Reservoir junior Kaleb Glasper talks about the Gators' 66-58 win over Oakland Mills on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020.
Whether it was the stage, the high stakes or a little of both, Reservoir’s starting group came out a little flat in the opening minutes of its first-place showdown against Oakland Mills on Friday night.
The bench, however, was more than ready to pick up the slack.
After trailing 8-2 in the first three minutes, the Gators’ bench trio of Jason Ha (6 points), Drew McKenna (6) and Jalen Jerry (3) came in and combined to spark an extended 23-8 run between the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second to provide a lead Reservoir never lost the rest of the way en route to a 66-58 victory.
“We came out a little slow, for whatever reason we were just a little off, but then the bench came in — Jason hit a couple threes — and that seemed to be the lift we needed. Our starters fed off of that energy and we got back to playing our style of basketball,” said Reservoir coach Ian Pope, whose team has now won 10 straight games. “A lot of credit to that second unit, they’ve been working incredibly hard in practice and it’s really starting to translate into the games.”
While the bench got the ball rolling, it was the Reservoir (10-2, 14-3) starters that then stepped in to carry the load and close out the win. Bobby Hill (19 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks), Kaleb Glasper (17 points) and Jaylen Manning (8 points) finished as the offensive leaders in a victory that gives the team a one-game lead on the rest of the county in the league standings.
Centennial (9-3, 14-4), which came into the night tied with Reservoir for first place, lost Friday against Atholton. The Eagles are now tied for second with Marriotts Ridge (9-3, 13-5), while Oakland Mills (9-4, 14-5), Wilde Lake (8-4, 13-5) and Atholton (7-4, 11-6) are two games back in the loss column.
For the Scorpions, who were led by DJ Hopkins (16 points) and Barry Evans (15), there was simply no answer after the Gators’ run midway through the first half.
“We looked way too emotional at times and we couldn’t hit the side of the barn … just a disappointing effort against a very good team,” Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said. “Bottom line, we didn’t have it tonight and that’s three Friday-night losses in a row in big games. It’s frustrating, but there’s nothing to do but to get back in the lab and get ready for the next game. It doesn’t get any easier.”
Reservoir held a 33-24 lead at the half and then extended that advantage to 19 points, 51-32, by the end of the third quarter.
Oakland Mills rallied to get the game back within single digits, but never put together any runs of more than five points in a row. It’s only the third time all season that the Scorpions have been held under 60 points offensively.
“We knew from the first time playing them that they are a team that can consistently score the ball … so we knew that we had to key in on certain players,” Glasper said. “We stopped [their top guys] and then stopped them as a whole.”
Reservoir has four county games left in the regular season — against Howard, Marriotts Ridge, Long Reach and Glenelg. Wins in all four would guarantee the program its first-ever county championship.
“We are taking it one game at a time, but as quiet as we’ve tried to keep about it, that goal is definitely within reach now,” Pope said. “Before the season, we talked about trying to achieve things we’ve never done. We’ve never won a state title and, as surprising as it is, we’ve never won a county title … and we’ve had some really good teams here over the years.
“They wanted to be the first to do it and here we are. We control our destiny now.”
Reservoir 66, Oakland Mills 58
Re (10-2, 14-3): Hill 19, Glasper 17, Manning 8, Ballard 7, Ha 6, McKenna 6, Jerry 3.
OM (9-4, 14-5): Hopkins 16, Evans 15, Simpson 11, Norton 8, Diaby 6, Jackson 2.
Half: 33-24 Re.
Atholton 70, Centennial 54
Jordan Oates posted a double-double (22 points and 12 rebounds) and made a little history in the process, as the Raiders knocked off the first-place Eagles on the road. Oates set the new single-season rebounding record at Atholton, with his 12 boards pushing his season total to 242 — breaking the previous mark of 230 held by Sam Permutt.
Raymond Brown also had a huge game, pouring in a season-high 24 points. Brown hit 9-11 from the foul line for a Raiders’ team that bounced back after trailing 27-24 at the half.
Joey Sedlacko led the way with 18 points for a Centennial team that had a five-game winning streak snapped.
A (7-4, 11-6): Brown 24, Oates 22, Rankin 11, Daniel 6, Miller 4, Swartz 3.
C (9-3, 14-4): Sedlacko 18, Taylor 16, Bonner 7, Hwang 5, Baker 4, Lovering 4.
Half: 27-24 C.
River Hill 71, Glenelg 47
The Hawks broke things open by holding the Gladiators to just four points in the second quarter and then pulled away in the second half. Nick Marshall (18 points), Elijah Feeney (15) and Victor McKoy (11) all scored in double figures for River Hill, which had nine players score at least one point.
G (3-9, 6-11): Pearcy 12, Walsh 12, Thomas 9, Owens 4, Tolbert 3, Dalton 3, Buch 2, Dry 2.
Half: 30-18 G.
Hammond 79, Long Reach 73 OT
Ian Addison exploded for a career-high 33 points, as the Golden Bears snapped a three-game losing skid in overtime against the Lightning. Addison, a sophomore, made six threes and went 8-10 from the foul line.
Playing on Long Reach’s senior night, Hammond fell behind 19-2 at the start of the game before regrouping to eventually tie the game at 31 at the half and 65 by the end of the fourth quarter to force overtime.
“I’m extremely proud of the effort and resiliency that my kids showed,” Hammond coach Mike Salapata said.
Ha (3-8, 7-10): Addison 33, Bennett 9, Edwards 9, Mair 9, King 6, Thomas 6, Aodu 4, Alexandre 3.
LR (2-10, 5-13): Olivis 16, Addo 15, Yarbough 12, Zaky 12, Brown 8, Raymond 6, Oduro-Dompreh 4.
Half: 31-31; Regulation: 65-65.
Wilde Lake 72, Mt. Hebron 32
The Wildecats remain one of the area’s hottest teams, winning their seventh straight game in convincing fashion against the Vikings. The last five victories have all come by 14 or more points.
Cam Burris had a career-high 19 points and 21 rebounds, continuing his surge of impressive play during the second half of the season. Brince Shelton (16 points) and Kwaku Boampong (10) also had strong efforts in the win.
The Mustangs won a third straight game decided by four points or less, as John Miller led the way with a 22-point effort that included five made 3-pointers.
Jordan James (10 points) and Kaden Bryan (9) also had strong offensive outings to help Marriotts Ridge prevail in a game that featured seven ties and neither team leading by more than eight points throughout the evening.
Darrion Harris led the way for Howard with a season-high 24 points — including five 3-pointers.
MR (9-3, 13-5): Miller 22, James 10, Bryan 9, Avent 5, Page 5, Tran 5, Groman 2, Snell 2.
Tyson Commander (21 points) and Jalen Bryant (20) did the heavy lifting for the Patriots in the MIAA A Conference victory. Jordan Brathwaite posted a double-double (15 points and 22 rebounds) in the loss for Glenelg Country.