Complacency plagued River Hill boys basketball in the second quarter of its home win over Reservoir on Wednesday night, and the Hawks players heard plenty about their struggles from coach Matt Graves and his staff at halftime.
Holding a double-digit lead three minutes into the period, they abandoned the offensive style that helped them win 14 out of their first 16 games this season. Graves called their defense effort during that stretch “stagnant.”
Credit Reservoir for ratcheting up the defensive pressure, but River Hill still managed one basket over the final 4 minutes, 56 seconds of the frame. Its lead, once a comfy 10 points, dwindled to 27-26 by intermission.
“It was more of a accountability issue with them stepping up their games and acting like they are the best team in the county,” Graves said.
The halftime rebuke, as intended, sparked a significant shift in play on both sides of the floor. The Hawks locked down the Gators with man-to-man defense. On offense, senior Jaden Martin and company executed in the half court and thrived in transition to help the team run away with a 67-40 win.
And while the final score fails to provide an accurate representation of the game’s competitiveness, the Hawks seized control early in the third period and never seemed to be in danger of letting their lead go.
“Coming into the second half, we had to buckle down, get tougher, make smart plays,” Martin said. “I think we did that, and we came out with the victory.”
With the win, the River Hill bounced from its first county loss of the season at Mt. Hebron on Saturday and maintain a two-game county lead over Oakland Mills with five league contests remaining. Reservoir, meanwhile, has now dropped five of its past six games after starting the year 7-2.
Martin, one of the top scorers in the county, finished with a game-high 25 points.
That production began after the opening tip and — for the most part — continued until Graves subbed out his four-year starter with a few minutes left in the game. His nine first-quarter points kept River Hill (10-1 county, 15-2 overall) in front during a back-and-forth frame, while is third-period scoring help the Hawks steal the momentum away from the Gators (6-4, 8-7).
Still, Martin saw areas to improve. He emphasized making the “smart play.” Graves critiqued his player’s shot selection.
So, despite entering halftime with nearly half of his team’s points, Martin brought his level of play to an even higher level.
“He realized in the second half, ‘I need to take this team by the horns and take them to the promise land,’ which he did,” Graves said.
Martin impacted the game beyond putting the ball in the hoop. A few possessions into the third quarter, he passed up an open 3-pointer to feed junior center OJ Okojie for an and-1 opportunity. On another occasion, he stole the ball and delivered a coast-to-coast layup.
All the while, Hawks shot blockers limited Reservoir’s inside scoring, so the Gators guards would often drive the lanne before passing to an open teammate on the perimeter.
However, long-range shooting is not one of their strengths, and it showed with a 3-for-22 showing from deep on Monday night.
“We stopped making shots,” Reservoir coach Mike Coughlan said. “I thought we were attacking the basket — I guess we weren’t — but … [the referees] weren’t calling any … fouls. So, we just put our heads down and gave up.”
Once a 39-35 contest, River Hill closed the game on a 28-5 run behind countless transition buckets that inflated the Hawks’ margin of victory. It sealed yet another triumph over one of the county’s better squads.
On the other hand, Coughlan hopes the lopsided result will spark his struggling squad entering the final stretch of the regular season.
River Hill (10-1 county, 15-2 overall) — 67, Reservoir (6-4, 8-7) — 40
RH — Martin 25, Krause 13, Daniels 10, Champion 7, McKenna 6, Okojie 4, Richards 2.
Re — Bradford 9, McCallum 8, Saunderson 8, Odunowo 6, Barrett 3, Diarra 2, Moore 2, Okolo 2.
Half: 27-26, RH
Around Howard County
Centennial (6-6, 8-8) — 60, Wilde Lake (5-6, 6-10) — 48
Senior guard Andrew Hohmann continued his recent scoring tear as Centennial earned his second consecutive double-digit county victory.
The Eagles backed up their 70-48 win over Hammond on Friday night by holding Wilde Lake to under 50 points as well. Junior guard Trea Keys still went for 23 points but received little offensive help.
Hohmann, meanwhile, scored 18 of his season-high 25 point after the break to help his team turn a halftime deficit into a 12-point win. He’s scored 19 points per game the past three contests. To compare, he averaged about 7.7 points before that.
C — Hohmann 25, Addisu 7, Taylor 7, Eudell 5, Hollwedel 5, Berkeley 4, Williams 4, Smith 2, Ford 1.
WL — Keys 23, Van Tassel 10, Marshall 6, Hunter 4, Greene 3, Joseph 1, Zimmerman 1.
Half: 24-22, WL
Marriotts Ridge (4-7, 8-9) — 64, Atholton (6-6, 8-10) — 51
Marriotts Ridge bounced back in a big way after Friday’s double-overtime loss at Howard.
Senior guard Luke Ingersoll’s sparked the Mustangs with a triple-double (10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists), while juniors Brandon Held (19 points) and Cole Brown (17 points) gave the Raiders fits throughout the game.
However, these weren’t the only valuable Mustangs. Coach Tim Brady said every player saw the court and contributed to the team’s third win in the last four games.
MR — Held 19, Cole Brown 17, Ingersoll 10, Lee 7, Stepke 3, Little 2, Brennan 2, Ross 2, Snell 2.
A — Oates 14, Daniel 9, Murray 8, Parkins 7, Marsh 4, Mitchell 4, Bowens 2, Rankin 2, Carey 1.
Atholton 66, Fallston 49 (Monday)
A — Oates 16, Rankin 13, Carey 9, Parkins 9, Murray 6, Mitchell 5, Williams 4, Agbor-Baiyee 2, Daniel 2.
Half: 27-24, Fallston
Oakland Mills (8-3, 12-4) — 81, Long Reach (4-8, 6-11) — 63
Oakland Mills has been rolling since Mt. Hebron beat coach Jon Browne’s team on its home court on Jan. 18.
On Wednesday night, junior guard Daeshawn Eaton (20 points) was one of five Scorpions to score in double figures in the blowout victory. They’ve now won each of their past four games by at least 14 points.
OM — Eaton 20, Burgess 13, Greggs 13, Hairston 11, Simpson 11, Chance 6, Gaymon 5, Brown 2.
LR — Jones 20, Dix 12, Martin 11, Davis 9, Raymond Jr. 7, Thompson 2, Young 2,
Half: 35-25, OM
Oakland Mills 81, Eastern Tech 37 (Monday)
OM — Greggs 19, Eaton 13, Simpson 11, Hairston 9, Eiland II 8, Chance 8, Burgess 5, Fairbanks 3, Gaymon 2, Parks 2, McFadden 1.
Half: 46-25, OM
Long Reach 58, Hammond 52 (Monday)
LR — Jones 15, Thompson 15, Davis 12, Martin 6, Raymond Jr. 6, Dix 2, Young 2.
Ha — Bourne 19, Martin 10, Stallings 8, Gordon 6, Podu 6, Henry 3.
Half: 21-16, Ha
Mt. Hebron (7-5, 10-8) — 48, Hammond (3-7, 5-11) — 36
The last time Mt. Hebron scored less than 50 points, it turned in a 28-point effort in a forgettable home loss to Wilde Lake on Jan. 10.
But on Wednesday night, the Vikings’ were able to overcome their poor scoring effort with a stout defensive performance. Only three players scored for Hammond, which only managed 13 points before halftime.
As for Mt. Hebron, guard Alex Naziare built on his impressive senior campaign with a season-high 25 points and served as the go-to scorer on a night senior Brandon Prox did not reach double digits.
The Vikings have now won six straight games, a run that’s helped them move into fourth place in the county standings.
MH — Nazaire 25, Prox 9, Kinloch 8, Coleman 6.
Ha — Gordon 16, Henry 15, Bourne 5.
Half: 23-13, MH
Mt. Hebron 61, Westminster 52 (Monday)
3MH — Prox 24, Nazaire 13, Kinloch 12, Cargiulo 5, Ichrist 3, Bates 2, Coleman 2.
Half: 26-25, MH
Glenelg (6-5, 8-8) — 70, Howard (2-9, 3-13) — 51
Glenelg senior forward Ryan Davis is a double-double machine who continued to score and pull down rebounds in a 19-point win over Howard on Wednesday night.
The Gladiators’ leading scorer delivered a 26-point, 12-rebound, four-steal stat line to help his team pull away in the second quarter and cruise from there.
Other contributors included senior guards Garrett Mills (11 assists and three steals), Josh Heigh, who scored 12 points in his first game back from injury and Gio Saglimbeni. Saglimbeni hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter alone, matching his season total from the previous 15 games combined.
The Gladiators also tallied 19 assists in what coach Jansen McMillan called a “great team win.”
Despite the loss for Howard, it’s worth noting senior guard Andrew Blanco exceed his previous career-high for the second straight game. He scored 28 points on seven 3-pointers against the Gladiators, the same number of long balls he hit in the Lions’ double-overtime win over Marriotts Ridge on Friday night.
G — Davis 26, Heigh 12, Saglimbeni 11, Koele 5, Boswell 4, Mills 3, Piwowarski 3, Chappell 2, Onwumbiko 2, Soltis 2.
Ho — Blanco 28, Simmons 6, Taylor 6, Kim 3, Williams 3, Harris 2, O’Connor 2, Wilson 1.
Half: 35-20, G
Archbishop Curley — 72, Chapelgate (3-7 MIAA B Conference, 12-11) — 62 (Monday)
CH — Dickerson 22, Hatcher 19, Morant 9, Wise 7, Phillips 3, Wesley 2.
Half: 35-31, CH
Paul Laurence Dunbar 58, Reservoir 40 (Monday)
Re — Moore 8, Saunderson 8, Odunowo 8, Okolo 7, Ricketts 4, Adubi 2, Mattocks 2, McCallum 1.
Half: 29-23, Paul Laurence Dunbar
Glenelg Country (3-8 MIAA A Conference, 6-12) — 63, Gilman — 51 (Tuesday)
GCS — Owen 14, Robinson 14, Chase Paar 13, Hornatko 11, Cole Paar 4, Charles 2, Swartz 2.
Half: 25-22, Gilman
Reach Kyle Stackpole at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @kylefstackpole