Just two games into the season, junior Mamadoye Ndiaye already appears to be making himself right at home at Oakland Mills.
On Saturday against Digital Harbor, the athletic transfer from Laurel High School scored 28 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked eight shots in helping the Scorpions to a 74-63 victory.
“I just got here, but it’s a great group of guys and they’ve gotten me adjusted to the system so that I fit right in,” said Ndiaye, who also scored a team-high 23 points a day earlier in a win over Wilde Lake. “It feels like I was meant to be with them. They are pushing me in practice to get better every day and I try to do the same for them.”
With Ndiaye leading the way, Oakland Mills shook off a slow start that saw the Rams grab an early 9-4 lead midway through the first quarter.
The 6-foot-7 forward made a couple foul shots and then found point guard Nekhil Bradley (10 points) for a lay-up to get the surge started. Then between the final three minutes of the opening quarter and the first minute of the second, Ndiaye put together a 10-2 run of his own to put the Scoprions ahead by seven.
The team never lost the lead the rest of the way.
Ndiaye finished with 20 points in the first half, helping stake Oakland Mills to a 39-33 advantage going into the break. Along the way he delivered several highlight-reel dunks.
“He was extremely good at times tonight, his rebounding especially was a lot better than last night, but I think he’s still just scratching the surface,” Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said. “The sky is the limit with him.”
In the second half, the Oakland Mills lead fluctuated between four and 12 points. Deshawn Willis (16 points), Daivon Tapscott (11 points) and Marvin Williams (9) did the majority of their scoring in the final two quarters for the Scorpions.
Ian Thomas led Digital Harbor with 20 points in the loss.
Despite the double-digit victory, though, Browne said he still sees plenty of room for improvement going forward.
“I thought we were lethargic for most of the night, just not nearly the same energy we had against Wilde Lake last night … but we still won and did some positive things that we can pull from,” Browne said. “That’s an athletic (Digital Harbor) team that will beat some people.”
Oakland Mills 74, Digital Harbor 63
OM (1-0, 2-0): Ndiaye 28, Willis 16, Tapscott 11, Bradley 10, Williams 9.
DH: Mendez 16, Thomas 20, Deline 6, Nichols 6, Hayden 4, Davis 4, Exum 4. Crowder 3.
Half: 39-33 OM.
Chapelgate 75, Friends 50 (Friday)
Ch (1-0, 5-3): Willis 14, M. Grandy 12, Frierson 11, Morant 4, C. Grandy 19, Pierce 3, Rivera 1, Jolly 10, M. Beckett 1.
F: Walters 2, Gregory 3, Jones 16, Shapiro 3, Tilley 20, Shephard 6.
Half: 30-18 Ch.