Blue Devils' James Beedlehit game-winning free throws with 1 second left.
MCDONALD -- His team trailed Springfield by an alarming 13-0 at the end of the first quarter Friday night, but McDonald High boys basketball coach James Rasile had some unexpected advice for his team at that point.
"I wanted them to make it uglier," he said.
In this case, uglier was better and the Blue Devils (10-0, 4-0) rallied for a 48-45 victory in an Inter-County League game.
Guard James Beedle scored 27 points, including three game-winning free throws with one second to play, to lead the McDonald comeback.
"We knew if we could get it into the fourth quarter we had a chance to win it," Rasile said. "They couldn't guard [Beedle] in the open court."
The 5-foot-9 senior scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, and his play was the key to a 16-2 run which spanned the third and fourth quarters.
Before it started, the Blue Devils trailed 34-25, and at the end of it -- a three-pointer by Beedle with 4:22 to play -- they held their largest lead at 41-36.
Springfield (5-3, 2-1) battled back to tie the game twice in the final minute, the last time at 45-45 on Mason McCambridge's driving baseline layup with four seconds remaining.
On the inbounds play, Beedle uncoiled for a desperation shot from just outside the halfcourt line when he was bumped by the Tigers' Andrew Schuler.
"I saw him jumping up, so I went into him so I could get fouled," Beedle said. He hit all three free throws to seal the victory.
It was a good ending for a game which hadn't started well for the Blue Devils.
Springfield took advantage of its inside game and of an 0-for-12 shooting start from the field by McDonald to grab a 13-0 first quarter lead.
"Some people didn't give us much of a shot in this game because of their [Springfield's] inside strength," Rasile said.
"We wanted to spread the game out and make it ugly in the first quarter, but we couldn't score."
McDonald closed the gap to one point (22-21) on a steal and layup by Beedle with 41 seconds remaining in the second quarter, before McCambridge's 3-pointer from deep in the corner made it a 25-21 game at halftime.
"We were a little bit discouraged after the first quarter, but we knew we weren't out of it," Beedle said. "We played a good team game and that got rid of our jitters."
Springfield increased its lead to nine points (34-25) on a short jumper by Shuler with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter, the last Tiger points of the quarter.
Meanwhile, McDonald was in the middle of its big run. Tyler Stanley tied the score at 36 with a jump shot in the lane with 6:32 to play and then gave the Blue Devils their first lead at 38-36 with a pair of free throws with five minutes remaining. Those were his only two baskets of the game.
Dan Hawout scored nine points for McDonald and Mark Macali added eight.
Dave McClearn was the only Tigers' player in double figures with 10 points. Luke Summers added 9.