If there were any fears about a week layoff killing the momentum of one of the county’s hottest teams, Reservoir put those worries to rest quickly on Friday night against rival Atholton.
In front of a packed gym — one that sold out more than an hour before tip — the Gators broke open a tight game with a 14-2 run to close the first half and never looked back en route to a convincing 60-47 victory that extends the team’s winning streak to six straight.
“That run in the second quarter … man, I haven’t been that fired up in a long time. I almost had a heart attack. But that’s what these rivalry games are all about, all bets are off,” Reservoir coach Ian Pope said. “Just to have that tremendous crowd around us, everyone fed off of that and then fed off each other.”
Reservoir's Aria Ameli talks about the Gators' 60-47 boys basketball victory over Atholton on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
Bobby Hill led the way with another monster effort on the interior, scoring 18 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking seven shots for Reservoir (7-2, 10-3). But, as has been the case during the team’s recent string of strong play, it was a team effort that pushed things over the top.
Aria Ameli (14 points), Kaleb Glasper (11) and Jaylen Manning (7) were the leaders of a supporting cast that delivered key baskets every time Atholton (4-4, 8-6) made a push. Ameli echoed the sentiment that the rowdy home crowd played a factor.
“I think when we have big rivalry games, it’s definitely the crowd that gets the adrenaline going for us,” said Ameli, who hit three 3-pointers on the evening. “When we hit big shots and they get all hype … it gets us going.”
The combination of the win by Reservoir, along with an overtime loss Friday by first-place Oakland Mills against Wilde Lake, moves the Gators now into a tie for first-place in the Howard County standings. Centennial and Marriotts Ridge are a half-game back of first with 6-2 records in county play.
In the game Friday at Reservoir, the visiting Raiders hung tight early, trailing 10-8 at the end of the first quarter and by just one point, 15-14, with 3:38 remaining in the first half. But Reservoir went on the big run to close the second quarter, creating a 29-16 lead.
Then, after Atholton had chipped away to get its deficit down to just five midway through the third period, Reservoir issued the knockout blow with a 12-2 spurt that put the game away for good.
“I thought first quarter, especially defensively, we played really well. Then we let it get away from us in that second quarter a little bit, but I never thought our effort waivered. We just simply couldn’t make shots … I don’t think we hit a single 3-point shot tonight,” Atholton coach Jared Albert said. “We just didn’t have our best stuff offensively tonight and sometimes that happens. Credit to Reservoir, they are a really solid team.”
Raymond Brown (14 points) and Jabari Rankin (11) finished in double figures offensively for Atholton in the loss. Jordan Oates (9 points) was held in single-digits scoring for only the second time all season, but did pull-down a game-high 17 rebounds.
After the Reservoir push to close the third quarter, the Gators’ lead never dipped below 12 points the rest of the way.
Pope was pleased with how his team kept its foot on the accelerator until the final whistle.
“Part of getting better every game has been working at eliminating those droughts, those moments we had earlier in the season where we allowed the other team to take the game over,” he said. “We’ve grown a lot in that respect. Now when the other team seems like they might make a run, we provide an answer. We never had any let up when we got the lead tonight.”
Reservoir 60, Atholton 47
Re (7-2, 10-3): Hill 18, Ameli 14, Glasper 11, Manning 7, Jerry 4, Ballard 3, Ha 3.
A (4-4, 8-6): Brown 14, Rankin 11, Oates 9, Miller 7, Daniel 6.
Half: 29-16 Re.
Glenelg 68, Howard 60
Coming in riding a four-game losing streak, and then falling behind 22-10 early in the second quarter against the visiting Lions on Friday afternoon, the Gladiators were reeling. Then, in an instant, Glenelg found life.
Closing the second quarter on a 20-2 run, including scoring the final 16 points of the half, Glenelg took a lead it never lost the rest of the way en route to the eight-point victory. Max Pearcy (17 points) and Bisi Owens (15) led the way, while Nate Curtis and Kyle Dry chipped in with nine points apiece for a Gladiators team that posted its third-highest offensive total of the season.
Glenelg's Max Pearcy talks about the Gladiators' 68-60 win over Howard on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
“We’ve been putting in the work and it hasn’t been paying off on the scoreboard. The film looks good, it’s just not showing in the end result,” Glenelg coach Alex Blazek said. “So for the kids, this was huge. We never quit working tonight, and we haven’t quit working the entire time during the four-game losing streak … we have just been waiting for this and that second quarter tonight was the difference.”
Howard, which was led by huge games from Cooper Haberern (22 points and 9 rebounds) and Darrion Harris (21 points), trailed by as many as 12 points in the third quarter. The Lions did regroup with an extended 12-0 run of their own to tie the game at 47-47 in the final few seconds of that third period, but Owens hit a three from the corner to close the quarter and Glenelg kept Howard at an arm’s length the rest of the way.
G (3-5, 6-7): Pearcy 17, Owens 15, Curtis 9, Dry 9, Walsh 8, Tolbert 5, Thomas 2, Della Russo 2, Dalton 1.
Ho (4-4, 8-5): Haberern 22, Harris 21, Colbert 5, Bruner 4, Simmons 4, Brown 2, Kuehl 2.
Half: 30-24 G.
Wilde Lake 75, Oakland Mills 71 OT
In another classic between long-time rivals, the Wildecats prevailed on the road in overtime behind a team-high 23 points from Marcus Mitchell.
The game was back-and-forth the entire way, with no team leading by more than three points at the end of any quarter. Mitchell hit a driving layup with three seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 59 and force the extra period.
Then once in overtime, Wilde Lake pulled it out thanks to getting scoring from seven different players and hitting eight foul shots in the period.
Coming in having lost four straight games against county opponents, Wilde Lake changed the momentum of its season.
“This is the game that we needed. The guys were extra locked in because it was Oakland Mills and with that kind of history, you just throw the records out the door,” Wilde Lake coach Deon Wingfield said. “Tonight was just a huge victory for our program and I’m really hoping this is a win that can lead us on to even bigger things moving forward.”
Behind Mitchell, Brince Shelton (15 points), Kyjuan Adams (11) and Kwaku Boampong (10) all put together inspired efforts for the Wildecats.
Oakland Mills, meanwhile, saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end. Truth Norton (28 points), Barry Evans (15) and Ahmed Diaby (11) were the leaders in the loss for the Scorpions, who fall into a four-way tie for first with Centennial, Marriotts Ridge and Reservoir.
OM (7-2, 11-3): Norton 28, Evans 15, Diaby 11, Hopkins 9, Simpson 5, Lincoln 3.
Half: 25-24 OM; Regulation: 59-59.
Chapelgate 51, Indian Creek 41
The Yellowjackets got a game-high 16 points from Jordan Praylow and snapped the team’s four-game losing skid.
CCA (4-4, 10-11): Praylow 16, Felder 9, Knox 6, Mbergan 6, Richards 6, Ogunmola 4, Hamilton 2, Jackson 2.
IC: Chambers 10, Carter 9, Harris 7, Jones 5, Young 4, Abhorn 2, Gerefy 2, Leeby 2.
Half: 27-13 CCA.
Glenelg Country 64, AACS 58
Noah Charles continued his recent string of strong play, scoring a season-high 23 points to help the Dragons earn the A Conference victory. Jordan Brathwaite (11 points, 11 rebounds) added a double-double, while Cole Paar (10 points, 7 rebounds) and Igor Yoka-Bratasz also had strong all-around games for Glenelg Country.