Behind its defense and a hot-shooting fourth quarter, Oakland Mills put the finishing touches on a season sweep of Glenelg Tuesday evening.
The Scorpions outscored the Gladiators by 17 points over the final eight minutes, pulling away for a 55-28 victory that creates a tie between the two teams for the top seed in the 2A South Section I region playoffs with less than two weeks left in the regular season.
“The message today was that this game really was going to shape the rest of the season for us. We needed this one to position ourselves for playoffs, which we know is when the real season begins,” Oakland Mills coach Walt Hagins said. “We feel like we are really growing up right now, starting with the game last Friday against Hammond … starting to play with patience and confidence.
“To play like we did against a very good Glenelg team tonight, it lets us know exactly what we’re capable of heading into these next few games.”
Marley Grenway scored a game-high 18 points for Oakland Mills (8-5, 12-7) — all but two coming in the second half — and both Aislynn Riggs (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Jazmine Washington (14 points) joined her in double figures scoring.
The Scorpions have now won three of their last four contests and Grenway says the significance of this game was not lost on the team.
“Before the game, our coach made sure to tell us how important this was. We beat them the first time and this time we had to come out with the same energy, maybe even more,” she said. “[We had to] really be focused on how this game could really help us for the future.”
On the other side, Glenelg (7-6, 12-6) lost for the fourth time in the last five games. Jess Foster led the Gladiators in the loss to the Scorpions with eight points.
“Hats off to Oakland Mills, but the bottom line is that we have to get better overall,” Glenelg coach Chris Beil said. “Our help-side defense wasn’t there, it was a cold-night shooting — you are going to have those nights — but we needed to attack the hoop a lot more than we did. We’re going to sit down, watch film and figure out how we can execute better.”
Oakland Mills held Glenelg to just four points in the first quarter, establishing a 9-4 lead by the end of the period. Then, sparked by Riggs on the interior, the Scorpions opened up their first double-digit lead midway through the second quarter courtesy of a 7-0 run.
By halftime, the Oakland Mills lead was 21-12. Then to begin the third quarter, the Scorpions held Glenelg scoreless for five straight minutes and once again pushed their lead to double digits.
“Everything we do is predicated on our defense. When we are playing well on that end, it really energizes us, gives us a bounce in our legs and allows us to build momentum,” Hagins said. “We feel like as long as we stay consistent defensively, it’s only a matter of time before the shots begin to fall offensively.”
It was in the final minute of the third quarter that Grenway got going. She hit a long 3-pointer from the left wing and proceeded to hit three more 3-pointers over the next four minutes to help Oakland Mills officially put the game out of reach.
The final 27-point margin of victory is the largest against a county opponent this winter for the Scorpions.
Oakland Mills is back in action on Friday against Wilde Lake, while Glenelg travels to face Hammond.
Oakland Mills 55, Glenelg 28
OM (8-5, 12-7): Grenway 18, Riggs 15, Washington 14, McDuffie 5, Eldridge 3.
G (7-6, 12-6): Foster 8, Gillespie 6, Salafia 4, Anderson 4, Johnson 4, LePage 2.
Half: 21-12 OM.
Howard 64, Atholton 15
The Lions won their 10th straight game, putting four players in double figures on the way to the 49-point victory. Howard’s defense also held the Raiders to a season-low total offensively.
Taylor Addison, who was celebrated for scoring her 1,000th career point earlier this season, and Camille Malagar shared game-high scoring honors with 11 points each. Madison Burris and Courtney Furr were right behind them with 10 points apiece.
Howard was ahead 24-4 after the first quarter and 38-8 by halftime. As a team, the Lions hit seven 3-pointers.
Alexandra Hargrett led Atholton in the loss with six points. The team’s leading scorer Kayla Beckwith did not play with an ankle injury.
Ho (12-1, 18-1): Addison 11, Malagar 11, Burris 10, Furr 10, Durkee 5, Eich 5, Russell 5, Robison 3, Jones 2, Sanchez-Henry 2.
A (5-8, 7-11): Hargrett 6, Cannon 4, Sowah 2, Perlin 2, Blair 1.
Half: 38-8 Ho.
Marriotts Ridge 43, Wilde Lake 35
The Mustangs got a team-high 16 points from Mallory Conroy on the way to completing the season sweep of the Wildecats. As a team, Marriotts Ridge ended up having seven players score at least four points.
Kalani Corkeron had 20 points, while Jazmia Perry chipped in with 10, for Wilde Lake in the loss.
MR (5-7, 9-9): Conroy 16, Bryan 5, Bergquist 4, H. Morath 4, Crosby 4, Kohler 4, Noll 4, E. Morath 2.
WL (0-13, 1-16): Corkeron 20, Perry 10, Wright 3, Cariati 2.
Half: 23-16 MR.
Long Reach 58, Reservoir 36
The Lightning maintained their one-game lead in the county standings, getting double-digit scoring efforts from Kiana Williams (16 points), Arianna Briggs-Hall (15), Lyric Swann (12) and Jaelyn Swann (11) on the way to the win over the Gators.
On the other side, Emily Dorn (22 points, 12 rebounds) and Nia Powell (5 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) were the leaders for the Gators in the loss.
LR (12-0, 13-1): Williams 16, Briggs-Hall 15, L. Swann 12, J. Swann 11, Richardson 2, Thompson 2.
Re (8-5, 11-8): Dorn 22, Powell 5, Clark 3, Hooker 2, Bailey 2, Moultrie 2.
Half: 32-11 LR.
River Hill 44, Hammond 37
After leading by just two points entering the fourth quarter, the Hawks pulled away with 14 points over the final eight minutes. Mona King led the way with a team-high 11 points in the victory.
RH (6-7, 12-7): King 11, S. Jackson 9, Masker 9, Clark 5, Altman 4, Dawit 4, Wesche 2.
Ha (2-11, 5-11): McInerney 13, Burns 10, Reid 10, Allen 2, Brown 2.
Half: 19-13 RH.
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