Oakland Mills’ Marvin Williams said he felt like he had to make up for lost time.
After sitting out the previous five games due to an eligibility issue, the junior guard came off the bench Friday against Glenelg Country and scored a career-high 17 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, to help his team stay undefeated with a 57-56 victory.
“I’ve been sitting on that bench for so long just waiting for a chance, so I definitely wanted to come out and show something tonight,” said Williams, who added six steals. “I felt comfortable defensively and that opened up everything else.”
Lavon Long added 15 points and a drew a key charge on Glenelg Country’s Warren Powers (18 points) with two seconds left for an Oakland Mills (14-0) team that has now won all five of its games decided by five points or less this season.
“This team has found ways to win all year and tonight was no different,” Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said. “I thought Marvin was absolutely tremendous … he had that look in his eye and he took the game over down the stretch. He was that spark offensively and defensively in the fourth quarter.”
Glenelg Country (8-13), which also got 12 points and 13 rebounds from Kevin Boyd, suffered its seventh straight defeat. Three of the losses during that stretch have now come in one-possession games.
Against Oakland Mills Friday, the Dragons led by as many as four points in the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold off a Scorpions team that had four guys score in double figures.
“I feel like we’ve had a shot in all these games … the kids are putting themselves in position to win,” Glenelg Country coach Kevin Quinlan said. “We’re just not getting it done. The execution hasn’t been perfect and against this level of competition there isn’t a lot of wiggle room.”
After Glenelg Country opened the game with seven straight points, Oakland Mills battled back to take a two-point advantage, 15-13, at the end of the first quarter. That back-and-forth trend continued the rest of the way, with the lead changing hands nine times over the course of the evening.
Oakland Mills’ four-point lead at the half, 30-26, matched its largest advantage of the evening. Glenelg Country’s five-point lead, 42-37, after closing the third quarter with nine straight points was its largest cushion.
The Dragons were ahead by two with a minute left when Long converted an old-fashioned three-point play to put Oakland Mills back in front. The teams then traded lay-ups to set up the last possession for Glenelg Country where Long stepped in and drew the charge on a driving Powers.
“I knew he was taking it to the rim, so I just got myself in position and hoped they would call it the right way,” Long said.
Afterward, Browne called it a statement victory for his group.
“I told the kids before the game, this was our biggest test of the year so far, our midterm exam in a way, and the kids responded,” he said. “I think everyone is still saying this isn’t the team from two years ago, but, you know what, at the end of the day this team continues to get the job done.”
Oakland Mills 57, Glenelg Country 56
OM (14-0): Williams 17, Long 15, Dent 11, Willis 11, Zayatz 3.
GC (8-13): Powers 18, Boyd 12, McCoy 8, Barnard 7, Flores 5, Rajovic 2, Williams 2, Willis 2.
Half: 30-26 OM.
Reservoir 70, Long Reach 42