Atholton boys basketball fires on all cylinders in win over Glenelg
By Kyle Stackpole
Jan 09, 2019 | 9:20 PM
|Howard County, MD
Atholton boys basketball first ran the game-opening play at the Josh Palmer Holiday Classic in New York over Christmas break, but Darren Miller overthrew a leaping Casey Parkins. The play was then semi-successful in a win over Long Reach on Jan. 4, as Parkins failed to convert the basket but drew a foul.
Finally, in a road tilt with county foe Glenelg on Wednesday, coach Jared Albert’s team executed the play perfectly. After winning the tip-off, it dribbled and cut and passed until the ball wound up with Maxwell Murray on the left wing, right in front of the opposing bench. And by that time, the Gladiators were doomed. Parkins had already looped around a back pick and headed towards the basket unattended.
The timing of his jump was impeccable. Murray’s pass, precise. An immaculate alley-oop followed, with Parkins throwing down a dunk that set the tone for Atholton’s most-complete victory of the season.
“Today we played four quarters of basketball, which I’ve been asking the kids to do,” Albert said after the Raiders’ 75-37 victory. “We’ve played well in spurts, but I thought that was actually the first time we played four quarters all season long. Just really impressed with our intensity.”
Parkins’ emphatic slam served as the first basket of his fourth game with at least 20 points this season. The team’s leading scorer at 15.8 points per game entering Wednesday, Parkins led No. 15 Atholton (5-1 Howard County, 8-1 overall) with 23 points, 21 of which came in the opening three frames. Jordan Oates added 10 points and 11 rebounds for his second-straight double-double.
As a team, the Raiders hit 10 3-pointers, committed just 12 turnovers and received scoring contributions from all 14 players, helping them cruise to their fifth-straight victory and remain one game behind Wilde Lake in the league standings.
“That just shows what we can do when we put together four quarters,” Jordan Oates said.
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Oates added that the Raiders’ offensive onslaught was directly the result of the team’s defense, which caused 10 first-half turnovers that led to at least a dozen points in transition and put Glenelg (0-6, 3-7) in an immediate hole. The Gladiators made a 3-pointer and a free throw in the opening period and entered halftime trailing, 32-15.
Senior Hunter Koele began the second half with a 3-pointer for Glenelg, but the Gladiators did not score again until 3 minutes, 12 seconds remained in the third period. By that point, the Raiders converted five layups, two three-point shots and a pair of free throws, blowing the game wide open.
“Tonight we faced a very good team who are state contenders,” Glenelg coach Jansen McMillan said. “We just need to continue to work and get better with every practice. At the end of the day I love my team.”
Leading scorer Johnny Piwowarski paced the Gladiators offensively but finished with just six points against an Atholton defense predicated on length and on-ball pressure. That’s what helped the visitors earn deflections and create turnovers. It’s what made some baskets much easier than others on the other end of the court.
In the fourth quarter, the Raiders emptied their bench yet remained competitive, a testament to their depth that will only help an already well-rounded unit in the future.
“Whatever we did there, we’ve got to continue that for the rest of the season,” Albert said. “That’s what we’re capable of on any given night. I believe it and the kids believe it and I’m glad they finally saw what it takes to be able to play four quarters.”