There was no shortage of motivation for Oakland Mills heading into Wednesday’s match-up against Howard.
And the Scorpions, looking for a bounce-back win after a loss against Centennial and facing off against a Lions team that had beaten them on a buzzer-beater back in December, looked every bit like a team on a mission.
Truth Norton poured in a game-high 30 points and Oakland Mills (9-3, 14-4) put together a 17-0 run midway through the first half to break things open on the way to a convincing 84-64 victory over Howard (5-6, 9-7). The Scorpions stay a game back of first place in the county standings and a game behind in the race for the top seed in Section II of the 3A East region standings.
“For us, anything we can use as motivation at this point is great, and tonight there were no shortage of things to get ourselves ready to play,” Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said. “Number one, we had to rectify what happened last time against [Howard]. Number two, every game is important in terms of those regional standings as we fight to keep a bye. This was a big one … get ourselves going in a positive direction ahead of the huge one on Friday against Reservoir.”
Oakland Mills senior Truth Norton talks about the Scorpions' 84-64 win over Howard on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.
Barry Evans (17 points) and Ahmed Diaby (12) joined Norton in double figures scoring, as the Scorpions led by double figures for the entire second half.
Howard, which lost for the fourth time in the last five games, was led by a season-high 23 points from Darrion Harris and 16 points from Cooper Haberern.
For as lopsided as the final score ended up, the Lions were actually in control at the onset. Howard scored the first six points of the game and led 8-2 three minutes in.
But Oakland Mills clawed its way back to tie the game at 11-11 with two minutes left in the opening quarter. Then the Scorpions, starting with a layup by Evans, proceeded to rattle off 17 unanswered points between the end of the first period and initial four minutes of the second.
The lead was 14 points at the end of the half, 37-23, and 16 by the end of the third quarter, 60-44.
“In a lot of ways, tonight was a microcosm of who we are. It’s just lots of up and downs, but when we are clicking it’s a lot of fun to watch,” Browne said. “That second quarter we were defending, we were putting the ball in the basket and I thought a lot of it came out of our press. We created some turnovers and then we were making our shots on the other end. The points added up quickly.”
The Gators picked up their ninth straight win in convincing fashion, as five players scored nine or more points in the 29-point victory. Bobby Hill (17 points), Jaylen Manning (16), Kaleb Glasper (11) and Jason Ha (10) all scored in double figures, while freshman Drew McKenna added a career-high nine points — all in the fourth quarter.
Re (9-2, 13-3): Hill 17, Manning 16, Glasper 11, Ha 10, McKenna 9, Ameli 6, Mess 4, Foulks 1, Phipps 1.
Ha (2-8, 6-10): Addison 9, Thomas 8, Bennett 7, King 7, Aodu 5, Edwards 3, Lamont 3, Alexandre 2, Moore 2.
Half: 37-16 Re.
Centennial 82, Mt. Hebron 66
The Eagles posted their highest offensive total of the season on the way to picking up the victory over the rival Vikings. Joey Sedlacko (20 points) and Brandon Bonner (season-high 19 points) led the way to the victory.
MH (2-9, 6-11): Lewis 20, Briggs 18, Ichrist 12, Michelotti 7, Millen 7, Brown 1, Cargiulo 1.
Half: 42-35 C.
Atholton 62, River Hill 52
The Raiders defeated the Hawks at home, helping the team to its first winning streak since December. Raymond Brown (14 points), Jordan Oates (12) and Ian Swartz (11) all finished in double figures scoring.
Atholton jumped out to a fast start, leading 16-7 by the end of the first quarter, and maintained its advantage the rest of the way.
Jackson Graves scored 14 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead River Hill in the loss.
MR (8-3, 12-5): Bryan 17, Tran 16, Avent 7, James 7, Groman 5, Miller 4, Page 2, Snell 2.
LR (2-9, 5-12): Yarbough 17, Addo 15, Brown 8, Oduro-Dompre 6, Zaky 6, Raymond 4, Olivis 2.
Half: 34-29 MR.
Wilde Lake 66, Glenelg 35
The Wildecats picked up their most lopsided county victory of the season, winning their fifth straight game overall. Kwaku Boampong led the way with a season-high 15 points, followed closely behind by double-digit scoring efforts from Brince Shelton (13), Marcus Mitchell (11) and Cam Burris (10).
After leading by just four, 25-21, at the half, Wilde Lake broke things open by holding Glenelg to just five points in the third quarter. Max Pearcy finished as the leading scorer for the Gladiators with 14 points.