CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - After leading for most of the first 21/2 quarters, Martin Luther King fell behind briefly before limiting Allderdice to just five points the rest of the way in a 48-35 victory in the PIAA Class AAAA boys' basketball semifinals Tuesday night at Chambersburg High School.
The victory puts King in the state championship game for the first time in school history. The Cougars will take on Roman Catholic in a city final rematch at Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday at 8 p.m. Roman defeated MLK, 58-57, Feb. 27 in the District 12 title game.
"I'm proud of our guys. It means a lot to have the opportunity to play for the state title," King coach Sean Colson said. "We've come a long way in the three years that I've been here."
MLK (23-8) led 25-21 early in the third quarter before the Dragons scored nine of the next 12 points and took a 30-28 lead on Lamone Dixon's putback with 4 minutes, 25 seconds left in the quarter.
The Cougars responded with a 12-0 run that spanned the quarter break with six points of the run coming from Tyere Marshall. The 6-foot-8 center finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
"Tyere missed a few layups early, but he didn't lose his confidence," Colson said. "He protected the rim and rebounded well tonight."
Ramon Creighton ended the Dragons' nine-minute scoring drought when he made one of two free throws with 5:08 to go. The gap shrunk to 42-34 when Tim Jackson connected on a 3-pointer with 3:19 to play. But King's Ladji Fofana put the game away with back-to-back buckets.
"They're a quick team and their big kid (Marshall) was the difference," Allderdice coach Buddy Valinka said. "They were also the best guards that we faced all year."
Allderdice (26-3) trailed by 19-12 early in the second quarter, but a 9-4 spurt to end the first half made it 23-21 in favor of the Cougars at halftime.
Fofana paced King with 13 points and Sammy Foreman added 12.
Allderdice 8 13 9 5 - 35
Martin Luther King 14 9 13 12 - 48
TA: Ramon Creighton 3, Loren Wicks 4, Tim Jackson 6, Lamone Dixon 4, James Jackson 8, Alex Bell 3, Jordan Rawls 7.
MLK: Ladji Fofana 13, Nasir Bell 3, Tyere Marshall 11, Jabri McCall 9, Sammy Foreman 12.