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If there were any worries about focus coming out of the holiday break, Wilde Lake put those to rest right away against Perry Hall on Friday during the opening day of the Severna Park Winter Jam Tournament.

The Wildecats scored the first 14 points of the game against the Gators, creating a lead they never lost the rest of the way en route to a convincing 68-33 victory. Marcus Mitchell led the charge with 18 points and 6 assists, while Brince Shelton (15 points) and Kwaku Boampong (11) also chipped in with double-digit scoring efforts.

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“We actually talked first thing today when we got to school about getting in that right mindset … figuring out what it was going to take to bring the energy we needed into the game today,” Wilde Lake coach Deon Wingfield said. “Everyone’s schedule is different right now over break, so you just never know. But we started well and then after we went through a lull in the second quarter, we came back together and finished strong.”

Wilde Lake senior Marcus Mitchell talks about the Wildecats' 68-33 win over Perry Hall on Dec. 27, 2019.

While Mitchell was the catalyst early with eight of the first 12 points for Wilde Lake (4-1), it was his role as a facilitator that really helped extend the lead. As the team’s point guard, he says it’s all about finding a balance.

“I look to find the gaps and attack those. Once they close in on me, then I kick out, and if they don’t [close] then I have my shot or a layup,” Mitchell said. “I trust my guys and I believe they can hit any shot.”

Mitchell and the rest of the Wildecats did a good job all afternoon of finding the hot hand. At the end of the first quarter it was Boampong establishing things on the interior, in the second quarter it was Max Valentine (season-high 9 points) getting going on the perimeter and then in the third quarter it was feeding Shelton in transition.

Howard boys basketball opens the Manchester Valley holiday tournament with an 80-37 win over Fallston.

At the end of the day, Wilde Lake never relinquished control. Eight different Wildecats scored and Perry Hall, which was led by Karon Brown (9 points), never got closer than 26 points during the second half.

“For us it’s all about each of them trusting all 12 of their teammates and making plays for one another,” Wingfield said. “Tonight, for example, I was really pleased with how we got good looks for Max Valentine and he responded by hitting those three 3-pointers. We saw that he was hot and we found him. Other nights it might be someone different, but the biggest thing is that we are making those extra passes and getting good shots.”

Wilde Lake is back in action at the Severna Park tournament on Saturday against Indian Creek at 4:15, while Perry Hall plays host Severna Park at 12:45.

Wilde Lake 68, Perry Hall 33

WL (4-1): Mitchell 18, Shelton 15, Boampong 11, Valentine 9, Tadjou 6, Adams 5, Lowe 2, Macktoon 2.

PH: K. Brown 9, Iqbal 8, W. Brown 7, Nichols 4, Adedire 3, Moore 2.

Half: 37-11 WL.

Other scores:

The Atholton boys basketball team poses with the championship trophy after winning the title at the Paint Branch holiday tournament on Dec. 27, 2019.
The Atholton boys basketball team poses with the championship trophy after winning the title at the Paint Branch holiday tournament on Dec. 27, 2019. (Brent Kennedy)

Atholton 69, Paint Branch 50

Raiders’ senior Jordan Oates set the tone early with eight of his team’s first 10 points in the opening quarter and Atholton never trailed on its way to the Gold Bracket championship at the Walter Hardy Paint Branch Holiday Tournament. Oates, who finished the night with 19 points and 14 rebounds, was named tournament MVP.

While the final score was lopsided, Paint Branch did close to within five points, 50-45, with six minutes left in regulation. But Atholton (6-2) answered with a 19-5 run to close the game with Oates and Raymond Brown (15 points) leading the charge.

“That’s a good basketball team we played tonight and they made a run at us exactly like we thought they would. Our kids, though, made some plays,” Atholton coach Jared Albert said. “I think our effort and attitude pushed us over the top. And overall I was really proud of the kids for how they responded to seeing our lead shrink down there … they didn’t get rattled.”

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Atholton was ahead 30-20 at the half and extended its cushion to 18, 42-24, midway through the third quarter. But Paint Branch never went away, as Juan Bell (15 points) and Anthony Wright (14) led the comeback. It was following a three by Dominic Ximinies in the fourth quarter that the Panthers got as close as they had been since the first quarter.

However, immediately after that Atholton rattled off eight unanswered points in just over a minute to retake control for good.

A (6-2): Oates 19, Brown 15, Daniel 13, Swartz 8, Anderson 6, Miller 4, Nwaklor 2, Jennings 2.

PB: Bell 15, Wright 14, Alphonso 12, Ximinies 8, Paul-Chan 1.

Half: 30-20 A.

Howard's boys basketball team poses together after winning the Manchester Valley Holiday Hoops tournament on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019.
Howard's boys basketball team poses together after winning the Manchester Valley Holiday Hoops tournament on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. (Submitted photo)

Howard 80, Hammond 44

The Lions captured the championship at the Manchester Valley Holiday Hoops tournament, defeating the Golden Bears behind big games from Cooper Haberern (20 points) and Darrion Harris (18). Overall, 11 different Howard players scored at least two points.

David Aodu led Hammond with 12 points.

Ho (5-2): C. Haberern 20, Harris 18, Henderson 8, Simmons 7, Hendricks 6, Maokhamphio 6, Kuehl 5, Bruner 4, G. Haberern 2, Zehring 2, Asifo 2.

Ha (4-4): Aodu 12, King 8, Thomas 6, Alexandre 6, Hewitt 5, Johnson 3, Mair 2, Lamont 2.

Centennial 70, La Plata 56

Brandon Bonner scored a season-high 18 points, while Shane Taylor (12 points) and Bryson Baker (10) joined him in double figures scoring, to lead the way for the Eagles in their second win in as many days at the Meade Tournament.

C (5-2): Bonner 18, Taylor 12, Baker 10, Hwang 9, Sedlacko 8, Schickner 7, Lovering 4, Lee 2.

LP: Oates 22, Cottle 20, Butler 6, Neal 4, Fletcher 2.

Half: 32-32.

Mt. Hebron 82, Francis Scott Key 55

Playing with a fully healthy team for the first time all season, the Vikings cruised to the victory in the opening round of their own tournament. Chris Lewis scored a career-high 25 points, while Justin Cargiulo (10 points), Quran Briggs (12) and Justin Michelotti (11) joined him in double figures.

Mt. Hebron will play Chapelgate for the tournament championship on Saturday at 6 p.m.

MH (4-4): Lewis 25, Briggs 12, Michelotti 11, Cargiulo 10, Millen 9, Bates 8, Ichrist 6, Nazaire 2.

FSK: Williams 14, McGrath 12, Heiser 9, Rill 7, Breezee 5, Brooks 4, Mursch 3, Harris 1.

Half: 45-23 MH.

Chapelgate 76, Towson 51

Lance Richards scored 18 points to lead the way as the Yellowjackets advanced to the championship of the Mt. Hebron Holiday Tournament. Chapelgate, which also got big games from Jax Felder (12 points), DT Hamilton (11) and Saihou Mbergan (10), will play tournament host Mt. Hebron on Saturday for the championship at 6 p.m.

CCA (6-7): Richards 18, Felder 12, Hamilton 11, Mbergan 10, Ogunmola 5, Mitchell 5, Praylow 4, Blackwell 4, Akisanya 4, Wei 2, McNeal 1.

T: Boas 15, Lee 11, Young 10, Burrell 8, Holcomlec 4, Graul 3.

Half: 31-23 CCA.

Oakland Mills 83, North Caroline 55

The Scorpions jumped out to a 27-14 lead by the end of the first quarter and went on to comfortably win their opening round game in their own tournament. Barry Evans scored 20 points to lead the way, while DJ Hopkins (14 points), Ke’mari Simpson (11) and Truth Norton (10) joined him in double figures scoring.

Oakland Mills will play Richard Montgomery at 5 p.m. on Saturday in the tournament championship game.

OM (4-2): Evans 20, Hopkins 14, Simpson 11, Norton 10, Diaby 6, Gray 6, Lincoln 6, Ndiritu 5, Pitts 3, Thompson 2.

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NC: Wayner 28, Blizzard 8, Fitenett 7, Bonds 7, Drorak 5.

Half: 48-31 OM.

Long Reach 67, Chesapeake-SP 48

Darelle Raymond (15 points), Carey Olivis (14), Kojo Addo (10), Jaden Brown (10) and Koby Malloy (10) all scored in double figures to lead the Lightning to the bounce-back victory in the Glen Burnie tournament.

LR (3-5): Raymond 15, Olivis 14, Brown 10, Malloy 10, Addo 10, Yarbough 4, Simms 4.

C-SP: Oyemade 18, Spruell 17, Akinrodemi 9, Olafunji 2, Goodwin 2.

Half: 26-20 LR.

Magruder 85, Glenelg 73

The Gladiators fell short in their second game at the Meade tournament, with Max Pearcy (21 points) and Nate Curtis (18) leading the way in the loss.

G (3-3): Pearcy 21, Curtis 18, Walsh 8, Tolbert 8, Owens 7, Della Russo 6, Perfator 2, Garbis 2, Thomas 1.

Half: 39-30 M.

Sherwood 44, River Hill 39

The Hawks stayed close throughout the second half, including taking the lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors prevailed down the stretch to earn the victory in the championship game of the Red Bracket at the Paint Branch Tournament. Jackson Graves and Ethan Smith scored 11 points apiece to lead the way for River Hill in the loss — the team’s fifth this season by six points or less.

S: Major 13, Elias 10, Lacey 9, Seals 3, Smith Jr. 3, Brown 2, Nazzaro 2, Macheras 2.

RH (2-5): Graves 11, Smith 11, Feeney 7, McKoy 4, Saliu 3, Myers 3.

Half: 24-16 S.

Springbrook 63, Reservoir 60

The Gators lost to the undefeated Blue Devils in the final of the Springbrook Holiday Tournament. Amare Curtis led the way in the win with 18 points for Springbrook, while Bobby Hill paced Reservoir with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Re (4-2): Hill 21, Glasper 14, Ballard 12, Ameli 7, Manning 2, Jerry 2, Ha 2.

Half: 34-27 Re.

Century 66, Marriotts Ridge 42

In the championship game of the Liberty Holiday tournament, the Knights got a game-high 26 points from Justin Wunder on the way to the win. Noah Riley added 12 points.

Cole Tran led the way for the Mustangs with nine points, while Austin Avent (8 points) was named one of the tournament’s most outstanding players. Marriotts Ridge played the game without five players, including John Miller, Jordan James and Carter Ryan — all averaging over six points a game this winter.

C: Wunder 26, Riley 12, Owings 10, Daniels 8, Copley 4, Burris 3, Diehl 3.

MR (6-2): Tran 9, Avent 8, Bryan 8, Page 5, Smith 4, Greene 2, Stukes 2, Pung 2, Kocak 2.

Half: 39-24 C.

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