Wilde Lake boys basketball outlasts River Hill in season opener
By Kyle Stackpole
Dec 07, 2018 | 10:30 PM
|Howard County, MD
Wildecats senior guard Trea Keys talks after the Wildecats' 61-56 overtime win over the Hawks on Dec. 7.
Wilde Lake boys basketball heard the hype surrounding all the incoming transfers ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.
It was hard not to, as several private school players returned to their hometown programs. River Hill has three of them, including brothers Ryan and Nick Marshall who came over from Mount Saint Joseph’s. The Wildecats got their first look at them in their season opener against the Hawks on Friday night.
“To be honest with you, our guys felt as though when the article came out this week about all the transfers in the county and not mentioning the guys that were still in the county, I think the guys took offense to that,” Wildecats coach Deon Wingfield said after his team’s 61-56 overtime win. “So, they were up to the challenge tonight and used it as motivation for tonight’s game.”
In a game that featured several new faces across both teams, it was Wilde Lake’s two returning senior guards that made sure it’d escape its season opener with a statement win. The backcourt of first-team All-County selection Trea Keys and Marc Marshall combined to score 40 points as the Wildecats outlasted the new-look Hawks.
Keys started slow but finished with 19 points, while Marshall produced consistently throughout the game to lead all scorers with 21 points. In the loss, the Hawks received a combined 26 points from the Marshall brothers, 11 points from OJ Okojie and 10 from Ming Yu. Okojie also finished with 10 rebounds and six blocks.
The Wildecats (1-0 county, 1-0 overall) stymied the River Hill with full-court pressure from tipoff. They caused nearly a dozen turnovers in the first quarter and totaled 19 takeaways by intermission. The Hawks, meanwhile, looked like a squad that lost four starters and their top six scorers from last year’s regional championship squad. Solid defense kept them in the game — so much so that they entered intermission tied at 19 — but their offensive woes bled into the third quarter, allowing the host to briefly pull away.
Keys and Yu traded 3-pointers to open the third quarter, but from there, the Wildecats began to string together baskets and stops on the other end. Kwaku Boampong (eight points) started the scoring run with a layup, and after two free throws from Marshall, hit a jumper to force a River Hill timeout. Out of the break came three more Hawks turnovers, two foul shots from Taha Ali and a gliding layup from Marshall, giving the Wildecats a 35-24 lead as the third quarter drew to a close.
“It was a slugfest,” Hawks coach Matt Graves said. “It was not pretty basketball. The percentages were awfully bad, the turnovers were awfully high. You could tell it was the first game of the season — even though it was our second game — but that mentality of trying to figure out who is going to do what during the game.”
After three sloppy quarters, River Hill figured it out in the final frame on Friday night, just like it did in its season-opening win over Tuscarora the night before. In that game, the Hawks held a 24-2 fourth-quarter scoring advantage, turning a semi-close game into a blowout.
Trailing 35-28 against the Wildecats entering the fourth, the Hawks rattled off 11 of the next 13 points to take their first lead since late in the first half. They were finally moving the ball, making the extra pass and finding the open man. Four different players scored during that stretch and did so by way of a 3-pointer, a mid-range jumper, a layup and four free throws.
Keeping the Wildecats in the game were Marshall and Keys. With just under four minutes to play, Marshall drilled a 3-pointer to break a 42-42 tie. On the next possession, Keys drove right at Okojie and got off an off-balanced runner that somehow found its way into the hoop for an and-1.
Nick Marshall’s steal and subsequent layup with 13 seconds left forced overtime, and based on how both teams played down the stretch, River Hill appeared to have the advantage.
However, the sloppiness returned in the extra frame. The Hawks committed four turnovers, missed multiple layups and clanked five free throws; each miscue bringing Wilde Lake closer and closer to victory. Eventually the Hawks were forced to foul, and the Wildecats made enough free throws to send the Hawks home with the unfamiliar feeling of a county loss.
“I hope this win builds confidence in our program to let everyone know that we can play with the so-called top-tier teams in the county,” Wingfield said.
Wilde Lake (1-0, 1-0) — 61, River Hill (0-1 county, 1-1 overall) — 56 (OT)
Chapelgate transfer Cam Heard led the Mustangs with 15 points and was one of five scorers in double figures, which included second-team All-County forward Brandon Held and senior forward Josh Olsufka, who won Player of the Year in baseball this past spring.
Amari Little was one of the only Mustangs who did not score, but he made up for his lack of scoring by dishing out nine assists.
MR — Heard 15, Held 12, Olsufka 11, Stepke 11, Miller 10, Cam Brown 7, Moore 6, Davis 4, Snell 3, Harris 3, Lee 2, Page 2.
Dickerson, who transferred to Chapelgate last season, returned to Mt. Hebron for his senior campaign and dazzled in his season debut. He made four 3-pointers and totaled 17 points in the first quarter alone en route to dropping 35 points in the Vikings’ three-point home win on Friday night.
Senior guard Terrell Coleman added 17 points, while first-team All-County guard Brandon Prox added 12 points. The Vikings needed all the backcourt production they could get, as forwards Justin Cargiulo and Stevie Jackson were out with injuries and William Bates fouled out.
Long Reach trailed by double digits for most of the game, but the Lightning made a fourth-quarter comeback thanks to the play of Craig Johnson (team-high 26 points) and Darelle Raymond Jr. (13 points). Ultimately, though, the Vikings held on for a season-opening win.
Eaton, last year's county scoring champion, scored 31 points in the Scorpions' 67-52 home win on Dec. 6.
By Kyle Stackpole
Dec 06, 2018 | 9:30 PM
Reservoir (1-0, 1-0) — 58, Howard (0-1, 0-1) — 47
Despite missing half of its 36 free throws, Reservoir pulled out a win thanks to a 16-5 fourth-quarter run.
First-team All-County forward Josh Odunowo produced as expected, pouring in 16 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and swatting seven shots. Ryan Saunderson, meanwhile, was the only other Gators scorer in double figures with 13 points.