Earlier this season, Atholton junior Joelle Martin sat on the bench and watched as his Raiders’ teammates lost a double-overtime heartbreaker against Centennial.
On Friday night, in the rematch between the two squads, Martin made sure history wasn’t going to repeat itself.
Coming off the bench and scoring a career-high 26 points, Martin led the way to a 72-57 victory over the Eagles in the first county game for either squad in more than 10 days.
“As a team we felt like we needed that win back. That loss the first time was a learning experience for us and we were ready today,” said Martin, who missed the first six games of the season while sorting out an eligibility issue. “Today was all about coming out strong and not letting up.”
Martin, who scored 16 of his points in the first half, added five rebounds, three assists and two steals to his well-rounded evening. He was joined in double-digits scoring by Michael Bernetti (15 points).
In the loss, Centennial got 16 points apiece from Chase Conley and Isaiah White.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair with each team holding the lead and neither squad leading by more than four points. But, as Martin heated up in the second quarter, so did the Raiders.
An 8-0 push in the second quarter, during which Martin and Bernetti accounted for all of Atholton’s points, helped the Raiders push the lead into double digits for the first time.
“Coach was telling me to attack the gaps every time I saw an opening … there were a lot openings in their defense early on,” Martin said. “Then as they started collapsing on me, I looked for my shooters.”
Centennial got back within nine at the half, 36-27, courtesy of a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Walter Fletcher (7 points).
The Eagles failed to get any closer than seven points, however, in the second half despite some inspired play by Conley, who scored 14 of his 16 points in the final 15 minutes.
The Raiders ended up building a lead of as many as 20 points, 64-44, in the fourth quarter following a 10-0 run.
For an Atholton team that was coming off a loss to Oakland Mills its last time out on the court, it was an inspired effort from start to finish.
“Even more than sitting on that Oakland Mills loss, we had been sitting on that loss to those (Centennial) guys for awhile. I feel like the kids really wanted another shot at them after letting that one earlier in the year slip away,” Atholton coach Jared Albert said. “The truth is, I think that game made us who we are. It woke us up a little bit and helped us grow into the team we are today.”
Atholton 72, Centennial 57
A (10-2, 11-3): Martin 26, Bernetti 15, Ballmer 7, Willis 7, Purdue 6, Mendelsohn 3, Brickous 2, Kelly 2, Kwong 2, Mercilliot 2.
C (7-5, 10-5): White 16, Conley 16, Brown 9, Fletcher 7, Tignall 3, Wilkin 3, Strothers 2, Wilson 1.
Half: 36-27 A.
River Hill 57, Howard 43
River Hill’s Charlie Thomas scored 25 points, including a fourth-quarter free throw that helped him reach 1,000 points for his career, to guide the Hawks to the 14-point victory over the visiting Lions.
“You just don’t see kids score 1,000 points in the county that often … it’s the first time since I’ve been coaching here that I’ve been a part of a game where it’s happened,” River Hill coach Matt Graves said. “It’s not easy to do and it’s even more special when you consider that Charlie still has eight regular season games left in his junior season.”
Thomas’ big night was necessary to hold off a scrappy Howard team that used a 9-0 run in the second quarter to get within one point of River Hill at the half, 26-25.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Hawks were really able to open things up into double digits for good. Mike Titus (12 points) joined Thomas in double figures.
Dakwonte Avery led Howard with 12 points in the loss.
RH (10-2, 11-4): Thomas 25, Titus 12, Gable 6, Sandler 6, Richardson 5, Schlecht 3.
Ho (4-8, 5-9): Avery 12, Noble 4, Reyna 4, Bartnik 3, O’Malley 3, Perry 3, Savage 3, Dargan 2, Okoye 2, Shuart 2.
Half: 26-25 RH.
Reservoir 64, Marriotts Ridge 59
The Gators built a 48-34 lead entering the fourth quarter and then held on down the stretch despite Marriotts Ridge’s Robert Davis scoring 17 of his 22 points over the final eight minutes. Kyle Reilly led the way in the win for Reservoir with a game-high 23 points, followed by 12 points from Aaron McDonald.
Over the first three quarters, the combination of Reservoir’s Joe Kearney (9 points), Danny O’Hagan and Reilly had held the Mustangs’ Davis to just five points. Alex Caffes (14 points) and Greg Speelman (11) and Marquise Stringfellow (10) also had big nights in the loss for Marriotts Ridge.
Re (8-3, 8-5): Reilly 23, McDonald 12, Kearney 9, Henry 6, Reynolds 6, Parker 3, Mayers 3, Obering 2.
MR (2-10, 4-11): Davis 22, Caffes 14, Speelman 11, Stringfellow 10, Bryant 2.
Glenelg 82, Hammond 70
G (6-6, 8-7): Oates 25, Napolitano 18, Hammert 8, Haussler 8, Van de Wall 7, Helensky 5, Jarboe 5, Monroe 4, Mullinix 2, Morgan 1.
Ha (3-9, 5-10): McFadden 24, Wilcher 17, Ross 16, Whong 5, Johnson 3, Wallace 3, Coleman 2.
Half: 45-29 G.
Mt. Hebron 58, Long Reach 30
MH (7-5, 9-6): Herlihy 13, M. Smith 11, A. Smith 9, Duan 8, Andreas 7, Trapuzanno 5, Burk 4, Stock 2.
LR (2-10, 5-10): Menusan 7, Paul 6, Brodnax 4, Lamar 4, Montgomery 2, Carter 2, Clark 1.
Half: 28-16 MH.
Oakland Mills 71, Wilde Lake 52
OM (11-0, 13-1): Willis 20, Ndiaye 20, Tapscott 8, Williams 8, Kiely 5, Bradley 4, Powers 4, Aaron 1, DeLarosa 1.
WL (1-11, 2-12): Groves 17, K. Jackson 15, D. Jackson 6, Evans 5, Ampofo 4, Jordan 3, Bowie 2.
Half: 36-23 OM.
Chapelgate 67, Annapolis Area Christian 64
Ch (7-1, 13-6): Frierson 11, M. Grandy 9, C. Grandy 19, Willis 18, Morant 6, Hardin 2, Jolly 2.
AAC: Vina 14, Eberle 23, Foley 11, Ball 2, Nwosu 2, Heckert 6, Williams 6.
Half: 39-36 CCA.
St. Frances 66, Glenelg Country 56
Chancellor Barnard scored a game-high 31 points but it wasn’t enough as the Dragons fell 10 points short against visiting St. Frances. Darryl Williams also added eight points in the Glenelg Country loss, which came after the team held a three-point lead at halftime (33-30).