Potomac ~ There were ten seconds left in the first half as Vado Morse had the ball in his hands, matched up one-on-one with Episcopal guard Xavier Johnson. With the clocking winding to five seconds, Morse drove to his right, snatched the ball back, went between to the legs and put up his first shot but Johnson was able to get his fingertips on the ball. Morse would grab his own rebound and canned a desperation shot, mean mugging the Episcopal bench before jogging back to the locker rooms.
“When Vado’s feeling himself, it’s fun to watch,” Tarke said. “He has that swag to him.”
The IAC showdown between the last two conference champions ended in a 75-67 triumph for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were led by a spectacular 30-point performance from Mount St. Mary's commit Morse, as well as 14 from Nendah Tarke. Asa Shannon would score 18 for Episcopal, followed by Tymu Chenery and his 16 points.
Out of halftime and already holding a double-digit lead, Bullis came out with the same fire and breakneck pace its been utilizing all season. Morse was able to score 9 in the third frame, including a pair of heavily contested 3-pointers that capped off a 9-0 run and created a 53-32 lead, the largest of the night. The Maroon would immediately respond with their own 11-2 run and closed the gap to 59-43 after Tarke hit a buzzer-beating layup.
Heading into the fourth and final quarter, there was plenty of fireworks as the Bulldogs and Maroon battled back and forth for IAC supremacy. The climatic quarter would start off with a thunderous one-handed slam by Tarke that would’ve been a 3-point play had he converted on the free throw. Morse would collect that free throw miss, however, and ended up going up and under the rim for a beautiful reverse layup.
Tarke referred to the layup as Morse's jelly layup. Morse would hit one last 3-pointer to create a 68-49 lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Maroon would make another valiant 10-0 run cutting the lead to as close as 73-65 but it was all for naught as Morse was able to ice the game with one last pair of free throw for the aforementioned final score.
"It's always fun, especially because we had the crowd on your side," Tarke said about the electric atmosphere and track meet pace of the game. "We haven't played at home in about four weeks or so, so its always great to see the crowd and the atmosphere. It wasn't anything new but it was very fun to play in."