Kurt Greene probably cant out-jump any of his players.
At least not usually.
The Mary Persons head coach jumped as high as his 57-year-old legs would allow Friday, seconds after officials ruled Howard ran out of time before its head coach Latavia Coleman could call a timeout at the end of the game.
Mary Persons battled from behind for most of the second half before eventually surviving for a 51-50 overtime win Friday in the GHSA Region 2-AAAA championship game. It is the Bulldogs second straight region title.
Keke Calloway had 16 to lead Mary Persons while Aleah Holden and Clymena Watts each scored 15 points. VaQueshia Hall lead Howard with 18 points.
Those kids just fought hard all night long, because they played from behind all night long, Greene said. Coach Coleman had them prepared, had them ready to play. They did everything they were supposed to do except for one thing: win. We just happened to get lucky enough to build a four-point lead.
The Bulldogs built that lead after an offensive rebound following a free throw. Leading by three at the time, the Bulldogs pulled ahead by four on a free throw by Maya Stewart with eight seconds left.
The Huskies had just enough time to get the ball down court and set up a 3-pointer for 6-foot-3 post Jamila Mayfield. Mayfields 3-pointer came just before the buzzer sounded.
Coleman rushed to the nearest official as fast as the former WNBA player could to call a timeout following Mayfields shot.
Her speed didnt matter as officials ruled the game was over.
That was sweet music, Greene said when the officials called the game over.
The Bulldogs exploded in celebration, while the Huskies seemed more dejected than a team that still has games left to play should appear.
We set a goal to win a region championship, and we came up short against a great team, Coleman said. Its tough to take. But we played well, and were playing good basketball right now.
The teams traded the lead for much of the first half until the Huskies started to pull away in the second quarter. Howard led by six at the half, and the Huskies kept their lead around that number for much of the third quarter.
Mary Persons made three straight 3-pointers beginning with one by Watts at the end of the third quarter. Calloway and Watts made the next two, and the Bulldogs 9-0 run was enough to give them the lead early in the fourth quarter.
Howards Chasma Hart tied the game at 45 with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter, but neither team could score the rest of the way before overtime.
Both teams will host state playoff games next week.