Junior Carson Dick talks about his game-winning 3-pointer and more after the Gladiators’ 52-49 win. (Kyle Stackpole / BSMG)
HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Glenelg boys basketball entered Thursday’s regular season finale at River Hill with two objectives.
For starters, it yearned to prevent the Hawks from winning an outright county title for the second straight year. And in the process, it hoped to hold senior Jaden Martin under the 21 points he needed to reach 1,000 points for his career.
The Gladiators failed to accomplish the latter goal — Martin reached the milestone on a layup with 4 minutes, 15 seconds to play — but they hung around long enough to put themselves in position to spoil the Hawks’ last regular season home game.
And with the game tied at 49 and about 15 seconds to play, junior Carson Dick put Glenelg ahead. He received a pass on the left wing, rose before the defender could close out and knocked down his fourth 3-pointer to silence the crowd.
Martin’s ensuing 3-point attempt clanked off the rim, sealing the Gladiators’ 52-49 triumph.
“I was locked in, ready to shoot,” said Dick, who scored a team-high 17 points. “Shout out to Dan [Soltis], who kicked it out to me.”
River Hill (13-3 county, 18-4 overall) still claimed a piece of the county title for the second straight season. But unlike last year, it will share the feat with Oakland Mills. The Scorpions defeated the Hawks on Tuesday afternoon to keep their league championship hopes alive and then came from behind to defeat Marriotts Ridge on Thursday.
“For us to go back to back, it’s a great accomplishment,” coach Matt Graves said. “It’s not the best way of finishing up the season by losing our last two, but I do have to say that the kids deserve it. They put the time in, they wanted it, they got it. It’s one of the goals they can cross off. Now, can we continue with other goals that we have on our piece of paper?”
Graves’ group maintained a small advantage throughout the first half, taking a 22-19 lead into intermission, but it gained control of the contest with a flurry of quality offensive possessions to start the third quarter.
Martin and fellow senior guard Luke Champion began the period with back-to-back layups to prompt a Glenelg timeout. Out of the break, junior OJ Okojie drained two fouls shots. And after Garrett Mills split of pair of free throws around the six-minute mark, Champion responded with a layup and an and-1 alley oop, giving Hawks a 33-20 advantage.
“They were able to stay together, stay committed, play for one another, and prevail at the end,” coach Jansen McMillan said.
Spearheading the comeback was Dick, who scored 14 of his 17 points after intermission. Whenever Glenelg need a basket, he seemingly delivered.
Take the final minutes of the third quarter, when the referees called Champion for a technical foul with River Hill ahead, 37-27. After Mills hit one of his two foul shots, McMillan elected for Dick to attempt the free throws for the technical. He drained both. Glenelg then received the ball, and Dick canned a three-pointer.
In a matter of seconds, Glenelg sliced the deficit in half.
Or look at the end of that period, when senior Josh Mann capped a Hawks mini run with a transition bucket to put them back up double-digits. Dick received the inbounds pass, took two dribbles, and heaved a shot from beyond half court. Somehow, the ball found the bottom of the net.
With Glenelg trailing, 45-41, in the fourth quarter, Dick tried his luck from inside the three-point arc. Cue the layup, plus the foul. The Gladiators were within one possession.
“He had a great game,” Graves said. “He got hot, and he kept going, and we have a very hard time recognizing the hot person or the person who is scoring.”
Graves admitted another defensive problem Thursday was his players gambling for too many steals. And in the final minutes, it was that negative tendency, not a lack of awareness, that resulted in Dick receiving a clean look.
Champion thought he could intercept a pass from the right corner but missed, leaving him out of position. Martin then came over to help defend the ball handler, but when the ball went back to the corner, neither Champion or Martin could recover quick enough.
That resulted in an open baseline drive, which forced the defense to collapse and left Dick, the only Glenelg player to score double figures, open for the game-winning shot.
“That shot right there was an example of all his hard work he put in May, June, July, all up to the season and then continuing [from there],” McMillan said. “I’m not surprised he hit that shot. That’s what he’s capable of doing.”
Glenelg (9-7, 12-10) — 52, River Hill (13-3, 18-4) — 49
G — Dick 17, Davis 9, Mills 8, Soltis 8, Koele 5, Piwowarski 5.
RH — Martin 21, Champion 18, Krause 4, Okojie 2, Krakat 2, Mann 2.
Raiders’ junior Javon Daniel (11 points) hit a pull-up three from the top of the key in transition just before time expired to help Atholton earn the victory over the Lightning.
Long Reach had taken a one-point lead with just under 30 seconds left when Josh Jones (8 points) hit one of two from the foul line. Long Reach’s John Shupe then stole the ball on the Raiders’ next possession, but as he was dribbling toward the basket Atholton was able to poke the ball away.
Darren Miller secured the loose ball and found Daniel, who dribbled up court and proceeded to drain the decisive basket. Long Reach was unable to get off an attempt before time expired and the Atholton players stormed the floor to celebrate.
Justin Oates (13 points) and Casey Parkins (10) also scored in double figures for Atholton in the win.
The Raiders will host Long Reach in the opening round of the 3A East playoffs next Friday.
A — Oates 13, Daniel 11, Parkins 10, Mitchell 7, Rankin 6, Weisweaver 2, Marshall 1.
LR — Jones 8, Morgan 6, Dix 6, Davis 5, Modeste 5, Shupe 4, Thompson Jr. 4, Moore 3, Casserly 3, Lee 2, Young 2.
Oakland Mills is your improbable co-county champion.
After defeating River Hill, 70-65, on Tuesday night, the Scorpions needed a 28-point fourth quarter to stave off Marriotts Ridge at home and secure a share of the league crown.
Senior forward Robert Burgess carried the winning squad with 24 points, hitting three 3-pointers and nailing all five of his free throws. Junior forward Brandon Held had 20 points for the Mustangs, who held a 32-19 halftime lead and a 40-31 advantage after three quarters but couldn’t hold on for the upset.
MR — Held 20, Ingersoll 10, Little 10, Cole Brown 6, Lee 3, Cameron Brown 2.
Half: 32-19, MR
Centennial (10-6, 14-8) — 56, Howard (2-14, 3-19) — 40
Centennial locked up the No. 1 seed in 3A East, Section I by defeated Howard on Thursday night.
It gained and built their lead using defense, as the Lions did not score more than 11 points in any quarter. Meanwhile, the Eagles combined to score 35 points in quarters two and three to blow the game open.
Coach Chad Hollwedel’s team, which has now won eight straight games, is rolling into the playoffs, where it will receive a first-round bye.
C — Hohmann 14, Taylor 12, Ford 8, Smith 5, Hill 4, Eudell 3, Hollwedel 3, Berkeley 2, Kefyalew 2, Williams 2, Addisu 1.
Ho — Wilson 7, Blanco 6, Kim 6, Simmons 6, Wambura 4, Colbert 3, Williams 3, Roberson 2, Stephanos 2, Agbai 1.