HOWARD COUNTY, MD — As a 5.8 points per game role player last season, Glenelg boys basketball forward Ryan Davis could only envision performances similar to the one he put together in a 63-52 home win on Saturday afternoon.
The 6-foot-5 senior, who averaged 10 points his first three games, scored a career-high 22 points and added 14 rebounds as the Gladiators defeated Hammond to secure their second county win of the season.
“I’m glad he had a big game,” coach Jansen McMillan said. “That’s kind of something that we need him to do night in and night out, so I’m happy for him that he put a complete game together.”
Davis and senior guard Garrett Mills were the main reasons Glenelg (2-1 county, 2-2 overall) pulled away in the third quarter.
Down 31-28 with about three minutes left in the period, Mills started his team’s 18-3 spurt with a euro step layup. On the next possession, he found Davis in the right corner for the go-ahead 3-pointer, prompting the Golden Bears (1-2, 2-2) to call a timeout. Glenelg did not trail the rest of the game.
Of Mills’ 17 points, 13 of them came the final two periods. Davis added 11 points after intermission.
“He’s always stepping up and driving to the basket,” Davis said of Mills.
McMillan said his team did a better job competing defensively and rebounding in the second half, areas that hurt Glenelg the first two periods.
The Gladiators couldn’t contain junior guard Micah Henry, who scored all eight of Hammond’s points in its turnover-heavy first quarter. He added six more in the next frame, and along with Jalen Bourne shouldered the team’s offensive production early on. Davis, meanwhile, scored 11 of Glenelg’s 23 points before the break.
With the Golden Bears up, 24-23, Henry took a handoff from Bourne and went 1-on-1 with Mills. Henry used a spin move to create just enough shooting space, double clutched and then finished the and-1 layup to cap a dazzling first-half effort.
But Henry, who finished with 16 points, couldn’t replicate that scoring prowess later in the game, and no else from Hammond consistently made shots either. For about seven and a half minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters, the Golden Bears managed six points.
While coach Mike Salapata said he would have to look at the film, he offered his initial explanation behind his team’s stagnant offense after the defeat.
“Well [Henry] got his the first half, so now it was like, ‘Now it’s time to get mine the second half,’” Salapata said. “Clearly he was doing whatever he wanted to do the first half, so let’s ride what got us there.
“But we’re only four games in,” he added. We’ll get that stuff fixed.”
Salapata also saw the Golden Bears’ offensive woes translate to the other end of the floor, where Mills got into the lane with ease and either scored or found an open teammate. On multiple occasions, a Glenelg player was left all alone to tip the ball in off a missed shot.
Hammond pulled within 10 at the 3:11 mark, forcing McMillan to call a timeout, but the Gladiators maintained their double-digit lead by making foul shots, another area their opponent struggled mightily in.
Four of those conversions came from Davis, who was pleased his career day resulted in a victory.
“Coming in as a returning senior, we have a lot of juniors and younger guys,” Davis said. “I realized I had to step up, so I actually should be having games like this more often if we’re going to go the distance.”
Glenelg (2-1 county, 2-2 overall) — 63, Hammond (1-2 county, 2-2 overall) — 52
G — Davis 22, Mills 17, Boswell 6, Soltis 4, Piwowarski 3, Taylor 3, Koele 3, Dick 2, Onwumbiko 2, Heigh 1.
Ha — Henry 16, Gordon 12, Bourne 12, Stalling 8, Evans 2, Poku 2.
Half: 26-23, Ha
Other Howard County scores:
Riverdale Baptist 84, Long Reach (1-1, 2-2) — 65
LR — Jones 10, Raymond Jr. 9, Modeste 8, Casserly 6, Young 6, Moore 6, Martin 6, Davis 5, Shupe 3, Thompson Jr. 3, Lee 2, Olivis Jr. 1.
Half: 38-25, RB
Howard (1-3, 1-4) — 50, Mt. Hebron (1-2, 1-4) — 44
Ho — Blanco 20, Williams 10, Dawkins 7, Kim 6, Roberson 4, Taylor 3
MH — Prox 14, Nazaire 14, Ryan Kinloch 4, Ichrist 4, Jackson 4, Crump 2, Carguilo 2.
Half: 24-18, Ho