Howard guard Brandon Glover made numerous plays on the offensive end of the floor Tuesday night against Central. He saved his best, however, for overtime.
The senior drained a go-ahead 3-pointer and converted all four free-throw attempts in the extra period before coming with a steal to deny the Chargers of a potential game-winning score.
The effort by Glover, who had 19 points, capped a thrilling 64-61 victory for the Huskies before a mostly full gymnasium at Howard.
“He stepped up and played like we expect a senior to play,” Howard head coach Jay Lunce said of Glover. “That’s a four-year player, and he showed it. It’s those types of things we’ve been looking to him to do the whole season. He’s not necessarily a 3-point shooter, but he knocked down some 3s; he’s capable of doing that.”
Glover’s final two free throws put Howard ahead 64-61 with 4.5 seconds to play. A desperate heave from midcourt by Central’s Riarus Dudley missed as time expired.
“We knew we were going to come back; we’re a third quarter team,” Glover said. “We knew we had to play defense first.”
Central led following an offense-happy first half with a 44-32 lead. Central led by as many as 18 points, converting loose balls and second-chance points into scores.
Takori Clark led the Chargers with 16 points.
Howard adjusted in the second half, and it began with defense. In the third quarter, the Chargers were held to five points. That enabled Howard to climb back in it, going on a 9-0 run to start the half, which was sparked by a layup and 3-pointer by Glover and a quick layup from Cameron Dacus, cutting the Central lead to 44-41.
“We went back flat offensively,” Central head coach Andre Taylor said. “Once that happened, and we weren’t scoring, we couldn’t set our defenses up, and they were pushing the ball up the floor, and they were scoring.”
Howard took the lead with 4:17 to play in regulation on a Dominique Gibson free throw, but the game was far from decided. Much to the delight of the cheering fans on both sides, the two teams swapped the lead multiple times before Dacus tied it at 56 with 54 seconds to play. Neither team scored again, forcing overtime.
Central, however, had a chance to put the game away. With less than 30 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, the Chargers’ Joshua Evins came up with a steal and went in for a layup, but the ball bounced off the rim.
Lunce wasn’t surprised Tuesday following another close game in the highly competitive GHSA Region 2-AAA.
“It’s almost like we’re playing in the SEC or ACC,” Lunce said. “Everyone’s just beating up on everybody. If you don’t come ready to play that night, it could be a blowout.”
Howard’s girls jumped out to an early lead and didn’t relinquish the advantage, coasting to a 57-31 victory. It was a team effort for the Lady Huskies with nine different players making their way into the scoring column with Tierra Johnson’s 15 points leading the way.
Central was paced by the 15 points of Jarfaith Jones.