His team down by 15 points midway through the third quarter against first-place Centennial Wednesday night, Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne called time out and told his guys it was put up or shut up time.
“We called timeout, they were arguing a little bit, and I said ‘hey, should we put the subs in?’ And they kind of looked around at each other for a second and then all together they were like ‘no way, we’re good, we’ve got this.’” Browne said. “So I told them, ‘well if you want it, you better go out and get it.’ And they did … they responded.”
Over the last four minutes of the third quarter and first four minutes of the fourth, Oakland Mills put together a 22-5 run to come all the way back and eventually force overtime.
Then, in the extra period, big plays from Will Robinson Jr. (20 points), Mamadou Ndiaye (16) and Daniel Kiely (11) helped the Scorpions complete the comeback and earn a 66-61 victory on the road.
Last winter, Centennial had beaten Oakland Mills in overtime at the end of the regular season to spoil the Scorpions’ bid for a county title. This time around, the tables were turned.
“We definitely wanted a little bit of revenge from last year and we got it,” Kiely said.
The loss was the first in county play for Centennial (11-1, 13-2), which was led by the trio of Chad Strothers (18 points), Tom Brown (17) and Isaiah White (15). The Eagles and Oakland Mills (11-1, 13-2) are now tied atop the standings with a loss apiece.
Centennial coach Chad Hollwedel said that the team’s game plan of limiting Oakland Mills’ transition offense worked for most of the night, but when the Eagles’ lapsed in that area in the second half, the Scorpions were ready to capitalize.
“I thought we did a pretty good job, for most of the game, of keeping them out of their run outs. There was a stretch when we missed some shots in that third quarter when we were up 15 and then it eventually dissipated to where we weren’t up anymore, and it all started with run outs for them,” Hollwedel said. “The lesson to be learned is that every possession matters, everywhere in the game.”
After Oakland Mills made its run to come all the way back and grab its first lead of the night following a Robinson lay-up with 4:58 left in the fourth quarter, the two teams traded blows for the rest of regulation. The game was tied five times down the stretch, including at 55-55 when the final horn sounded at the end of the fourth quarter.
Centennial struck first on a lay-up by Strothers at the beginning of overtime, but Oakland Mills scored seven of the next eight points to grab control. Then, with Centennial attempting to pull back into it, Robinson and Kiely each made a pair of foul shots in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
“We just made a few extra plays than they did and I give the boys a lot of credit for pulling together and showing that intensity,” Browne said. “We had been missing that emotion all night and then something clicked and I thought we wanted it more. That was anybody’s game there at the end and our guys came through.”
Robinson echoed the words of his coach.
“To me it was just intensity and we definitely stepped it up a little bit. Heart, I thought, went a long way in that fourth quarter,” he said. “From there it was just a matter of taking shots and making shots.”
Oakland Mills’ late push to victory came at the end of a game that had started extremely promising for the Eagles. Centennial had raced out to a 12-3 lead in the first five minutes and maintained an eight-point lead, 30-22, going into halftime.
Then at the beginning of the third quarter, Centennial started hot again to open up its largest lead of the night. Oakland Mills, however, simply found an answer just in time.
“I thought to start both halves, we played with a different level of energy and I think it just may have been hard for us to maintain that energy,” Hollwedel said. “Some of that is Oakland Mills winning the 50-50s and doing a really good job on the boards in the second half. … I was just a little disappointed with our execution down the stretch.”
Oakland Mills 66, Centennial 61 OT
OM (11-1, 13-2): Robinson 20, Ndiaye 16, Kiely 11, Williams-Day 11, Hopkins 4, Aaron 2, Stanfield 2.
C (11-1, 13-2): Strothers 18, Brown 17, I. White 15, An 4, Clemens 4, Wilson 3.
Half: 30-22 C; Regulation: 55-55.
Mt. Hebron 74, Howard 67
MH (8-4, 11-4): M. Smith 24, A. Smith 19, Trapuzzano 10, Linsenmeyer 9, Bryant 6, Madden 3.
Ho (5-7, 7-8): Greene 17, Savage 12, Shuart 12, Noble 9, Dawkins 8, O’Malley 5.
Long Reach 47, Marriotts Ridge 33
LR (6-6, 7-8): Lamar 14, Brodnax 9, Clark 8, Carter 5, Briscoe 4, Parham 2, Stamatides 2, Avery 2, Paul 1.
MR (3-9, 4-11): Clipp 9, Speelman 8, Talentino 8, Caffes 6, Morath 2.
Half: 17-16 MR.
Reservoir 64, Wilde Lake 47
Re (9-3, 10-5): Obering 18, Phillips 12, Henry 10, Winters 8, Mierzwa 6, G. Garcia 4, J. Garcia 2, Maloney 2, Omorogbe 2.
WL (1-11, 3-12): Ichrist 11, Lamptey 8, David 7, Morgan 6, Stubblefield 6, Jordan 4, Cantwell 3, DeLaRosa 2.
Half: 29-27 Re.
River Hill 57, Glenelg 42
RH (7-5, 10-5): Thomas 25, DiSimone 9, Borucki 6, Martin 6, Sandler 5, Gable 4, French 2.
G (4-8, 6-8): Napolitano 17, Hammert 6, Wade 6, Oates 5, Bowman 2, Conners 2, Koele 2, Mills 2.
Half: 28-18 RH.
Archbishop Curley 68, Chapelgate 59
AC: Costes 16, Snowden 15, Wilson 12, Brown 8, Pettit 7, Butler 5, Thompson 3, Alderman 2.
CCA (5-4, 11-10): Grandy 21, Frierson 15, Mitchell 8, Ball 7, Madden 6, Pierce 2.
Half: 29-24 AC.