HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Three days after Marc Marshall banked a 3-pointer from beyond half court, giving Wilde Lake boys basketball an unfathomable 59-58 victory, Oakland Mills found itself in an eerily similar situation Monday against River Hill.
With less than three seconds left in a one-possession game, the Hawks were set to inbounds from their own end line. The Scorpions only needed one more defensive stop. However, if they failed, it would be their second-straight defeat via buzzer beater.
Ryan Marshall caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and whipped the ball to Jackson Graves, one of the Hawks’ best 3-pointer shooters, on the right wing. But on this occasion, Oakland Mills was in perfect position to challenge the game-winning attempt. Graves’ heave came nowhere near the rim, allowing the Scorpions to escape with a 50-49 triumph.
“We needed it, man,” Scorpions coach Jon Browne said. “You lose another close one and you start feeling sorry for yourself. …We needed that tonight.”
As expected, senior guard Daeshawn Eaton did a large part of the scoring for an Oakland Mills team that dealt with turnover and rebounding issues throughout the game. Eaton scored 20 points in the first half alone and finished with 27 on the game, though his last point was by far the most important.
With the contest deadlocked and 3.5 seconds to play, Eaton drew a foul trying to drive that put him at the foul line for a one-and-one. And while he split the pair of free throws, his first conversion was enough for the Scorpions (2-1 county, 4-1 overall) to get back into the win column.
As for River Hill, which shared the county championship with Oakland Mills last season with a 13-3 record, the loss drops coach Matt Graves’ group to 1-3 in league play. However, Graves does not take as much stock in the Hawks’ early-season record as he does in their development and expectant improvement throughout the year.
“It would have been nice to have five or six more seconds, but we had an opportunity to win,” Graves said. “We put ourselves a position to get there, which was huge, I thought, to where we started the game.”
Without Mount Saint Joseph transfers Nick and Ryan Marshall — who did not start because they missed practice Saturday due to injury — River Hill (1-3, 3-3) scored just three points in the first quarter. Oakland Mills also started slow but could rely on Eaton to create his own offense. His personal 8-0 scoring run helped the Scorpions take a 13-3 lead after the opening eight minutes.
And Eaton did not stop there. Dooley Riggs scored the opening basket of the second quarter for the Scorpions, but Eaton, last year’s county scoring champion, poured in the final 12 points of the frame.
On multiple occasions, he grabbed the defensive rebound and weaved his way down court for a layup. Seconds before halftime, he pulled up from the top of the key and banked in a 3-pointer.
The result was a 20-point first half, which matched River Hill’s total and gave Oakland Mills a seven-point halftime advantage.
“I just wanted to push the tempo,” Eaton said. “I didn’t want them to set up in their defense. I just wanted to catch them off guard and try to score in transition.”
Eaton’s teammates shouldered the scoring load to begin the second half, with Frederick Eiland II (12 points) drilling his second of four 3-pointers, Riggs finishing a layup and Jaelen Gaymon knocking down a long distance shot of his own. On the next possession, it was Eaton who converted from behind the arc to give Oakland Mills its biggest lead, 38-25.
From there River Hill began to reap the benefits of its full-court press and half court zone defense. Without Eaton dominating in transition, the Scorpions’ offense went stagnant. The Hawks went on an extended 20-4 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters and put them ahead, 45-42, with less than four minutes to play.
Eaton then rejuvenated Oakland Mills with a layup, leading to a back-and-forth finish that the Scorpions’ star player would finish off.
Oakland Mills (2-1, 4-1) — 50, River Hill (1-3, 3-3) — 49
OM — Eaton 27, Eiland II 12, Riggs 6, Gaymon 3, Simpson 2.
RH — Ryan Marshall 14, Nick Marshall 12, Okojie 10, Graves 7, Feeney 4, Yu 2.
Halftime: 27-20, OM
Around the league
Mt. Hebron (3-1, 4-1) — 85, Atholton (3-1, 3-1) — 69
MH — Dickerson 27, Coleman 15, Jackson 11, Ryan Kinloch 11, Bates 9, Prox 6, Ichrist 5.
A — Jordan Oates 20, Parkins 20, Murray 9, Justin Oates 8, Miller 4, Daniel 3, Mitchell 2, Agbor-Baiyee 2, Rankin 1.
Centennial (3-1, 3-1) — 60, Reservoir (2-2, 3-2) — 51
C — Huang 12, Hollwedel 10, Smith 10, Merkey 9, Sedlacko 9, Berkeley 7, Kefyalew 3.
Re — Saunderson 10, Odunowo 7, Ameli 6, McCallum 6, Soto 6, Adubi 3, Glasper 3, Barrett 2, Bradford 2, Manning 2, McKoy 2, Toler 2.
Halftime: 30-29, C
Wilde Lake (4-0, 4-0) — 74, Glenelg (0-4, 1-4) — 68
WL — Keys 26, Boampong 19, Marshall 18, Zimmerman 4, Chamblee 3, Wood-Gresham 3, Adams 1.
G — Owens, 16, Piwowarski 15, Dick 13, Soltis 11, Koele 7, Chappell 4, Onunambiko 2.
Halftime: 36-34, WL
Long Reach (1-3, 2-4) — 68, Howard (0-4, 1-4) — 56
LR — Raymond Jr. 20, Olivis 15, Haberern 11, Addo 7, Martin 6, Modeste 6, Johnson 3.
Ho — Harris 24, Wilson 15, Hendricks 9, O’Connor 4, Colbert 2, Kramer 2, Rodgers 2, Simmons 2.
Halftime: 25-21, LR