Owings Mills rallies for win over Loch Raven in boys basketball playoff quarterfinal

Owings Mills coach Richard Epps called it the biggest comeback in his eight years. The eighth-seeded Eagles rallied from a 16-point, third-quarter deficit to post a 66-58 victory over top-seeded and host Loch Raven Thursday night in a Class 2A Region quarterfinal.

 “We just told them don’t lose your composure and keep playing hard,” Epps said. “Play for 32 minutes and let’s see what happens at the end. They just never gave up. It’s rare that we are down that many points.” 

Owings Mills (17-7) advances to play at Edmondon (5 p.m.) Tuesday in a semifinal.

The Eagles trailed 38-32 midway through the third quarter, but senior forward Ceontay Cait sparked a 22-5 run with eight points during the sequence, including two three pointers. He finished with a game-high 25 points.

After a 51-51 tie with 3:14 remaining, Owings Mills used a 9-1 spurt over the next two minutes to start to take control.

Elliot Wiley’s three-pointer with 1:01 left trimmed the margin to 60-55.

That’s the closest Loch Raven (16-6) would get.

Loch Raven first-year coach Bill Toole said his team had problems adjusting when Owings Mills switched from a 1-2-2 zone to a man-to-man defense after Jordan Johnson sank a three-pointer to put the Raiders ahead 38-22.

“We just didn’t execute down the stretch,” said Toole, whose team shots 31 percent (11-for-35) in the second half. “The man-to-man defense posed a lot of problems for us. We didn’t make shots in the second half and they did.

"That was the big difference," he added. "And we didn’t get enough stops in the second half.”

Damian Archer and Kevin Yrizzary added 16 points apiece for the winners. The Eagles Jawon Johnson contributed nine points.

Drew Wagner led Loch Raven (16-6) with 19 points and seven rebounds while teammates Greg Franklin (16 points) and Johnson (15 points) had solid performances.  

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