There is just one week left in the regular season, but still plenty to sort out when it comes to the race for this year’s boys basketball county championship.
Oakland Mills, Atholton and Reservoir are all still technically alive in terms of winning the crown. Oakland Mills, however, is the only team that controls its own destiny. If the Scorpions win all three of their games this week — against Reservoir (Monday), Marriotts Ridge (Wednesday) and Centennial (Friday) — they will finish alone in first place.
Snow created an abbreviated week in terms of games, so this week’s edition of the power rankings does not feature much in the way of changes.
As always, tweet at boys basketball beat reporter Brent Kennedy @BKHoCoSports with comments and/or questions about the rankings.
*Previous week rankings are in ()
ON THE BUBBLE: Howard (5-12 county, 6-14 overall), Marriotts Ridge (4-13, 6-14), Wilde Lake (3-15, 4-16), Hammond (3-15, 5-16).
8. (8) Long Reach (5-13 county, 8-13 overall). A tough road loss against Marriotts Ridge quickly halted any momentum that the Lightning may have gained from beating River Hill. Over the past six games, the team has traded three wins and three losses. Shane Barr continues to lead the team with an average of 15.3 points per game.
7. (7) Glenelg (8-9 county, 10-10 overall). The Gladiators played inspired basketball against Reservoir, actually leading at the half before falling a little short. Nick Oates scored 16 points in that one, giving him double digits in seven of the last eight. During that same stretch, Dom Napoltano (13.6 ppg) has scored nine or more points each time out. The Gladiators close the regular season against Atholton and River Hill.
6. (6) Mt. Hebron (9-9 county, 11-10 overall). It was not a good few days for the Vikings, which lost games against Reservoir and Wilde Lake early last week. The team’s offense failed to score more than 50 points in either contest and that may very well be the key in the playoffs. The Vikings boast one of the county’s top three defenses, but will need to up their scoring production if they wants to make a run.
5. (5) River Hill (12-6 county, 13-8 overall). The Hawks continue to be snake-bit in close games, dropping a four-point decision against Atholton to make it six county losses all by seven points or less. River Hill loves to slow down the pace and that has kept the team in every game, but it’s a tough way to play on a night-in and night-out basis. Since January, nine of the team’s 13 games have been decided by single digits.
4. (4) Centennial (11-6 county, 14-6 overall). The Eagles won their only game last week, edging past Howard 57-52. Six guys scored five or more points in that one, with Isaiah White scoring a team-high 16 points. White has led the team in scoring now in 12 of out of the 20 games Centennial has played. The Eagles have won 11 of their past 14 games.
3. (3) Reservoir (15-3 county, 15-5 overall). Since losing a last-second heartbreaker against Atholton in early January, the Gators have answered every challenge. The team now has nine straight county wins entering its regular season finale against first-place Oakland Mills on Monday. This is the kind of play everyone expected from this group when many picked them to win the county title in the preseason.
2. (2) Atholton (14-2 county, 15-3 overall). The Raiders passed a major test last week, defeating River Hill on the road. That makes five straight wins and that keeps Atholton just one game back of first-place Oakland Mills. This group of guys also has the inside track to the top seed in Section II of the 3A East regional. The last three county games are against Glenelg, Howard and Mt. Hebron.
1. (1) Oakland Mills (15-1 county, 17-2 overall). After playing a stretch of six out of seven games being decided by single digits, the Scorpions have very quietly been dominating their opposition once again. The team has won three straight by 18 or more points. Oakland Mills is now three wins away from the program’s third county title in the last four years.