Through five games this winter, Reservoir has proven itself to be one of the county’s most balanced teams — having three different guys step up and lead the way in each of the team’s three victories thus far.
On Monday, against Centennial, it was James Simms’ turn.
Coming off the bench, Simms scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the way in a 65-57 victory over the Eagles.
“I really believe we have two starting fives and so far you’re seeing that,” Reservoir coach Mike Coughlan said. “We have different kids that are stepping up every night, whether its our starters or the kids off the bench.”
Simms, who hadn’t scored a point this season prior to Monday, did most of his damage in the fourth quarter. He scored eight points, including six straight during one stretch, over the final four minutes to help Reservoir (3-2, 3-2) turn a one-point lead into the final eight-point margin.
“He was gone the first three and half weeks … football is his thing and I wanted him to focus on that and get everything situated there before he joined us,” Coughlan said. “His energy that he brought was a big difference maker tonight.”
Reservoir also got 14 points from Kyle Reilly, nine from Aaron McDonald and eight from Darius Boris.
In the loss, Centennial (3-2, 3-2) was led by Omari Ringgold (21 points, 6 rebounds), Zach Olmstead (14 points) and Timi Tinuoye (11 points, 8 rebounds).
Centennial jumped ahead early, never trailing in the first quarter and leading by as many as four at one point, 12-8, following a lay-up by Ringgold. But Reservoir surged ahead in the second, capitalizing on a couple big baskets by Reilly to eventually take a 25-23 lead into halftime.
By the end of the third quarter, the Gators had pushed the lead up to 10 following a jumper by Boris that made it 43-33.
Centennial, however, didn’t go quietly. The Eagles made a run to get all the way back within one, 49-48, with 3:35 left in regulation. That’s when Simms took over with a put-back, a lay-up and two foul shots in the span of 60 seconds to stretch out a lead that never was less than five the rest of the way.
Reservoir went six for six from the foul line in the final 30 seconds to help seal the victory,
After losing its first two games by a combined six points, the Gators have now won three consecutive games.
Reservoir 65, Centennial 57
Re (3-2, 3-2): Reilly 14, Simms 12, McDonald 9, Boris 8, Williams 6, Christian 6, Young 5, Toler 2, Franklin 2, Brooks 1.
C (3-2, 3-2): Ringgold 21, Olmstead 14, Tinuoye 11, Eads 6, Benson 3, DeVries 2.
Half: 25-23 Re.
Wilde Lake 68, Howard 49
WL (3-2, 3-3): Groves 17, Robinson 13, K. Jackson 13, Handy 12, Calloway 11, Ampofo 2.