BETHESDA — Since February, Tuscarora coach Darryl Whiten couldn’t get the collapse in the Class 3A West region out of his head. The Titans squandered a late lead to Seneca Valley in February, and their bid at moving on to the state semifinals.
“Of course we remember those 43 seconds,” Whiten said. “The 43 seconds have been with me for a long period of time.
No. 10 Tuscarora erased the doubt on Tuesday night, defeating No. 4 Seneca Valley in the Frederick County vs. Montgomery County holiday tournament at Quince Orchard High School, 65-53.
“This, of course, isn’t the regional championship, but it sure felt good,” Whiten said.
In the wire-to-wire victory, Tuscarora (8-0) came out of the gates with tough defense, hustling for loose balls and never allowed Seneca Valley to get comfortable.
On the offensive side of the ball, senior guard Obe Noel (game-high 25 points) started his hot display with a crafty, spinning layup.
“We thought (Obe) got off to a good start as he has been throughout the whole season,” Whiten said. “It’s been to his advantage, as well as our advantage for him to play the way he’s been playing here.”
Alex Morrow and Jaylen Washington also provided scoring support with 16 and nine points a piece.
Washington, in particular, played stingy defense and picked his spots wisely on offense. He brought the house down in the second quarter with a rim-grazing dunk off a steal in the second quarter. That dunk put capped a decisive 12-2 run that padded a 14-point Tuscarora lead.
The Titans led 49-29 at the end of the third quarter.
“We’re disciplined and going to play to the final horn,” Whiten said. “That’s what it’s all about. We take it one possession at a time and continue to play throughout the four quarters.”
Trey Lucas added 16 points for Seneca Valley.
Tuscarora takes on Northwood while Seneca Valley (6-1) looks to rebound against South Hagerstown; both games are Wednesday.