For all the missed shots and mistakes Reservoir made during the middle portion of its road game against Marriotts Ridge Friday night, the team's resolve in crunch time was ultimately enough to pull out an opening-night victory.
Behind nine fourth-quarter points from Seth Henry, and a defense that allowed the Mustangs to score just three field goals in the final eight minutes, the Gators pulled out a come-from-behind win, 61-56.
"I'm going to go 12 (guys) deep most of the year, but I shortened the rotation in the second half when it got to winning time and went to the guys who have been here before … the guys that know what I expect," Reservoir coach Mike Coughlan said. "We tightened up defensively and the kids executed."
Henry finished with a team-high 16 points, while Aaron McDonald and Joe Kearney added 11 points apiece to pace the Reservoir attack.
Robert Davis, who scored seven of his team's final eight points to keep things close until the final seconds, led Marriotts Ridge with 20 points. Patrick Clipp added 10 points, all in the second quarter, and Greg Speelman chipped in with eight.
Courtesy of a 10-2 spurt in the middle of the second quarter, Marriotts Ridge seized control of the game in the early stages. The Mustang lead got up to as many as 10 points, 31-21, at one point in the final minute before halftime.
And, even though Reservoir began its surge immediately to start the second half, the Mustangs never trailed at any point in the third quarter.
It wasn't until Gator senior Kevin Mayers (10 points) hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 5:18 remaining in regulation that Reservoir got its first taste of the lead since the first 10 minutes of the game.
"Credit to him, for a kid that barely played at all last year, to step out there in a very big moment and not only have the confidence that he could hit it, but be willing to take it," Coughlan said.
Sparked by that basket, Reservoir's defense dug in and never let go of the lead the rest of the way.
"We stopped executing the way we had been, but I thought a lot of that had to do with them ramping it up a little bit," Marriotts Ridge coach Marcus Lewis said. "We kind of sat around and watched Rob play too much in the fourth quarter and that's something we're going to have to work on. A tough game, but also some stuff we can build on."
Reservoir 61, Marriotts Ridge 56
Re (1-0, 1-0): Henry 16, McDonald 11, Kearney 11, Mayers 10, Reilly 9, Hedgren 3, O'Hagan 2.
Centennial never led at any point in the second half, yet still managed to rally thanks to a 10-2 run to close the fourth quarter that forced overtime and set the stage for a three-point double-overtime victory over the visiting Raiders.
"Their intensity and energy, and their pressure on (Atholton's) ball handlers, that was the difference in the game," Centennial coach Chad Hollwedel said. "No matter what was happening, our guys played fearlessly."
Eagles' junior Isaiah White led the way with a game-high 23 points, while seniors Walter Fletcher (12 points) and Chase Conley (11) were huge in the overtime periods. It all helped spoil a game that saw huge efforts from Atholton's Michael Bernetti (20 points) and Justin Ballmer (18).
The Raiders led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, and, following a lay-up by Abel Kwong, were up 42-34 with just 3:57 to go.
But that's when Centennial dug down and found an answer. White, Conley and Fletcher combined to make it a two-point game heading into the final minute and then sophomore Tom Brown converted his first basket of the game with 44 seconds left to tie the game at 44-44.
Both teams held the lead twice in the first overtime, but the score ended up knotted at 50-50. Then in the second overtime, Centennial seized control with lay-ups by White and Fletcher and then never surrendered the lead again.
Atholton did have a chance to force a third OT, but Cole Mason's attempt at the buzzer caromed off the rim.
C (1-0, 1-0): White 23, Fletcher 12, Conley 11, Strothers 7, Brown 4, Wilkin 2.
Connor Maloney hit a shot with 4.9 seconds left for what ended up being the game-winning shot in a one-point Vikings' victory. Mark Smith led the way for Mt. Hebron with a game-high 17 points. Shane Barr led Long Reach with 16 points and 6 steals, while Ron Carter had 12 rebounds to go with his four points.
"It went down to the wire back-and-forth, a great game," Long Reach coach Al Moraz Jr. said. "We just came up a little bit short and the Maloney kid hit about a 10-foot runner on the baseline to get the win for them."
MH (1-0, 2-0): Maloney 6, Andreas 2, M. Smith 17, Herlihy 8, A. Smith 2, Duan 8.
LR (0-1, 1-1): Barr 16, Carter 4, Clark 2, Duckett 8, Hall 9, Lamar 4.
Half: 21-20 LR.
River Hill 53, Howard 45
Charlie Thomas had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the way for the Hawks.
RH (1-0, 1-0): Richardson 10, Titus 8, Thomas 19, Sandler 16.
Ho (0-1, 0-1): Dargan 3, Okoye 3, Savage 10, Noble 5, O'Malley 6, Reyna 5, Avery 10.
Half: 27-13 RH.
Oakland Mills 78, Wilde Lake 53
OM (1-0, 1-0): Ndiaye 23, Willis 16, Williams 13, Tapscott 8, Bradley 7, DeLarosa 6, Mitchell 3, Collins 2.
WL (0-1, 0-1): Groves 18, K. Jackson 10, D. Jackson 13, Lamptey 4, Jordan 4, Ampofo 2, Bowie 1.
Half: 39-20 OM.
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