Updated: April 5, 2012 8:17AM
Marist’s Lexus Williams smiled and showed no signs of stopping.
On this night, the junior guard had good reason.
Williams’ three-pointer from the wing with two seconds left in Friday night’s 4A Marist Regional final lifted the host RedHawks to the most improbable of comebacks in a 63-62 thriller over Curie.
“We just wanted to stay aggressive coming out of the half,” Williams said. “It worked out for us offensively and defensively. (Curie) double-teamed L.J. (McIntosh), who found Nic (Weishar), and he found me.”
Tyler Oden (20 points), McIntosh (15), Weishar (11) and Williams (10) powered No. 3 Marist (25-5), which won its first regional title since 2007. The win was the team’s ninth in a row. The RedHawks will play Bogan on Wednesday in an Argo Sectional semifinal.
Having led 50-45 early in the fourth, Marist saw a furious Curie comeback turn the tide. The Condors (25-3) went up 62-57 with 50 seconds remaining when Malcolm Hill-Bey split two free throws.
McIntosh drilled a three-pointer from the wing to cut the deficit to two, and after Hill-Bey missed the front end of a 1-and-1, the RedHawks had their chance.
With the clock winding down, Weishar drove from the top of the key after receiving a pass from McIntosh. Weishar found Williams on the wing, the junior guard hitting a contested three that proved to be the game-winner.
After a timeout, Curie’s Devin Foster (17 points) missed a running 35-foot three-point try as the buzzer sounded.
For Marist, Oden drilled five three-pointers, including three in the second quarter as the RedHawks came back from an early deficit.
“We put in the hard work each day in practice,” Oden said. “When we’re down, we can’t get down. We have to come together as a team. For me, I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team.”
Cliff Alexander (17 points, 13 rebounds) and Hill-Bey (18 points, 6 assists) contributed for Curie. The loss was the first for the Condors this season against a team other than Simeon.
“Marist came up and hit shots,” Curie coach Michael Oliver said. “If we hit free throws, we probably win, but that wasn’t the whole game. We ran into a buzz saw.”