All Cape could do was watch as Edmondson-Westside's Kani Coles dunked three times on the entire team, including the go-ahead basket with under a minute to play. But Jon Warren responded with a three-pointer to put Cape up 57-56 and on the verge of an improbable comeback.
Coles stood on the foul line with 1.5 seconds left after being emphatically fouled by Solomon “Yum Yum” Cox on a move to the basket. Cox, who smiles his way through the day, seemed angry and was jawing at Coles, risking a technical foul. “He poked me in my neck," Solomon said afterward with a smile.
Coles missed the first free throw. And then he missed the second. A rebound and brick hit the backboard; the horn sounded and Cape had stolen a victory the hard way by earning every single second of the agonizing comeback.
“That rebound and put back, we fell asleep," said coach Steve Re with a smile. “The previous game at Arundel was our worst since I’ve been the coach here, and to come back and get this one was beautiful."
Cape trailed undefeated Edmondson-Westside, the defending Maryland 2A state champion, 10-0 in the first 90 seconds of the game. After five minutes, Re called time out with his team behind 14-0. The Vikings had been dunked on twice, both two-handed throw downs from the rafters by 6-foot-7 junior Coles.
Cape responded by running a crooked number back at the Red Storm and led 31-28 at the half, as seniors Warren and Tyreik Burton went off.
“Jon and I are seniors, and we’re ain't showing up and going out like that, not in this tournament in front of a big crowd and lots of relatives," Burton said. "It was time to put on the big boy pants."
Burton finished the game with 30 points, while Warren had 17.
Cape battled in the second half, getting major contributions from David Kwan's rebounding defense and staying out of foul trouble, Cox's eight points and two clutch free throws to tie the game at 52, and Jordan Howell's ability to beat and bang on the boards with an athletic Edmondson team.
“Defensively, I think we had them frustrated, and Tyreik and Jon just responded and played at the top of their games," Re said. "And now we get City College and go right back to the underdog role. I guess there’s no chance of them looking past us.”
Cape improved to 4-2 on the season. The Vikings will face City College High School out of Baltimore at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 28, at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury, Md.