RIDGELY — Shi’Quan Williams relishes moments like these.
Snow Hill High’s boys’ basketball team was down one point Friday night with time winding down. The Eagles collected a defensive rebound off a missed North Caroline 3-pointer and called timeout with 8.9 seconds left.
The play-call was simple: break the anticipated press, give the ball to Williams, who had already scored 25 points, and get out of the way.
His teammates obliged, and Williams banked in a layup as the clock neared zero. The Bulldogs were unable to get the ball back in before time expired, and the Eagles mobbed Williams behind the basket while celebrating a 59-58 victory.
“We figured they would try to do a press,” Snow Hill head coach Shawn Johnson said. “We just stayed poised, attacked it, hit the middle and (went) in for the score. It was amazing.”
The dramatic finish completed a 12-point fourth-quarter comeback for Snow Hill (1-0). Williams, a junior, scored eight points in the quarter.
North Caroline (0-1) went on a 10-0 run to open the third quarter after trailing by two at halftime. But the Eagles stayed composed.
“After that run, we just really turned up the defensive intensity,” Williams said. “That’s what really won us the game.”
Bulldogs head coach Steve Perry was disappointed in his team’s ability to close. They only managed six points in the decisive fourth quarter.
“We gave the game away,” Perry said. “We were up by 13 and let them back in it. We were up by one with a second left in the game. You don’t let anybody take a shot. I told them during the timeout, ‘Foul them. Make them earn it at the free-throw line. But it didn’t happen.”
Jason Brown led North Caroline with 19 points. Leroy Fitchett put up 13 and Vidal Bonds scored 11.
Williams’ 27-point night led the Eagles. He dominated in the paint, converting many second-chance opportunities – including multiple thunderous dunks – and controlling the middle.
But Johnson was clear this was a team win. Cyan Anderson added 14 points and Skylar Blank chipped in 11.
“It’s good to have a closer, but we have a team,” Johnson said. “We have them understanding that everybody plays a role. Even the guys that didn’t get in the game, on the bench. They were even making an impact in the game. The defensive chants, encouraging their teammates. It’s a team effort.”
The Bulldogs were without senior big man Kendron Wayman, who likely would’ve helped against Williams. But Perry didn’t use that as an excuse as he credited Snow Hill for its resolve.
Perry’s postgame message to his team was brief.
“I ain’t got to say much. They know,” Perry said. “They’ve just got to play. We’re trying to win the North (Bayside). That’s our goal, win the North. We start conference games Tuesday night here against Kent Island.”
Pocomoke 66, Easton 62
POCOMOKE CITY — Nyzhier Youmens scored a team-high 18 points as Easton fell shy in its season opener.
Shawn Warner added 13 points for Easton, and Dionte Hynson finished with 11.
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