Reservoir junior Bobby Hill talks about the Gators' 56-32 victory over Glenelg on Friday that clinched the first county championship in program history.
With the momentum slipping away and a county title hanging in the balance early in the fourth quarter Friday night at Glenelg, Reservoir found the extra gear it needed to finish like a champion.
Sparked by Bobby Hill (15 points and 11 rebounds) and Kaleb Glasper (14 points), the Gators closed the game on a 20-0 run to seal a 56-32 victory and the program’s first county championship.
“We knew we were going to get their best shot, and we did, so it came down to staying composed and staying together. In the midst of their runs, we never stopped locking down defensively and then found our offense when we needed it,” Reservoir coach Ian Pope said. “I think we learned a lot from the Marriotts Ridge loss last week … what it takes to finish a game like this. When we needed big plays, the guys delivered.”
Glenelg (6-10, 10-12), which was led on the evening by Tommy Walsh (10 points) and Max Pearcy (9), put together a 12-2 run between the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth to make it a four-point game, 36-32, with 7:15 left in regulation.
Hill scored seven unanswered points over a span of two minutes to push the lead to double figures and the Gators never slowed down after that.
“I feel like my problem all season is that sometimes I’m not aggressive enough. I felt like in this moment I needed to take over and be aggressive, and be the factor to help us win the game,” Hill said.
Jaylen Manning (11 points), Aria Ameli (8) and Glasper all made big baskets during the game-closing run. Even reserve Mekhi Stevenson came in during the closing minutes to add a basket to the cause, eliciting a particularly loud ovation from the bench.
In the end, the entire team was celebrating on the floor.
“We were right there and then we had a stretch where we traded turnovers for easy layups and threes for them on the other end. It got away from us quickly,” Glenelg coach Alex Blazek said. “But give Reservoir a ton of credit. That’s a really good team and they put the pedal down when they needed to tonight.”
Reservoir finishes one game ahead of Centennial (12-4, 17-5), Marriotts Ridge (12-4, 16-6) and Oakland Mills (12-4, 17-5) in the league standings, clinching the first boys basketball county championship for the school since it opened in 2002.
For first-year head coach Ian Pope, the victory was an emotional one.
“It was just a surreal moment,” he said. “I got the job fairly late, toward the end of July, but I remember the first thing I did was write out goals for the team. And right at the top of the list was doing this, something that had never been done before at this school.
“We tell the kids all the time to try and leave every situation better than how you found it … with this championship they accomplished that.”
Reservoir 56, Glenelg 32
Re (13-3, 17-4): Hill 15, Glasper 14, Manning 11, Ameli 8, Ballard 3, Saunderson 3, Stevenson 2.
The Eagles led the entire way, but really put the game out of reach courtesy of third quarter where they outscored the Golden Bears 17-4. Jeong Hwang (12 points) and Brandon Bonner (10) each scored in double figures to lead an offensive effort that saw eight players score at least four points.
C (12-4, 17-5): Hwang 12, Bonner 10, Sedlacko 8, Baker 7, Taylor 6, Carpenter 6, Benavides 4, Grable 4, Lee 2.
Ha (4-11, 8-13): Moore 7, Addison 6, Owens 5, Thomas 4, Aodu 2, Edwards 2, King 2, Mair 2, Bennett 1, Lamont 1.
Half: 27-18 C.
Marriotts Ridge 63, Mt. Hebron 61
The Mustangs got a basket from Kaden Bryan in the final second, securing a two-point victory and a share of second place in the final Howard County standings. Bryan and John Miller tied for team-high scoring honors with 14 points, while Cole Tran was right behind them with 12.
The Vikings hung in until the very end on senior night, getting a game-high 23 points from Chris Lewis and strong supporting games from Quran Briggs (15 points) and Evan Ichrist (14).
MR (12-4, 16-6): Bryan 14, Miller 14, Tran 12, Page 8, Groman 6, Snell 5, Avent 2, Ryan 2.
The Raiders pulled away for their third-straight victory, separating after leading by just three points at the half. Jordan Oates led the way with 12 points, while Raymond Brown (12 points) and Jabari Rankin (10) also finished in double figures. Overall, Atholton had eight players score five or more points.
Kojo Addo led Long Reach with 19 points.
A (10-5, 14-7): Oates 19, Brown 12, Rankin 10, Anderson 6, Nwaklor 6, Briken 5, Miller 5, Swartz 5, Daniel 2.
LR (2-14, 5-17): Addo 19, Raymond 11, Zaky 7, Brown 4, Olivis 3, Saunders 3, Yarbough 3, Oduro-Dompreh 2.
Half: 32-29 A.
Wilde Lake 50, Howard 45
After trailing by 17 points at the half, 27-10, the Wildecats regrouped to earn the victory on senior night and snap a three-game losing skid. Marcus Mitchell (13 points), Kyjuan Adams (10), Stanley Lowe (10) and Brince Shelton (9) all were major contributors to an overall balanced scoring effort.
Darrion Harris led the way in the loss for Howard with 12 points.