By Taylor Moore and Mario Diaz
Hagerstown, Md. -- Down by as many as 19 points, Baltimore City rallied in the second half to force overtime and defeat Cecil 86-79 to earn a spot in the Maryland Juco Men's Basektball championship tomorrow afternoon.
Cecil's Hassan Corbin finished with a game-high 20 points (7-18), while Kobby Ayetey led the Panthers with 16 on 7-13 shooting.
The Panthers had three others in double figure, including two off the bench.
Joe Adedayo had 13 points and Victor Okafor and Ahmin Williams finished with 10 and 11 points, respectively.
"We're notorious for coming out slowly and we did that for a second night in a row and got ourselves down [19 points]," said Baltimore head coach Terry Maczko. "But the one thing this team has is some grit and they don't give up."
The fifth seeded Seahawks got off to a hot start with a 14-0 run in the first 1:44 of the game against the top seeded Panthers.
After 10 minutes, Cecil led 29-14 and had yet to commit a turnover.
The Panthers initially struggled defending the paint, but later forced Cecil to take more outside shots.
The Seahawks responded in kind, hitting three consecutive three-point shots, 7-11 in the first half (63.6%) Darrell Jenkins and McKale Williams both went 3-for-3 from the three point line in the half.
Baltimore City was able to keep within 20 points before going on a 7-0 run to help cut into the Seahawks lead.
The Panthers relied on strong physical play on both sides of the ball to further cut into Cecil's lead to make it 46-36 heading into halftime.
"We have a very deep bench," Maczko said. "And tonight we played all of our guys and kept running them in and out, putting all kinds of pressure on [Cecil] and I think eventually it wore them down a little bit. Give Cecil credit. They came out ready to play. It was just a great finish by our guys."
Baltimore spent a large portion of the second half building its comeback and had an 8-0 run early. The Panthers defense registered two blocks and four steals in the game and forced Cecil into 18 turnovers.
Another 17-5 run for Baltimore was met by a 7-0 Cecil run, as both teams battled.
With nine seconds remaining and a two-point lead, Cecil forced Baltimore into a turnover.
Unfortunately, the Seahawks failed to inbound within five seconds and gave the ball back to Baltimore in their offensive zone.
Desmond Rene' made a layup and forced the game into overtime.
Baltimore's Victor Okafor had four rebounds and four points and Joe Adedayo had six points in overtime.
The Panthers play Frederick tomorrow in the men's final. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.