Oakland Mills tops Westminster

Oakland Mills' Nicole Twardowicz steps in front of Westminster's Jacqueline Myers as the two vye for a rebound. Jasmine Hill (11) and Ka La Brockington (50) watch the action. (Photo by Nate Pesce, Patuxent Publishing / December 30, 2011)

Jasmine Hill had 28 points and 17 rebounds as Oakland Mills defeated Westminster, 76-56, Thursday night to repeat as champions of the tournament the school hosts.

The Scorpions set a first half tempo that made it hard for Westminster to keep up.

"They run a fast pace. Up in Carroll County teams slow it down a little bit," said Westminster junior Danielle Fieni. "They were really aggressive with defense pressing the whole game, we're more used to a zone or a half-court man" defense.

Oakland Mills was also aggressive on offense, taking the ball to the basket and making moves that got two of Westminster's taller starters, Alyssa Pumputis and Charlee VanDerniet, in significant foul trouble. Pumputis had four fouls midway through the second quarter; VanDerniet picked up her fourth foul midway through the third quarter.

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"Fouls were huge. They got to the foul line and they couldn't miss. That was a huge problem," said Brittany Baer, Westminster's JV coach who was standing in for varsity coach Mike Ninosky. "Early on we played well. We were hitting shots and looking outside, but in the second half we came out lazy. We were sloppy and turned the ball over."

Oakland Mills already had the advantage, but put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring the Owls, 30-17.

"They hit everything and we couldn't," said Baer.

For example, 5-foot-2 Oakland Mills freshman Tori Diggs, the smallest player on her team, was three for three on 3-point shots, and each basket brought a huge roar from the crowd.

"I'm small and people think I can't do that," Diggs said, by way of explanation.

"We had good offense, but I wasn't very happy with the defense," said Oakland Mills coach Seth Willingham. His squad tied its season high of 76 points but allowed a season high 56. In its eight previous games, Oakland Mills had allowed an average of 30 points a game.

Named to the all-tournament team were: Jasmine Hill (MVP, Oakland Mills), Nicole Twardowicz (Oakland Mills), Danielle Fieni (Westminster), Charlee VanDerniet (Westminster) and Jayde Duncan (Western Tech).

Oakland Mills 76, Westminster 56

OM – Hill 28, Hight 14, Twardowicz 14, Diggs 9, Brockington, 6, Jones 4, Peters 1. FT: 18-22.

W – Dyer 17, Pumputis 12, Bachman 1, Fieni 5, VanDerniet 5, Held 4, Whitcomb 2, Myers 2. FT: 16-23.

Halftime: Oakland Mills, 31-20.

Alauna Jackson had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Megan Sterling chipped in 17 points and four assists as River Hill defeated Mardela, 66-40, to win the McCool Girls Basketball Tournament at Mardela. The host school was led by Shakerna Dashiell's 28 points.

River Hill 66, Mardela 40

RH – Jackson 20, Sterling 17, Rowe 11, Arensmeier 8, Masker 4, Omeozulu 2, Julia Collins 2, Jones 2. FT: 7-15.

M – Dashiell 28, Harris 7, Sprankle 3, Cook 1, Corbin 1. FT: 12-19.

Atholton at Cardinal Classic (at Pine Grove, Pa.) (not reported)