Oakland Mills (1-8 county, 8-11 overall) was ready to put an end to its losing streak, and after a strong second-half effort against Wilde Lake (0-9, 3-17) Friday night it was finally over.
The Scorpions defeated the Wildecats, 37-29, broke an eight-game skid and tallied their first county win of the season.
“Eight straight is a long four weeks, but we are getting there,” said Oakland Mills coach Lloyd Philips. “That stuff snowballs with a young team. We don’t know how to figure it out, how to fight out of it. But we are working on fighting out of it and in a week and half the record will start over and it will be 0-0.”
The Scorpions weren’t discouraged coming out of the halftime break with a three-point deficit. They buckled down defensively and limited Wilde Lake to just six points on two made shots from the field in the final 16 minutes, which allowed them to pull away to clinch the win.
“We had more energy in the second half,” said Oakland Mills forward Aislynn Riggs, who led all scorers with 18 points on the night. “In the first half we were kind of slacking, not playing good enough defense, but halftime coach gave us a pep talk and that really turned it around for us. Winning feels great, because we went on a seven or eight-game losing streak and to finally get back in to the groove of winning it feels good.”
It was a back-and-forth battle in the first half, as the score changed hands six times before the break.
Kyrah Pacheco and Riggs gave the Scorpions an early 6-2 advantage, but Wilde Lake took its first lead midway through the first quarter after Kiarra Lewis-Turnbo knocked down a three from the corner.
The Scorpions finished the first period on a 4-0 run to earn back the advantage, but Lewis-Turnbo knotted up the score at 10-all at the start of the second quarter and then put her team back up after hitting a long-ranged two from the same corner.
Oakland Mills went up once more before the Wildecats ended the half on a 6-0 run, which gave them the, 20-17 lead.
But the Scorpions came out and dominated the third quarter. Riggs was the catalyst, scoring five unanswered points to start the period, then added six more points before entering the fourth quarter.
“It was easier for me to score and do the moves that I wanted to do,” Riggs said. “I think I played good, but as a team we played great. We actually played together and had good teamwork. We really brought it together at the end.”
Lewis-Turnbo tied the game at 22 with 6:52 left in the third, but Oakland Mills answered with a 7-0 run.
"We are a very young team, so it is a process to get them day after day to get it, but they are getting better," Phillips said. "They are fighting and I was glad to see that. They fought today and with a losing streak sometimes we put our head down a little bit... But we’re getting there, we’ll make some noise in the playoffs. It’s just been a process to get there, but they’ll get it."
Kiyah King and Mikayla Lee gave Wilde Lake four-straight points to end the surge, but the Scorpions countered with another 7-0 run, thanks to five points by Marley Grenway, which gave Oakland Mills its largest lead up to that point, as it entered the fourth with a 10-point cushion.
Wilde Lake went to the line six times in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, but couldn’t knock down any. They held the Scorpions without a bucket during the stretch but couldn’t take advantage on the offensive end.
Lewis-Turnbo made the first basket of the quarter with 1:16 remaining, but Wilde Lake couldn’t get another to go and ultimately took its ninth-straight county loss.
“We’ve been playing well defensively. It’s just offensively. It’s been killing us,” said Wilde Lake coach Owen Gaither. “Defensively we’ve been getting better the last three games, but offensively we got to get it done. In the last three games — we went four minute not scoring at Marriotts Ridge, we went I want to say three minutes not scoring at Manchester Valley and you’re down nine — the game was never out of hand, but you got to score. I mean seven points in the whole 16 minutes is not going to get it done.”
Lewis-Turnbo scored a team-high 14 points, while Lee, Kalani Corkeron and Jazmia Perry added four points apiece.
“We just rushed,” Gaither added. “Offensively rushed not running offense and that was it. We were getting shots, but it was rushed and forcing shots. We got to execute down to the second half. That is the whole season. The whole season has been like that. We played a good two quarters. We have that one quarter and we don’t put it together. It hurts us every time.”
Grenway followed Riggs with 13 points, while Pacheco and Kyrah Rudd combined for five points.
“A lot of them are learning,” Phillips said. “A lot of them didn’t play last year. A lot of them this is their first season. They are learning how to play, learning how to win and I am probably not the easiest coach to play for when you’re learning, but we’ll get it. We’re just taking our lumps right now and trying to get better every day. We’ll build something good it will just take time.”
Oakland Mills hopes to make it two wins in a row on the road Monday against Dundalk. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.
“I am always confident in the girls,” Phillips added. “It may help their confidence, but I am always confident in them. When they play hard and they play together, when they stay together as a team they are a pretty good team.”
The Wildecats, meanwhile, are looking for their first county victory as they end the season at home against Glenelg on Feb. 15, and Hammond Feb. 17.
Oakland Mills 37, Wilde Lake 29
OM (1-8, 8-11): Riggs 18, Grenway 13, Pacheco 3, Rudd 2.
WL (0-9, 3-17): Lewis-Turnbo 14, Lee 4, Corkeron 4, Perry 4, King 3.
Half: 20-17, Wilde Lake.
Around the league:
Glenelg Country 49, St. Timothy’s 34
The fourth-seeded Dragons advanced to the quarterfinal round of the IAAM B playoffs, after knocking out 12th-seeded St. Timothy’s Friday night.
It was a rough first half between the two teams, as each struggled with turnovers and missed shots.
Glenelg Country held the early 8-5 advantage, but St. Tim’s climbed back to tie the score at 11 at the break.
Both teams found their shooting touch in the second half, with Olivia O’Leary leading the charge for the Dragons, while Caitlyn Mays was the catalyst for St. Tim’s.
However, Glenelg Country began pulling away in the final eight minutes. Taylor Denny led the Dragons’ fourth-quarter surge, scoring eight of her final 10 points in the period.
Glenelg Country scored 20 points in the quarter, while holding St. Tim’s to just five points in the same span.
O’Leary finished with a game-high 14 points, while Shay Ahearn followed with 12.
Mays led her team with 11 points, while Jessica Berman added 10.
The win solidified the Dragons a home quarterfinal matchup against fifth-seeded Maryvale Tuesday.
GCS (9-3 IAAM B, 11-5): O’Leary 14, Ahearn 12, Denny 10, Gillis 7, Chun 2, Bartley 1.
ST (2-10 IAAM B, 5-11): Mays 11, Berman 10, Sydnor 6, Tasman 4, Holland 3.
Centennial 47, Long Reach 44
The Eagles clinched their biggest win of the season Friday night, as they handed the hosting Lightning just their fourth loss of the season.
“It was a great game,” said Centennial coach Bobby Macheel. “They played hard too and it was back and forth. It was a fun one to coach and play in I’m sure. I think it shows we have the potential to beat any one in our region and as I keep telling them from the beginning of the year, we just have to continue to keep getting better. We had a tough schedule and tough stretch here and I hope this demonstrates that if we keep working hard we have the ability to play with anybody.”
Although Long Reach took just their second county defeat coach Kelli Cofield was proud of the way her team fought.
“Despite the loss this was actually one of our best games as of late,” Cofield said. “The girls played with great energy through four quarters. When you go down two starters to injury in the second half and still be in position to win I can’t help but be happy with it.”
It was a tight game through four quarters, with the Eagles taking a five-point lead at the half and Long Reach climbing back to claim a one-point advantage heading into the final eight minutes.
The Lightning were without starters Arianna Briggs-Hall and Emily Joyce in the second half due to injury, but still managed to keep it close down the stretch.
With less than three minutes left in the game, the Eagles Hailey Hamshey hit a big baseline jumper, which pushed the lead to three. Jasmine McCree then added two more points to the cushion after connecting on a pair of free throws shortly after.
However Long Reach cut the lead once more, as junior guard Kiana Williams earned three attempts at the foul line after garnering some contact behind the perimeter. She made all three free throws and brought the deficit back down to two.
With about 13 seconds remaining, the Lightning made a steal on the ensuing Eagles inbound play and had an opportunity to take the lead. But the Eagles stood their ground defensively, and picked up the rebound after the missed attempt. Rasa Welsh was then sent to the foul line and made 1 of 2 to push the cushion to three.
Long Reach had a few seconds for one final heave, but could not connect and Centennial clinched its 10th victory of the season.
“I feel like we’ve been playing really hard, but in the last few weeks we haven’t been seeing the results, and so it was nice seeing it work out for us on the score board,” Macheel said. “I don’t think it was a matter of us not playing hard. I think we’re just continuing to work on getting better every day and it was nice to see that it’s been working. I know they were excited about that, because they’ve been working so hard.”
The Eagles, after struggling against man-to-man pressure against Mt. Hebron in their previous matchup, worked hard on it during practice in the two days leading up to the game. They did well against a tough Lightning defense and only committed 12 turnovers in the game.
“I think the key was, and we’ve been working on this and I think the girls did a great job of doing this, was limiting our turnovers,” Macheel said. “We were able to get in to what we wanted to do in the half court and the girls made some shots, which was nice to see — and made some tough shots. There were some contested shots that just went down.”
Ashley Molz had a terrific all around game for the Eagles, as she not only led the team with 13 points, but also had the tough assignment of matching up with Long Reach’s prolific young guard, Lyric Swann. Swann finished with seven points in the outing.
“I thought Ashley had a huge game handling the pressure, along with holding some of the scoring load,” Macheel said.
McCree added 11 points. Hamshey finished with six, while Welsh and Chandler Worthy chipped in with 10 and five points, respectively. Welsh and Chandler also had huge contributions on the glass, which proved pivotal in the game. In the second half Centennial limited the Lightning to just four offensive boards, while giving up more than 10 in the first 16 minutes.
“Long Reach is an excellent team,” Macheel added. “It wasn’t anything I did. I think they played a great game. They played really hard and clearly wanted it. And to do that at Long Reach I think is particularly impressive because that is a tough place to play.”
Williams finished with a game-high 20 points, while Joyce, Briggs-Hall and Williams followed Williams and Swann with five points apiece.
“As they’ve done all year they put it all out on the floor,” Cofield added. I will take a loss like this any day. As I mentioned to the girls we did what we needed to do from Nov. 15 to position ourselves to be in a great spot going in to state playoffs.”
Long Reach is back on the floor against Howard on Feb. 15 for a 5:30 p.m. game, while the Eagles host Aberdeen on Monday at 5:30 p.m.
C (5-4, 10-9): Molz 13, McCree 11, Welsh 10, Hamshey 6, Worthy 5, Lambert 2.
LR (7-2, 16-4): K. Williams 20, L. Swann 7, Joyce 5, Briggs-Hall 5, Williams 5.
Half: 29-24, Centennial.
Reservoir 50, Atholton 45
The Gators have played some of their best basketball as of late, but on Friday night they notched their biggest win of the season as they defeated the visiting Raiders, handing them just their fifth loss of the season.
Reservoir stormed out to take an early 6-0 lead and ultimately touted a 31-19 cushion in to the half.
The Gators focused in defensively on Atholton’s dominant backcourt duo of Ryan Jones and Francesca Vanegas. Haley Tiller limited Jones to just four first half points, while Reservoir’s bigs, Emily Dorn, Nia Powell and Greta Schuster did well to slide and help in the paint.
The Gators were up by as much as 18 in the third quarter, but the Raiders ended the period on a 8-2 run to close the gap.
Powell and Tiller both fouled out in the fourth quarter, which allowed Atholton to hone in even tighter defensively. But Schuster (five points) and Cassidy Pham (two points) stepped up for Reservoir and provided solid minutes off the bench.
Sophomore guard Natalie Verna had one of her best games of her young varsity career, as she hit a clutch three late in the fourth quarter, while also connecting on 2 of 2 from the foul line. Verna also had the tough defensive assignment to mark Vanegas, who connected on several contested jumpers throughout the outing.
Atholton fought back to close the deficit, but the Gators were clutch from the foul line. They made 15 of 22 in the game, while connecting on 10 of 14 in the fourth quarter.
“I’d love to finish the game with a double-digit lead we held for so long, but we knew Atholton is an outstanding team with two talented guards who are hard to keep down,” said Reservoir coach Deb Taylor. “But now we hang together, know we can make plays and tonight we were great from the free throw line.”
Kayla Wilson had an excellent game for the Gators, finishing with a team-high 18 points, along with seven rebounds, four assists and was the catalyst for Reservoir’s early 6-0 run. Dorn followed with 11 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks and two assists. Powell finished with six points, 10 rebounds and a block, while Schuster tallied five points, four rebounds sand two steals. Tiller finished with three points, two boards and two assists, while Verna chipped in with five points and two assists.
Vanegas finished with a game-high 23 points, while Jones followed with 12.
There was a large turnout at Reservoir High School, as the Gators held a “Pink Out Game”, which benefitted the Get in Touch Foundation for Breast Cancer research and awareness.
The Gators and Raiders came together and raised $350 from donations, halftime games, prizes and a raffle.
“We would like to thank Atholton for being an active participant in the money we raised,” Taylor added. “We did this together.”
Reservoir is back on its home floor Monday against Damascus on Monday at 5:30 p.m., while Atholton has a short turnaround against Marriotts Ridge Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
Re (8-1, 9-10): Wilson 18, Dorn 11, Powell 6, Schuster 5, Verna 5, Tiller 3, Pham 2.
A (6-2, 11-5): Vanegas 23, Jones 12, Beckwith 4, Kelley 2, Harrison 2, Bathras 2.
Half: 31-19, Reservoir.
Howard 51, Mt. Hebron 29
The Lions pushed their winning streak to 19 Friday night, as they handily defeated the visiting Vikings, 51-29.
The loss put an end to Mt. Hebron’s seven-game winning streak, as it suffered just its second county loss of the season.
Howard held the Vikings to three points in the first quarter and jumped out to an early 14-3 advantage.
It was a prolific first half for the Lions’ Sam Lewis, who started the night knocking down two shots from behind the perimeter and finished with 15 points before the break. She helped push Howard’s lead to 16 at halftime.
Taylor Addison then took over for the Lions in the third quarter, as she scored 11 of her game-high 18 points in the period, while making 11 of 16 from the foul line in the game.
Mt. Hebron limited Howard to just one made shot from the field in the final eight minutes, but could not figure out the Lions defensively, and ultimately suffered their seventh loss of the season.
Camille Malagar and Deonna Jones added six and five points, respectively, for Howard, while Shane Devine led the way for the Vikings with 13 points.
Mt. Hebron is on the road against Bel Air for a 6:45 p.m. matchup on Monday, while the Lions are back home Feb. 15 against Long Reach at 5:30 p.m.
Ho (9-0, 19-0): Addison 18, Lewis 15, Malagar 6, Jones 5, Furr 2, Scott 2, G. Sanchez-Henry 1.
MH (7-2, 12-7): S. Devine 13, Valentine 7, Oliver 4, M. Devine 4, Chase 1.
Half: 28-12, Howard.
Glenelg 49, Hammond 32
The Gladiators won their second consecutive game Friday, as they defeated the hosting Golden Bears, 49-32.
It was a dominant second-half effort by Glenelg, as it held Hammond to just seven second-half points, and held a 42-18 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
Jess Foster, Kellie Johnson and Julia Wolfrey led the way with 12 points apiece for the Gladiators. Foster knocked down three shots from distance, while Johnson finished with a double-double on the night, adding 14 rebounds — nine of which were on the offensive glass. Wolfrey added six rebounds and three assists and a block, while Grace Butera added four points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists for the Gladiators.
Olivia LePage (two points) played well defensively, especially in the third quarter and also added three assists to her stat line for Glenelg, and in her varsity debut, Abby Gillespie recorded four points, two rebounds and one block.
Taylor Liguori finished with a team-high 10 points for Hammond, while Ashlyn McInerney added eight.
The Gladiators and Golden Bears are back in action Feb. 15, as Glenelg travels to Wilde Lake and Hammond hosts Marriotts Ridge. Both games are slated for 5:30 p.m.
G (3-6, 12-7): Foster 12, Johnson 12, Wolfrey 12, Gillespie 4, Butera 4, Laport 2, LePage 2, Renehan 1.
Ha (1-8, 4-15): Liguori 10, McInerney 8, G. Abel 6, Mesol 4.
Half: 25-16, Glenelg.
Marriotts Ridge 53, River Hill 37
The Mustangs won their third-straight game Friday, as they defeated the hosting Hawks, 53-37.
Caroline and Sarah Blalock both had one of their most efficient offensive performances of the season, finishing with 16 points apiece on a combined 13-for-28 shooting from the field.
Caroline Blalock added three rebounds, two assists, four steals and one block, while Sarah Blalock recorded five rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Hope Morath followed offensively for Marriotts Ridge with eight points, while adding a team-high 10 rebounds — six of which were on the offensive glass. Casey Sullivan played well defensively for the Mustangs as she held River Hill’s talented freshman guard Kennedy Clark to seven points on 1 of 4 shooting in the game.
Sarah Dawit also recorded seven points for River Hill, while Victoria Koutras chipped in with six.
Marriotts Ridge is back on its home floor Saturday morning at 10 a.m. against Atholton, while the Hawks are on the road against Liberty on Monday for a 7 p.m. game.
MR (5-3, 14-5): C. Blalock 16, S. Blalock 16, H. Morath 8, M. Conroy 6, Sullivan 5, Ohnmacht 2.
RH (2-8, 5-13): Clark 7, Dawit 7, Koutras 6, Grasso 4, Masker 4, E. Jackson 4, Thielman 4, S. Jackson 1.
Half: 29-20, Marriotts Ridge.