On a night where offensive consistency was hard to come by, Centennial turned to its defense to lead the way in a road match-up against rival Mt. Hebron.
Holding the Vikings without a point for nearly six minutes between the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth, the Eagles broke open a tight game with an 11-0 run that set the stage for an eventual 51-45 victory on Tuesday night.
“We just came into a very tough place to play, in match-up that’s very emotional because of all the kids in the stands making it a fun environment, and we found a way to win,” said Centennial coach Chad Hollwedel. “We 100 percent need to keep getting better in an effort to try and peak for this last part of the season, but tonight we are happy to get out of here with a win. When you get into a game against Mt. Hebron, the final score doesn’t matter — it’s about the result.”
While Centennial and Mt. Hebron is considered to be one of the county’s top rivalries, recent history is completely in favor of the Eagles. In fact, Centennial has won every boys basketball match-up between the two programs since 2010.
Getting the victory this time around, however, took everything the Eagles had. Mt. Hebron jumped out to an early 13-4 advantage behind three 3-pointers by Ryan Kinloch (12 points) in a two-minute span late in the first quarter.
Then early in the third quarter, after Centennial had regrouped to take a 21-18 lead into halftime, Mt. Hebron got a couple big baskets from JC McCorn (11 points) to create a tie game.
But Centennial’s defensive pressure and zone defense ultimately wore Mt. Hebron down and set the stage for the decisive run. Elijah White hit a 3-pointer with 3:28 left in the third quarter to kick0start an 11-0 push that gave Centennial its first double-digit lead of the evening.
“We ran them off the [3-point] line and made them make plays that they may have not been used to … defensive energy got the job done,” said Centennial senior Stephen Sedlacko.
Andrew Hohmann, who missed five games earlier this month with an ankle injury was particularly big to the push into the lead. The junior guard scored a game-high 14 points, including five in a row to close the third quarter.
“We talked about it before the game that he has not been himself since returning, but there was a point there after he scored five straight points in that third quarter that I said ‘Welcome back.’” Hollwedel said. “He’s worked so hard to get back, but it’s just been very tough for him physically. And he’s huge for us, so getting him into the mix is very important.”
Centennial’s lead grew to as many as 14 points, 44-30, in the fourth quarter following a lay-up by Hayden Ford (10 points).
Mt. Hebron made a late push, getting to as close as four points in the final seconds, but the Eagles made enough foul shots to finish things off for the victory.
Centennial 51, Mt. Hebron 45
C (5-3, 13-6): Hohmann 14, Ford 10, Taylor 9, White 8, Eudell 4, Williams 4, Addisu 2.
MH (2-6, 10-9): Kinloch 12, McCorn 11, Prox 10, Linsenmeyer 5, Johnson 4, Pearce 2, Shriver 1.
Half: 21-18 C.
Hammond 68, River Hill 58
The Golden Bears continued their trend of bringing their best effort in the biggest games this winter, putting an end to county-leading River Hill’s eight-game winning streak on Tuesday night. Hammond has now swept River Hill this season, in addition to owning victories over Reservoir and Centennial.
Lee Goodson exploded for a career-high 28 points in the victory, surpassing his previous high of 16 points earlier this season against River Hill. The Golden Bears’ sophomore didn’t score a single point in the first quarter, but heated up with nine points in the second quarter to help Hammond grab a 29-28 lead at the half.
Goodson then kept the momentum rolling in the third quarter by pouring in another 10 points and the Golden Bears extended their lead to as many as 15 points in the period.
For the game, Hammond ended up hitting six of seven shots from 3-point range. Robert Gordon also had a strong game, scoring 19 points.
Luke Champion paced River Hill with a team-high 17 points in the loss.
The Hawks are now 8-1 in games that count toward the county standings, holding a one-game advantage in the loss column over Reservoir and Wilde Lake.
Ha (5-3, 8-11): Goodson 28, Gordon 19, Ridgell 10, Stalling 3, Tukpah 2, Henry 2, Evans 2, Darko 2.
RH (8-1, 14-6): Champion 17, Krause 14, Clark 14, Martin 13.
Half: 29-28 Ha.
Reservoir 42, Long Reach 39
The Gators prevailed in a close contest thanks to some late foul shots from Judge Payne (10 points) and Zabril Carey.
The team also got some strong defensive efforts from Kevin Miller, Simi Ajimatanrareje (14 points) and Ayomi Akinbinu to hold Long Reach’s top scoring duo of Tre Morgan (13 points) and Chad Brown (11) below their season averages.
Re (6-2, 14-4): Ajimatanrareje 14, Payne 10, Akinbinu 6, Miller 5, Carey 2, Ricketts 2, Upsher 2, Archampong 1, Gunther 1.
LR (2-6, 7-12): Morgan 13, Chad Brown 13, Chan Brown 5, Ekop 3, Young 2, Casserly 2, Shupe 2, Thompson 1.
Half: 25-20 Re.
Wilde Lake 60, Marriotts Ridge 49
The Wildecats prevailed behind a game-high 22 points from Trea Keys to earn the team’s third straight win. The game was tied at the half, but Keys broke out to score 12 points in the third quarter to help Wilde Lake grab a lead it never lost the rest of the way.
Marquis Bullett added a double-double as well in the victory.
The Wilde Lake win, coupled with a loss by River Hill, puts the team just one game behind first place in the county standings with three games to go.
WL (6-2, 12-7): Keys 22, Bullett 12, David 9, Van Tassell 6, Greene 5, Barnes 5, Raymond 3.
MR (3-5,7-12): Ingersoll 12, Demiral 11, Held 6, Bergquist 6, Geiger 6, Lee 6, Davis 2.
Glenelg 65, Oakland Mills 63
It took holding off a furious fourth-quarter comeback by the Scorpions, but the Gladiators were able to hold on for the two-point victory thanks to a balanced scoring effort.
Chris Currie led the way with 17 points on a night where six Glenelg players scored six or more points. The win is the fourth in the last five games for the Gladiators, with three coming by six points or less.
Jordan Hopkins scored a game-high 21 points in the losing effort for Oakland Mills, which outscored Glenelg 22-13 in the fourth quarter.
G (4-5, 13-6): Currie 17, Wade 10, Powell 9, Davis 8, Walsh 6, Mills 6, Piwowarski 4, Koele 3, Heigh 2.
OM (2-6, 5-13): Hopkins 21, Simpson 12, Eaton 9, Wheelock 5, Greggs 4, Burgess 4, Estep 3, Ware 3, Tarver 2.
Half: 36-25 G.
Howard 41, Atholton 40
The Lions prevailed in a nail-biter thanks to a driving layup by Elijah Perkins-Cross in the closing seconds to put his team ahead by one.
Howard had led 19-14 at the half before opening up a 37-23 advantage by the end of the third quarter. But Atholton responded with a 16-0 run to open the fourth quarter, coming all the way back to grab the lead 39-37.
Ultimately, though, the Lions made just enough plays to pull out the victory and snap a three-game losing streak. Dequon Walker led all scorers with 17 points for Howard.
Ho (3-5, 6-13): Walker 17, Cowan 9, Johnson 4, Perkins-Cross 4, Roberson 2, Scaife 2, Agbai 2, Davis 1.
A (3-5, 6-13): Perlin 16, Rankin 14, Washington 3, WAterworth 3, Dobson 2, Sanghavi 2.
Half: 19-14 Ho.