As Bob Wade, director of Baltimore City athletics, watched the Division I Baltimore City basketball championship from midcourt Feb. 22, he kept his emotions in check.
He showed no emotion when Stephon Brown and Montague Wright hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Lake Clifton High a four-point lead during the second quarter. And he didn't blink when Omari George and Kamau Stokes led a 10-point run during the fourth quarter, which ultimately gave City College the win for the boys' Division I Baltimore City championship.
"I couldn't show any emotion," Wade said. "Too many people were watching. When I got emotional, I had to leave and duck under the bleachers. It was that kind of game -- just a great game."
Once the coach of Dunbar High's great teams during the late 1970s and '80s, and now the director of Baltimore City athletics, Wade has seen hundreds of high school basketball games.
This one, though, was different.
To his left was City College, unbeaten and ranked No. 1 by The Baltimore Sun and coached by his son, Daryl Wade. To his right was Lake Clifton, a perennial city power coached by Herman "Tree" Harried, a member of Dunbar's 1983 unbeaten national championship team, who has often referred to Wade as his second father.
"I have two paternal sons and another one," Wade said, "a third son, Herman Harried."
He actually has more than that. Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, Reggie Williams, Ernie Graham, Kevin Bush, Dwayne Wood and dozens of other young men who played for Wade back in the Poets' heyday looked at their coach as a father.
But Harried was different. He is one of the few players who was on Wade's 1983 unbeaten club -- led by Bogues, Williams, David Wingate, Reggie Lewis and Tim Dawson -- and also played with many members of the 1985 national championship team, which finished 28-1 and featured Mike Brown, Kurk Lee, Terry Dozier, Perry Dozier and a young junior guard named Daryl Wade.
"Tree and I had an instant connection," Wade said. "He bought in to everything we did on the court, and he always supported me. Even now, he's coaching, and he's always been supportive. He truly is like a son and Daryl's older brother."
Harried is now 48 years old. He replaced Charlie Moore at Lake Clifton 16 years ago and has kept the Lakers among the elite programs in the state, winning three state championships, including the Class 2A title two years ago.
Daryl Wade is now 46 and in his second stint as City's head coach. In 1995, he replaced Wayne Cook at City and then took over for Mike Daniel two years ago.
Now, his Black Knights are 22-0 after the 48-42 win against Lake Clifton, a game played before 2,000 fans at Morgan State's Hill Field House.
There have been other more memorable boys' basketball games involving Baltimore City teams than this one: Dunbar's legendary win against DeMatha at the Baltimore Civic Center in 1973, the famed Calvert Hall-Dunbar triple-overtime classic in 1981 at the Towson Center and Dunbar's win against Cardinal Gibbons during the First Metro Classic two years later.
On March 6, 1993, at Cole Field House in College Park, Dunbar and Southern High of south Baltimore (now Digital Harbor High) won the city's first two state championships ever. Then, in March 2002, Tyler Smith and Joey Dorsey led Frederick Douglass of west Baltimore past Gwynn Park to finish the season 28-0. The Ducks were coached by Rodney Coffield, another one of Wade's former players.
The City-Lake Clifton game may not have had the significance of any of those, but it capped off one of the best nights of high school basketball in a long time.
"Just a great night -- great crowd, great basketball," Wade said. "No problems in the stands and some great competition."
In addition to City's win, Northwestern beat KASA for the boys' Division II crown. Poly beat City, 68-47, to win the girls' Division I championship, while Southwestern beat Carver, 39-23, for the Division II title.
The game between City and Lake Clifton kept the crowd entertained and was also a reminder of what it was like to play for Wade 30 years earlier.
In addition to being talented, Wade's players were disciplined, intelligent, focused and passionate about both the game and Wade's emphasis on defense, fundamentals and basketball IQ.
Under Wade, Dunbar was not only one of the best and toughest teams in the country; it was also one of the smartest. First with Wood and Bush, Dunbar's electrifying backcourt of the late 1970s, and then later with Bogues and Wingate, Dunbar's pressure defense suffocated teams.
In 1982, Dunbar traveled to New Jersey to play then-top-ranked Camden High School, featuring future college standouts Billy Thompson and Kevin Walls. The fans laughed at the 5-foot-3 Bogues during warm-ups and introductions, but weren't laughing after Bogues stripped Walls twice in the open court early during the game and led the Poets to a 29-point demolition of one of the best teams in the country.
Bogues could take opposing point guards completely out of their game while controlling the tempo and pace with his uncanny knack of when to run, when to distribute the ball and when to put it on ice.
"We spent a lot of time then on defense," said Wade, who was a defensive back for Morgan State football during the 1960s. "Help defense, pressure defense, how to control tempo on defense -- our guys bought into that. They played hard defense. They got after it.
"They were also very smart. They knew at key points of the game when to step it up, when maybe we had a team in trouble. They could sense that it was time to put the pressure on. Their basketball IQ was outstanding. Tree and Daryl were on those teams. They watched and learned and now are doing the same things."
Boys' basketball in Baltimore City now is all about handling the defensive pressure, controlling tempo, getting to the foul line and limiting opposing runs.
After graduating from Dunbar in 1984, Harried played for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse. A 6-foot-7 small forward, Harried earned playing time as a rebounder, shot blocker and defender. He thrived in Boeheim's 2-3 zone defense.
When Harried took over at Lake Clifton, he preached what he learned under both Wade and Boeheim. His teams walk the ball up the floor, value each possession, control tempo and play ball-hawking defense.
Daryl Wade's City team does the same, which led to a competitive city championship, featuring some of the area's premier players: George, Stokes, John Grant and Timmy Bond of City and Brown, Wright and Joshua Parks of Lake Clifton.
City led by one at the half, as a 3-pointer by Bond gave the Knights a 21-20 lead. Lake Clifton controlled the ball and the clock to start the third quarter and took 27-25 lead heading into the final period before Stokes and George put the Knights on their backs with a 10-0 blitz during a two-minute stretch of the period.
Stokes began the streak with a 3-pointer, while George ended the run with seven straight points.
"What was great to see was when Lake got the lead in the third quarter, Tree had then run the double-stack," Wade said. "They were in the bonus, and Tree wanted to get to the foul line. Then when City got the lead, Daryl ran what we called the triangle to try and get some easy baskets and milk the clock. We used to run both of them, so that was neat to see."
And so was the relationship between both teams and both coaches. When the game began, both Daryl Wade and Harried met at midcourt for a long embrace, which seemed to set the tone for the game.
"Both Daryl and Tree truly are like brothers," Wade said. "That's what it was like with Woody Williams and I when we coached."
When Wade was at Dunbar, Williams coached Lake Clifton. When Wade took the Maryland job during the fall of 1986, he took Williams with him to College Park as one of his assistants.
"We both wanted to win," Wade said. "But before the game and after the game, we were like brothers. When the games ended, our families would go out and have dinner together. We never, ever had any issues during a game."
The same was true with City and Lake Clifton Feb. 22. Daryl Wade and Harried also embraced after City handed Lake Clifton its third loss of the year (the second to City). Both teams will now move on to the state tournament with a legitimate chance to add to the city's bulging championship total.
Since Dunbar and Southern won the first two championships 21 years ago, Baltimore City teams have added 31 more. In 2012, Patterson, Lake and Dunbar won three of the four championships, and in 2013, Edmondson and Dunbar added to the city's impressive resume. Now, City College, the top seed in the Class 3A East Region, looks to win its first state title in four years, while Lake Clifton takes aim at a sixth state crown and its first in Class 1A.
And dad will be watching.
"I'm proud of what they've done," Wade said of Daryl Wade and Harried. "Sometimes I can't believe it's been that long since they played for me. But watching them coach now is a big thrill."