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Hard-nosed defense and patient offense carried Glenelg to a season-opening victory on the road against Long Reach on Friday night.

After trailing at the half, the Gladiators regrouped to take the lead by the midway point of the third quarter and then never trailed over the final 10 minutes en route to a 44-37 victory. Glenelg (1-0), which was led by Jack Walsh’s 11 points, held Long Reach (0-1, 0-2) without a point over the final 3:31 of regulation.

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“Second half we made an effort to start attacking the rim more, embrace the contact and just be more aggressive. Then, on the other end, the defense was all heart,” said interim coach Justin McCoy, who was filling in for head coach Alex Blazek. “I definitely think the guys had plenty of motivation tonight, playing for coach who couldn’t be here. So really, I kind of let those guys coach themselves in a lot of ways during timeouts and inspire one another.”

Glenelg's Jack Walsh talks about the Gladiators' 44-37 road victory over Long Reach on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

The Gladiators ended up closing the game on a 9-3 run, turning a one-point lead into the final seven-point winning margin. Walsh scored all of his points in the second half, helping his team rally from a six-point deficit, 20-14, at the break.

Max Pearcy had nine points, while Nate Curtis added eight, for a Glenelg team that had balanced scoring overall on the evening.

For Long Reach, which was led by Kojo Addo (13 points) and Darelle Raymond (12), the loss was the team’s second in as many days by single digits. The Lightning had opened the season with a 65-60 loss to Largo on Thursday and coach Andrew Lazzor said the two contests were complete opposites.

“From playing Largo last night to Glenelg tonight, you are talking about two completely opposite styles of basketball. It’s hard to prepare for that without a day of practice and today was all about discipline, which Glenelg did a great job with,” Lazzor said. “When we weren’t fast breaking, we just didn’t have much of a half-court offense and at this point in the season we are still looking for someone to step up and help us run through our sets.

“Credit to Glenelg, though, they did a great job of forcing us to play their style.”

A preview of the Howard County basketball landscape entering the 2019-20 season, including main storylines to keep an eye on and team-by-team breakdowns.

Long Reach raced out of the gates by scoring the first six points of the game, taking advantage of some opportunities in transition. The Lightning led 10-6 at the end of the first quarter and went up by as many as eight points in the second period.

The game immediately changed after intermission, however, as Glenelg made a concerted effort to pound the ball inside and challenge the Lightning at the rim.

“First half we definitely played too passive, so we knew we had to come out aggressive in the second half,” said Walsh. “It wasn’t easy against some of their taller guys, but we had to go to the line, draw contact and give it to them.”

The lead changed hands four times in the third quarter. However, once Walsh buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:37 left in the period to make it 30-28 in favor of Glenelg, the Gladiators never trailed again.

Glenelg is back in action next Wednesday on the road against Wilde Lake, while Long Reach will look to bounce back at home against Marriotts Ridge.

Glenelg 44, Long Reach 37

G (1-0, 1-0): Jack Walsh 11, Max Pearcy 9, Nate Curtis 8, Bisi Owens 5, Eddie Della Russo 4, Kyle Dry 3, Jace Perfator 2, Alex Dalton 2.

LR (0-1, 0-2): Kojo Addo 13, Darelle Raymond 12, Da’Vaun Yarbough 5, Carey Olivis 4, Ivan Oduro-Dompreh 3.

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Half: 20-14 LR.

Other scores:

Hammond 58, River Hill 52 2OT

The Golden Bears got a team-high 16 points from sophomore Ian Addison and outlasted the visiting Hawks in double overtime in the season opening game for both teams. David Aodu (15 points) and Eddy Alexandre (14) also had big games overall, while Khaleb Mair (5 points) stepped up to score four of Hammond’s eight points during the two extra periods.

Nick Marshall led the way for River Hill in the loss with 25 points.

Ha (1-0): Addison 16, Aodu 15, Alexandre 14, Mair 5, Thomas 4, Bennett 2, Moore 2.

RH (0-1): Marshall 25, Graves 14, Smith 6, Myers 2, Feeney 2, Saliu 2, McCoy 1.

Half: 25-21 RH; Regulation: 50-50; 1st OT: 52-52.

Reservoir 92, Mt. Hebron 62

The Gators’ offensive firepower was on full display Friday, scoring more points than the team did in any single game a season ago en route to the 30-point victory. Kaleb Glasper (22 points), Jaylen Manning (19 points) and Bobby Hill (17 points, 13 rebounds) all had huge games.

Reservoir exploded for 28 points in the second quarter to take a 44-25 lead into halftime.

Quran Briggs scored a career-high 31 points in the loss for Mt. Hebron.

Re (1-0): Kaleb Glasper 22, Jaylen Manning 19, Bobby Hill 17, Jason Ha 11, Rashod Ballard 11, Aria Ameli 5, Elijah Foulks 3, Jalen Jerry 2, Drew McKenna 2.

MH (0-1, 1-1): Quran Briggs 31, Justin Michelotti 10, Chris Lewis 8, Justin Cargiulo 6, Evan Ichrist 5, Christian Nazaire 2.

Half: 44-25 Re.

Atholton 50, Howard 44

After trailing 15-5 at the end of the first quarter, the Raiders regrouped and pulled out the victory down the stretch. Jordan Oates (12 points) and Darren Miller (10) led the way for Atholton, which outscored the Lions 21-13 in the fourth quarter.

A (1-0): Jordan Oates 12, Darren Miller 10, Raymond Brown 8, Ian Swartz 7, Deven Daniel 4, Adrian Nwakalor 4, Jabari Rankin 4, Ayyub Rabb 1.

Ho (0-1): Kyle Colbert 12, Alex Brown 9, Will Simmons 7, Cooper Haberern 5, Darrion Harris 4, Justin Hendricks 2, Amir Ellis 2, Adam Asifo 2, Ryan Kuehl 1.

Half: 23-18 Ho.

Marriotts Ridge 60, Centennial 55

John Miller scored a game-high 22 points and the Mustangs held off the visiting Eagles down the stretch for the opening-night win. Miller hit five 3-pointers in the victory, including two in the fourth quarter.

MR (1-0): John Miller 22, Jordan James 10, Austin Avent 8, Kaden Bryan 8, Andrew Page 6, Cole Tran 4, Robby Groman 2.

C (0-1): Joey Sedlacko 16, Shane Taylor 12, Bryson Baker 9, Jeong Hwang 9, Marco Benavides 4, Sean Lee 2, Liam Lovering 2, Tim Woerner 1.

Half: 25-25.

Loyola Blakefield 56, Glenelg Country 50

LB (4-1): M. Fischer 17, Smith 16, Dixon 7, Moore 7, Johnson 4, Walsh 2, Gardner 2, Georgelis 1.

GC (1-2): Robinson 16, Batchelor 9, Yoka-Bratasz 9, Brathwaite 8, Paar 2, Sween 2, Ejindu 2, Charles 2.

Half: 25-23 GC.

Loch Raven 66, Chapelgate 39

LR: Cartez 14, Caron 12, Sean 9, Jarred 9, Christian 8, Kenny 6, Chris 4, Kentrone 2, Raquan 2.

CCA (3-3): Jordan Praylow 9, Jax Felder 8, Lance Richards 8, Kitan Ogunmola 7, Saihou Mbergan 3, DT Hamilton 2, Kendall Mitchell 2.

Half: 38-19 LR.

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