potomac (61-45), Washington-Lee (75-46), St. Stephens/St. Agnes (59-44), Wakefield (67-51), R.E. Lee (67-49), West Springfield (59-49), South County (83-45), Lake Braddock (70-55), Hayfield (71-66, OT), West Potomac (68-37) and Annandale (67-66).