Joe DeMers hit two free throws with 17.9 seconds left to lift the College Park High boys basketball team to a thrilling 56-54 win over host Newark Memorial in the Cougar Shootout on Saturday.
DeMers finished with a double-double, scoring a game-high 26 points and pulling down 12 rebounds for the Falcons (7-2).
Newark (4-4) had a couple of opportunities to tie the game or win it in the closing seconds. Joey Frenchwood missed a 3-pointer from far behind the 3-point arc with 5.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter. After the ball was tipped out of bounds, the Cougars had one last chance with 2.1 seconds remaining, but Damien Banford missed a shot near the basket.
The Cougars came out firing in the third quarter, outscoring the Falcons 27-14 to erase a 20-17 halftime deficit. Matthew Thomas was huge with 10 points in the quarter, including a dunk right before the quarter ended, while Michael Pickney had a pair of 3-pointers for Newark Memorial. Thomas led the Cougars with 19 points. Banford added 10 points for Newark Memorial.
Jeffrey Mitchell helped spark a College Park rally by scoring all seven of his points in the fourth, including a 3-point play to cut the Cougars' lead to 50-46 with 4:32 left.
Kevin Crosno then put College Park back in front with a 3-pointer and added a pair of free throws for a 54-51 Falcons lead with 41.4 seconds remaining, but Jordan Takayama nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game for Newark.
College Park built its halftime lead largely on the scoring of DeMers, who had 13 of his team's 20 points in the first half.