Oakland Mills put five guys in double figures, led by a game-high 20 points from junior Mamadou Ndiaye, and picked up an early-season statement victory Wednesday night.
The Scorpions opened up a 10-point lead at the half and then really broke things open after intermission, rolling to an 86-66 victory over visiting Glenelg.
"I definitely approached this one coming in as a statement game … that's a dangerous team over there when they are making shots," Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said. "And I thought they kind of were hanging around for awhile. But I thought our pressure got better as the game went on and before you knew it, it turned into a lay-up fest. At the end of the day, that's exactly the kind of game we want."
Oakland Mills (2-0, 3-0) stayed undefeated with the victory, while Glenelg (1-1, 2-1) suffered its first setback.
The Gladiators were actually in front early, taking advantage of back-to-back 3-point shots by Nick Oates (8 points) and Matt Hammert to go ahead 8-4 midway through the first quarter. The lead, however, was short lived.
The Scorpions put together a 9-0 surge, punctuated by an alley-oop dunk by Ndiaye, to grab a lead they never surrendered the rest of the way.
The Oakland Mills advantage was up to nine, 21-12, after the first quarter and sat at 37-27 going into halftime. Then, out of intermission, Daivon Tapscott (16 points) opened things up even further with a stretch of seven straight points for the Scorpions.
Tapscott excelled all night with his mid-range jumper from the top of the key, displaying a part of his game that is much improved this winter.
"He's embracing his role right now," Browne said. "I went to him a few months ago with the idea and I wasn't sure how he would react because he likes to shoot threes. But he loves it and he's knocking them down. Between that, and his rebounding, he's huge for us."
Behind Tapscott and Ndiaye, who added nine rebounds to go with his points, Oakland Mills also got 14 points from Marvin Williams, 11 from Deshawn Willis and 10 from Daniel Kiely.
The Lions got a game-high 17 points from Patrick O'Malley on the way to the team's first victory of the season. Michaud Reyna (13 points) and Christian Dargan (10 points) also turned in strong efforts in the win for Howard.
Greg Coleman led the way with 11 points for Hammond.
Defense appears to be one of Howard's strong suits in the early going, with the Lions holding each of their first two opponents now to 53 points or less.
"We are trying right now to get our offense off our defensive stops and pressure," Howard coach Seth Willingham said. "That's kind of what my style is and we aren't the kind of team that is going to win too many games in the 70s or 80s."
For Willingham, the win was a especially meaningful. In his first year with the Howard program after leading the Oakland Mills girls basketball program for several seasons, Willingham picked up his first boys basketball victory as a head coach.
"It was definitely big me, you always want to get that first one because it relieves the pressure a little bit," he said. "Just overall, for coaches and players, getting it out of the way was great and now we can move forward and focus on just playing basketball."
Ho (1-1, 1-1): O'Malley 17, Reyna 13, Dargan 10, Shuart 5, Robinson 2, Avery 1, Okoye 1.
Ha (0-2, 1-2): Coleman 11, Johnson 10, MdFadden 9, Wilcher 4, Dura 2, Moore 2, Whong 2.