COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA) -- The last time Roosevelt guard, Tiwian Kendley, stepped up to the free-throw line at Comcast Center on Saturday night, he was smiling. There were just 11.9 seconds left in the Maryland 4A state championship, and the Raiders were up, 59-54, over Magruder.
PHOTOS: Maryland 4A State Championship
Kendley took a deep breath, shot and scored -- the Raiders student section began to cheer -- a sound to which Kendley sunk his second shot. It was the last Roosevelt bucket of the game and secured the Raiders' 61-56 victory over the Colonels.
"I was just ready to play. I just didn't want to lose," said Kendley. "I was looking at the time and even when there was fifty-some seconds left, I still wasn't finished yet. I still wanted to go out there and just play."
Kendley led his team in scoring with 19 points, followed by guard Trevor Evans and forward Jesse Ason, who finished with 10 points, respectively. But this was also a hard-fought defensive battle, in which the Raiders used their height advantage to regain posession, time and time again. Six-foot-seven senior, Malachi Alexander, finished the night with 16 total rebounds, 11 defensive and 5 offensive.
"This is the happiest day of my life so far ... It means everything," said Alexander.
This was the second year in a row that Magruder and Roosevelt had met on the hardwood at Comcast Center. Magruder defeated Roosevelt, 39-36, but Raiders head coach Brendan O'Connell was firm in his statement that Saturday's game was not a rematch of the 2012 state championship.
"People keep talking about the rematch. I wouldn't really look at it that way because they're two different teams," said O'Connell. "I felt like we were a better offensive team this year, so if we could play the defense that we did last year, I thought we'd do a better job scoring today -- and we did."
Magruder played ferocious defense, but struggled to make lay-ups and shots inside the paint. Thirty-six of their 59 points came from three-pointers.
"It certainly was a hard-fought game," said Magruder head coach Dan Harwod. "[And] I'm certainly proud of my seniors."
Senior guard JJ Epps led the Colonels in scoring with 14 points and senior forward Justin Witmer finished with 11.