B-CC Wins an X-Finity Classic vs DuVal in Over-time

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons were in a rebuilding mode in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, the first two years head coach Sean Tracy was at the helm.  Before Coaching varsity Tracy coached the JV at B-CC.  Rewind about 13 years and Tracy was actually wearing a B-CC jersey as he played football and basketball for the Barons before transferring to Bullis, and eventually playing D-1 basketball at Drake.

Things have now come full circle for the third year coach who like most young coaches explains “I’ve always dreamed of playing, or coaching at Comcast, or X-finity.”

On Thursday night in the first of two Maryland 4A semi-final games Tracy and his Barons were involved in a classic.  No, it didn’t top the five over-time game between Oxon Hill and Gaithersburg from 1998, but it will be on the short list of best semi-final games in the last decade.

B-CC was matched up with DuVal of P.G. County.  The tigers feature perhaps the best individual talent playing at X-finity this year in 6’5” power forward Edward Polite.  Polite was by far the best athlete B-CC would play to date this season and the game plan was to throw different bodies at him, make him work, and make him work.

B-CC got off to a hot start as junior Kevin Holston, who has emerged as the Barons most dangerous scorer in the playoffs canned two three’s in the early portion of the first.  But DuVal would strike back and take a 15-10 lead after the first.

In the second B-CC found itself in familiar territory; foul trouble.  Holston and 6’8″ junior center Tajhai Byers each had two fouls and were relegated to the bench. With the two in foul trouble B-CC senior Ivan Torres started to make his imprint on the game.  Although Polite did block a handful of Torres’ shots, the 6’4” transfer from Texas was determined and scored time after time. DuVal would grow the lead but B-CC would make a late run to close the quarter. At the half DuVal had a 29-23 advantage.

In the third B-CC put a run together that would end up giving them a 39-37 lead heading into the fourth. B-CC outscored DuVal 16-8 in the 3rd quarter.

As we went to the fourth quarter the drama started to build.  None of the other three games played at the X-finity Center on Thursday were even semi-close games.  So this one had everyone in attendance drawn in, ready to watch a crazy 4th quarter and an even crazier overtime.

In the fourth quarter the teams exchanged the lead almost every time a bucket was scored.  Back and fourth it went until it looked like DuVal was in control, up two with possession and 40 seconds left.  But B-CC senior Justin Carter forced a turnover and Ivan Torres was fouled on a lay-up and he sank both free-throws with 32.5 on the clock to tie it up and set up a crazy finish to regulation.  As he did many times late in the game, DuVal’s Edward Polite would go 1-on-1 with his defender taking the ball to the rack zig-zagging from side to side before finally taking it up strong.  With 2.8 seconds left B-CC was whistled for a foul.  Tie game, 2.8 seconds left, DuVal at the line for two, and B-CC 94 feet away from their offensive goal. Coach Tracy would call a time-out in efforts to “ice the shooter” and draw up a play should Polite convert.  The B-CC crowd got loud, very, very loud and Polite’s first free throw rimmed out.  His second was no good as well, and it seemed like someone just threw B-CC a life preserver.

Kevin Holston would open over-time with a quick drive to the bucket and the Barons would reclaim the lead.  The flip-flopping of leads, and momentum would continue for the next three minutes.  With B-CC up one and 12.3 on the clock in over-time DuVal’s Edward Polite would find himself at the free throw line once again.  Two more critical free-throws for Polite to say the least.  This time Tracy would not call a time out and Polite would calmly drain both free-throws swinging the momentum back over to the Tigers.

B-CC would rush the ball up court and call their 5th timeout of the game with 7.3 seconds left.  In the time-out Tracy drew a play up for junior Kevin Holston. Aside from being his birthday, Holston had turned his game up exponentially in the playoffs, and certainly had the hot hand.  In addition he was the most capable player to create and score for himself.

As Holston drove to the bucket he got up an off balance look, and out of no where, DuVal’s Edward Polite shaded over and took a violent swipe at the ball, just getting the top of his finger to tip the ball back towards a crowd of players.  Baron senior Yannick Alexis just happened to be in the right place in the right time in the most important basketball game of his life.  He grabbed the deflected shot with just over two seconds left, put up a 6 foot bank shot, and it dropped in with three tenths of a second on the clock.  DuVal was out of time-outs and before they could even corral the ball to attempt to throw it in bounds the buzzer went off and Baron players stormed the court.  It was only Alexis’ 3rd and 4th points of the night.  He had spent most of the evening trying to force Polite off the block, and was saddled with foul trouble, as was the rest of B-CC’s front court.

When asked to describe the play, Alexis still in awe of what just happened described the play. “He attacked the basket like he was supposed (referring to Holston), I figured let me follow him just in case, the ball fell in my hands, after that I didn’t even think, I moved, it was instinct, I’m just glad it went in.”

With the win B-CC will play a dangerous Meade team who dismantled Springbrook 81-47.  Springbrook beat B-CC early in the 2014-15 season.