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Hereford upends Owings Mills in boys basketball with patient offense

Hereford's Brock Moritz takes a shot over Owings Mills defender Obie Holloway during the Bulls' 54-46 win at Hereford High School on Wednesday, Jan. 10.
Hereford's Brock Moritz takes a shot over Owings Mills defender Obie Holloway during the Bulls' 54-46 win at Hereford High School on Wednesday, Jan. 10. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Hereford High senior twins Dylan and Brock Moritz were double trouble in the first half and junior guard Mark Suchy helped in the second half to cement the host Bulls’ 54-46 win over pesky Owings Mills in boys basketball action on Jan. 10.

Dylan Moritz scored all five of his points, including a three-pointer, and had a key rebound and steal in the first quarter when the Bulls built a 14-11 lead.

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His twin, Mark, came out in the second quarter and calmly went 4-for-4 on mid-range jumpers and that helped Hereford extend the lead to 30-16 at halftime.

“Dylan is more a a guy for hitting the big shots when we need them,” said Brock Moritz, who led the Bulls with 14 points. “I’m mostly a post player, but I’ve been working on my mid-range and I can hit them when I have to.”

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“He was just making that 12 to 15-footer from the short corner, which is a good thing,” Hereford coach Jim Rhoads added.

Junior Mason Greenspan added four points and three steals in the first half and the Bulls forced 10 Owings Mills turnovers.

“In the beginning, we were a little tight, a little excited, and we just started settling in and focusing on your job and the energy level was all the difference in the world,” Owings Mills coach Ed Lewis said.

The difference came early in the third quarter, when the Eagles rattled off 13 straight points and cut the lead to 30-29 after two free throws from Khayri Hazel with 4:35 left in the quarter.

Hazel (team-high 13 points) sparked Owings Mills with nine points in the second half.

The Eagles also made an adjustment in their 2-1-2 zone by shutting off the middle of the floor.

“Once we understood we needed to take that middle away, it became a different game, because that is what got them that 14-point lead,” Lewis said.

Suchy and Will Reider made sure the Bulls didn’t watch their entire 14-point halftime lead disintegrate.

Reider canned two free throws with 4:22 left in the third quarter and Suchy followed with two more at the 3:56 mark for a 34-29 lead.

Suchy assisted Brock Moritz and the Bulls led 36-29 before Hazel sunk a three-pointer with 2:24 left, making it 36-32 with 2:24 left.

But, Hereford answered with a 6-0 run to close the quarter and take a 42-32 lead into the final quarter.

The Bulls got a baseline jumper from Reider, transition 6-footer by Suchy and basket by Josh Wegrzyn with 1:04 left in the quarter.

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The surge was keyed by penetration from Suchy, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half.

“Once the outside shots weren’t falling, I had to change the mindset and I attacked the glass, because the only way I was going to help the team out was to get to the free throw line,” said Suchy, who averages 15 points a game for the 8-3 Bulls.

Two free throws by Obie Holloway (11 points) cut the Bulls lead to 42-36 with 6:08 left, but that was the closest the Eagles would get.

Suchy scored seven points in the final quarter and got a clutch offensive rebound, along with Wegrzyn.

“I tried to draw attention and kick it out and I always tried to focus on the rebounds because coach makes a point if we win the glass, we probably win the game,” Suchy said.

Owings Mills was playing without starting guard Chris Bullock, who was out with a stomach virus, but Christian Smith took advantage of his extra minutes on the court with 11 points and six steals.

“He [Bullock] is part of our guard rotation and that hurt us tonight,” Lewis said.

Rhoads was prepared for the defensive quickness of Smith.

“I told the team that 10 [Smith] is good and he is going to get in your face, so we’ve got to be able to handle him,” Rhoads said.

The Bulls did handle the pressure at times, but they know that will be one of the keys as the season rolls along.

“If we handle pressure and play our game against good teams, instead of beating ourselves, we can go very far,” Brock Moritz said.

In addition to beating pressure, coach Rhoads knows what else they have to do to keep riding the winning wave.

“Our identity has to be patient offensively and play great half-court man defense,” Rhoads said.

That formula has already worked against Owings Mills and seven other opponents this season.

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