COLLEGE PARK, Md. (DC News Now) — For the first time in 74 years on Thursday, the Damascus boys basketball team took the court in a Maryland state championship game.
The No. 3 seed Swarmin’ Hornets fell to No. 1 seed Baltimore City College in the game, 67-54.
“I can’t explain how proud I am of this team,” Damascus boys basketball head coach Brian Humphrey said. “When our staff came here five years ago from Seneca Valley, there was multiple people who told me I was crazy, ‘you can’t win at Damascus, that’s not possible.'”
Humphrey, an alum of the school, who played on the basketball team, had previously told DC News Now that “the 1949 championship banner had been mocking him for years.” On Thursday, he had the opportunity to take the Swarmin’ Hornets back to a title game.
Damascus started hot, jumping out to a 12-5 lead, but City College outscored them 19-5 in the second quarter and that proved to be the difference. Damascus senior guard Joey Lutz and forward Timmy Zalewski led the Swarmin’ Hornets with 14 points each. City College’s Camerin Horton led all scorers with 24 points.
Damascus finishes the season with a 24-3 record.
“What these boys proved, with hard work, this is probably the hardest working group we’ve ever had, we just cried in the locker room talking about it,” Humphrey told DC News Now after the loss. “That when you put your soul into something, you can accomplish it. Now we didn’t win the state championship, but I love these boys and I’m gonna miss them dearly.”