The Kenwood boys basketball team made 10 of 18 free throws during the game against visiting Sparrows Point on Friday.
The Bluebirds needed to make one more.
A missed foul shot with three seconds remaining in the game allowed the Pointers to escape with a 38-37 win.
Kenwood had led 36-33 with a minute remaining after five straight points from Devin Adams. With the score tied at 31, Adams scored on three straight Blue bird possessions: off an offensive rebound, sinking one of two free throws, and a layup.
After Sparrows Point ended a three-minute coring drought to close to within 36-35 with 59 seconds remaining, Kenwood went to the line to shoot a one-and-one.
The first free throw was missed, and Sparrows Point snagged he rebound.
That led to a basket from Ramon Villanueva, who was fouled in the attempt and converted the free throw for a 38-36 Pointer lead with 26 seconds remaining.
The Bluebirds played for the last shot, missed, but drew a foul. The first shot was successful, the second missed, and Sparrows Point grabbed the rebound to secure the win.
The loss dropped Kenwood to 0-4 on the season. The Bluebirds have lost to Aberdeen, 64-62; Edgewood 53-42, and at Parkville 73-44.
The game was close from start to finish, with neither team ever approaching a double-digit lead. Sparrows Point’s biggest lead was 18-14 midway through the second quarter; Kenwood led 24-20 two minutes into the third quarter.
That 10-2 Bluebird run, starting in the last minute of the first half and extending through the first two minutes of the second half, appeared to be a sign the home team was finally going to pull away like it did last season in a 65-21 win.
Damoni Alves had two baskets during the run. Jyairre Anderson scored on a drive and Elijah Condrey had a layup.
But the Pointers held Kenwood to three points for the rest of the quarter, while chipping away to go into the fourth quarter tied at 27.
The Bluebirds hurt themselves by missing five of six free throws over that span.
The score remained tied for over three minutes as each team struggled from the floor and the foul line.The Pointers missed five shots and two free throws and had four turnovers during that stretch.
Kenwood, for its part, missed three shots and had four turnovers (two of them Sparrows Point steals).
The Bluebirds finally made a shot to take a 29-27 lead with 5:43 remaining. They drew fouls on their next two possessions, but only converted two of four (one miss, crucially, was a successful shot negated by a lane violation).
Anderson led Kenwood with 15 points and was six-for-eight from the line. Adams finished with 10 points and Alves had nine.
Chesapeake dropped its opener to Carver A&Y 49-47 and plays at Patapsco on Friday.
Eastern Tech (0-2) lost its opener to visiting Patapsco 61-58 and then fell at C. Milton Wright 79-59 on Friday.
The Mavericks’ next home game is January 3 against Sparrows Point. They host Kenwood on Jan. 8.