Senior Jaden Martin talks about his 19-point effort after the Hawks’ 62-56 win on Dec. 27.
HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Holiday tournament high school basketball is in full swing, with 11 out of the 12 Howard County public school teams playing in events around the area.
Chapelgate, which already won the Fairmont Heights Christmas Tournament from Dec. 22-23, is competing in the CKA Holiday Basketball Invitational on Wednesday along with Long Reach. Glenelg, meanwhile, begins play in the Severna Park Winter Jam on Thursday.
The first three minutes out of halftime encapsulated how River Hill secured a six-point win over Richard Montgomery on Wednesday afternoon.
Jaden Martin began the third quarter with a corner 3-pointer, and Luke Champion finished a layup about 30 seconds later. Then, after Jacob Krause drove for a bucket in close, Martin hit his backcourt mate down low, and Krause finished the layup while in midair.
With River Hill leading, 39-27, at the 5:19 mark of the period, Richard Montgomery needed a timeout.
The Hawks would hold on for their seventh straight win to start the season behind their senior trio, who torched the Rockets by combining to score 45 points.
“The thing I’m impressed with is that they share the ball extremely well,” coach Matt Graves said. “We know who our shooters are, we know who our slashers are and we put ourselves in a good position to score.”
Martin led the way for the Hawks with 19 points, while Krause, who entered the game averaging 16.2 points per game, kept his double-digit scoring streak alive with a 14-point performance. Champion scored 12 points, including a person 5-0 run in the third quarter that put the Hawks’ ahead by 13.
With the victory, River Hill advances to the Burgundy Bracket championship Thursday at 5 p.m. at Paint Branch High School. The Hawks will play the winner of Sherwood and Potomac (Md.).
River Hill came out sharp despite last playing Dec. 22. Krause drilled a 3-pointer, Martin splashed midrange jumpers and Championship finished layups through traffic inside, helping the Hawks score 18 points in the first quarter and end the period with a six-point advantage.
“It’s always being ready,” Martin said. “We want to keep our streak alive, and so I think we have each and every game prepared to play whether there’s a crowd or not. We did well today, and we have to do it tomorrow as well.”
After a turnover-plagued second period, the Hawks extended their lead to start the second half and held on late in the game despite allowing several easy layups and second-chance opportunities from offensive rebounds.
Richard Montgomery senior guard Daryn Alexander led all scorers with 21 points.
“Definsively, the key right now for us is making stops grabbing rebounds and not giving up straight line drives,” Graves said. “But all in all, we came out ready to play, which is nice to see after a couple of days off.”
River Hill (7-0) — 62, Richard Montgomery — 56
RH — Martin 19, Krause 14, Champion 12, Mann 8, McKenna 4, Kraket 3, Daniels 2.
Fourty-five seconds into its holiday tournament opener, the Scorpions were down, 8-0.
While Browne’s team made mini runs to give itself a chance in the second half, No. 9 Dulaney was too much offensively in a 74-61 win on Oakland Mills’ home floor.
The Lions (5-0) advance to Thursday night’s championship against Boys’ Latin, while the Scorpions (4-2) will play Arundel in the consolation game that afternoon.
“We probably won the game on the offensive end, not the defensive end” Lions coach Matt Lochte said. “So, I thought we came out great … but then we got sloppy. We missed a lot of layups, we missed a lot of free throws.”
“We’re going to have to play a lot better to beat [Boys’ Latin],” Lochte added.
Lochte did make sure to praise the performance of Cornish, a Southern Utah commit who scored a game-high 25 points and made five of his seven shots from behind the arc. It seemed as though whenever the Scorpions gained some momentum, Cornish halted the run with his perimeter jump shot.
Sophomore guard Che Evans Jr., meanwhile, helped out by scoring 16 points.
Junior Daeshawn Eaton and senior Robert Burgess were bright spots for Oakland Mills, combining to score 40 points, but Browne viewed was disappointed with the overall result.
“It was a lack of effort on our part,” Browne said. “We made a little run, but as soon as we did, we turned the ball back over and gave them easy layups. We didn’t really give ourselves a chance to win this game tonight unfortunately.”
The Scorpions appeared to settle in after falling behind, 8-0, and the teams went back and forth in a high-scoring first quarter. However, their five-point deficit ballooned to a double-digit one thanks to a lack of rebounding and failing to get back on defense.
Browne estimates his team gave up at least a dozen points on breakaways in the first half.
The Lions invited Oakland Mills back into the game to start the second half by missing a layup and turning the ball over twice, and Burgess scored six unanswered points in response. The Scorpions were back within six.
That’s as close as they would get. Cornish halted the run with a layup, and a few possessions later, sank a a 3-pointer from the top of the key while getting fouled.
Similar to that jumper, the Lions’ overall performance wasn’t flawless but was enough to pull out yet another victory.
“We were making a lot of mental mistakes, and that comes with having a young group,” Cornish said. “We’re going to keep building off of that and learning."
MR — Held 20, Lee 10, Ross 8, Brennan 8, Stepke 7, Snell 6, C. Brown 6, Ingersoll 4, Little 4.
Half: 36-25, MR
Next game: vs. Century (Thursday at 5 p.m.)
Howard Holiday Tournament
Howard 67, Chopticon 61
Howard survived a roaring fourth-quarter comeback attempt from Chopticon to advance to the championship of its holiday tournament. The Lions will play Northbrook on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Senior guard Andrew Blanco paced the Lions on Wednesday, finishing with a team-high 19 points. That included the floater he hit to put his team up two possessions with 39 seconds to play. Junior Aiden O’Connor chipped in 11 points, while junior Savien Wilson while added 10 in the victory.
“Great offensive effort and the focus and attention was there for most of the game,” coach Seth Willingham said. “We gave up 21 points in fourth quarter and lost focus. Need to stay more focused throughout.”
Howard (2-5) — 67, Chopticon — 61
Ho — Blanco 19, O’Connor 11, Wilson 10, Wiliams 9, Agbai 7, Johnson 6, Dawkins 4, Stephanos 1.
Half: 38-26, Ho
Reservoir (5-1) — 54, Friendly 43
Re — Okolo 13, Moore 13, Bradford 6, Soto 5, Odunowo 5, Ricketts 5, McCallum 3, Toler 2, Harrison 2.
Half: 19-15, Re
Next tourney game: vs. Springbrook (Thursday at 7 p.m.)