After opening the season with a pair of nail-biters, Oakland Mills got itself a more comfortable victory Wednesday.
Behind double-doubles from both Dajuan Dent (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Lavon Long (12 points, 11 rebounds), Oakland Mills improved to 3-0 on the young season with a 53-41 win. The Scorpions opened up a 12-point lead at the half and were able to extended it out to as many as 20 points midway through the fourth quarter before cruising down the stretch.
“We had played two close games, two sloppy games, so tonight was about playing to our potential and closing a team out,” Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said. “We showed that we do have a little killer instinct in us.”
In addition to keeping Oakland Mills as one of only two county teams still undefeated in league play (Glenelg is 3-0 as well), the win over the Hawks also served as Browne’s 100th career victory.
There were a lot of things that ultimately helped Oakland Mills pull away Wednesday, but none was more crucial than the team’s effort on the glass. The Scorpions nearly doubled River Hill’s rebounding effort, including pulling down 17 offensive rebounds as a team.
“The effort on the boards was outstanding tonight,” Browne said. “Dajuan and Lavon are rebounding machines and they are always going hard, but I thought the guards did a great job too. Deshawn Willis, Daivon Tapscott and Mishaud (Reyna) were all huge.”
River Hill kept itself within striking distance early on behind its interior duo of Charlie Thomas (19 points, 8 rebounds) and Walt Moody (7 points, 8 rebounds). Those two accounted for 11 of the Hawks’ first 16 points and had their team within three points, 19-16, midway through the second quarter.
Oakland Mills ended the half on a 9-0 spurt, though, to take its first double-digit advantage, 28-16.
Six straight points by Thomas early in the third quarter made it 30-22, but that’s as close as things got. Oakland Mills was back up 11 by the end of the third and scored 12 of the first 15 points in the fourth quarter to make it 49-29.
Long was especially impressive during the fourth-quarter run, showcasing his full arsenal by sinking a three, making a dunk in transition and then finding Reyna under the basket for a lay-up.
“He’s a talent and I feel like he’s still figuring out how to be the kind of guy that takes over a game,” Browne said. “But you’re starting to see it in spurts and, like I’ve said, you don’t want to wake that sleeping giant. He has the ability to be very special.”
Oakland Mills 53, River Hill 41
OM (3-0, 3-0): Dent 14, Long 12, Tapscott 8, Reyna 8, Zayatz 5, Bradley 4, Willis 2.
RH (2-1, 2-2): Thomas 19, Sandler 8, Moody 7, Check 5, Patterson 2.
Half: 28-16 OM.
Atholton 42, Hammond 26
A (2-1, 3-1): Casey 11, Acker 8, Ballmer 7, Mason 6, Florenzo 4, D. Bernetti 2, M. Bernetti 2, Courtney 2.
Ha (0-3, 0-4): Coleman 10, McFadden 5, Anderson 4, Daray Ross 4, Dante Ross 2, Ronald 1.
Half: 17-14 A.