Atholton boys basketball edges rival Reservoir, 70-67
By Kyle Stackpole
Dec 14, 2018 at 10:15 PM
Highlights of Atholton boys basketball's win over Reservoir on Dec. 14.
HOWARD COUNTY, MD — In tough environments, just like the one Atholton boys basketball found itself in against Reservoir on Friday night, coach Jared Albert preaches playing as a team.
Sometimes opponents will go on scoring runs, just like the host Gators did in the third and fourth quarters. Other times valuable contributors will foul out, a fate that senior starters Albert Jackson and Justin Oates experienced in the final few minutes. In these moments, other players may be looked at to step up.
Luckily for the Raiders, they have playmakers all over the floor, and it showed down the stretch of a 70-67 triumph in a battle of undefeated county squads.
With the game tied at 67, Maxwell Murray drilled a pull-up jump shot that put the Raiders ahead with 13.2 seconds to play. On the ensuing possession, fellow senior guard Casey Parkins (game-high 23 points) intercepted a pass at the top of the key, forcing Reservoir to foul. He split a pair of three throws, keeping the game within one possession, but the team-wide communication between Raiders’ defenders ensured the Gators would not attempt a shot before the final buzzer.
“It’s not just two guys or three guys,” Albert said. “It’s 15 guys that got the win for us on the road. We talked about it, how they had the home crowd but we had us, and that was our mantra today, and I think we stuck to it.”
In Albert’s mind, Friday’s showdown unfolded like most basketball rivalries do; with lots of scoring runs and plenty of lead changes.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair that ended with Reservoir (2-1 county, 3-1 overall) holding a 20-17 advantage. The second period belonged to Atholton, which scored 22 points in the frame and held the Gators to just three baskets. Behind 15 points from Parkins and seven more from Glenelg Country transfer Jordan Oates, the Raiders entered intermission with a 39-32 lead.
“The keys were defense for sure, stopping Josh [Odunowo], and getting rebounds,” Parkins said. “And then just scoring easy buckets and not forcing anything.”
The Raiders (3-0, 3-0) had their way in terms of stopping Odunowo, who entered the game averaging 21 points and 18.6 rebounds but put up just 14 points and five boards (zero offensive) on Friday night. He also dealt with foul trouble, which forced him to watch much of the final 16 minutes from the bench. His second-half scoring included just one basket and three free throws.
But similar to Atholton, Reservoir has several capable playmakers who were more than happy to showcase their abilities. In the first half it was Eli Soto, who chipped in eight points and finished 6-for-10 from the field overall. In the second frame it was the Gators’ backcourt of Kyjuan McCallum, Kaden Toler and Aria Ameli, who combined to score 24 points. All four players finished the game in double figures.
Reservoir quickly erased its halftime deficit using efficient zone offense and tight man-to-man defense. Helping was Atholton’s inability to covert open shots around the rim. These two factors allowed the Gators to build a 50-45 lead late in the third quarter, only to see the Raiders cut it to 51-49 entering the final frame.
Early in the fourth quarter, Reservoir looked as though it would pull away for good when Ameli’s fourth 3-pointer of the night gave his team a 57-51 advantage. However, by the five-minute mark the game was tied at 59, and from there Atholton made enough stops, and its opponent missed enough free throws for Murray, Parkins and the entire team to pull out a one-possession win.
“They just made more plays than us down the stretch,” Gators coach Mike Coughlan said.
In the best game Hammond coach Mike Salapata said he’s ever been a part of, the Golden Bears remained undefeated in a four-overtime marathon on Friday night.
Henry, who finished with 32 points, kept the Golden Bears alive with a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded in regulation. The Golden Bears and Gladiators then were deadlocked at 75, 83 and 90 in the first three overtime periods.
Finally, after two-and-a-half hours of back-and-forth action, the Golden Bears squeaked out a two-point win. Dulaney transfer Jaylen Wiggins exploded for 38 points.
However, he wasn’t the high scorer in the game. That distinction went to senior guard Johnny Piwowarski, who carried the Gladiators with 40 points.
With less than 10 seconds to play and Wilde Lake trailing, 58-56, at Oakland Mills, Wildecats leading scorer Trea Keys (17 points) was blocked going up for the game-winning layup. Scorpions guard Daeshawn Eaton then prevented the ball from going out of bounds and heaved it down the court to a streaking Ke’von Simpson.
Had Simpson thrown down a dunk, converted a layup or just dribbled the ball around, the result would have been the same. The Scorpions would have pulled out the win.
Instead, his one-handed dunk attempt clanked off the rim and out of bounds with 2.3 second to play. The Wildecats were alive.
The ensuing inbounds pass went to senior Marc Marshall, who only had time to dribble once, crossover, set his feet and heavy a prayer from beyond half court. As the final buzzer sounded, the ball sailed through the air, hit the backboard and rattled through the net.
OM — Eaton 20, Eiland II 10, Gaymon 7, Riggs 5, Simpson 5, Fairbanks 4, Hopkins 3, Norton 2, Parks 2.
Halftime: 35-29, OM
River Hill (1-2, 3-2) — 49, Marriotts Ridge (1-2, 2-2) — 42
Another year, another Howard County boys basketball coach earns his 200th win.
Oakland Mills’ Jon Browne reached the milestone last season, and on Friday night, River Hill’s Matt Graves achieved the same feat with the Hawks’ seven-point win over Marriotts Ridge.
The Hawks earned their first county victory and their coach’s 200th thanks to 13 points from Ming Yu and 12 more from Josh O’Brien. Senior forward Brandon Held matched O’Brien’s scoring total to lead the Mustangs.
RH — Yu 13, O’Brien 12, Ryan Marshall 8, Nick Marshall 7, Graves 5, Okojie 3, Feeney 1.
MR – Held 12, Olsufka 8, Heard 6, Lee 6, Little 2, Cam Brown 2, Davis 2, Moore 2.