HOWARD COUNTY, MD — While insignificant at the time, a layup from Jaylen Manning late in the third quarter served as the start of a game-changing performance that carried Reservoir boys basketball to its biggest win of the season, 71-66, over Wilde Lake, on Friday night.
The bucket came with 2 minutes, 45 seconds in the third quarter, gave the Gators a 39-33 advantage over Wilde Lake and marked Manning’s first two points of the contest. From there, Manning, who scored a season-high 12 points Wednesday against Hammond, could do no wrong. He scored seven more points in the third quarter, capping the period with an acrobatic left-handed bank shot that put the Gators up eight entering the fourth quarter.
And whenever the Wildecats threatened to steal yet another county road win, Manning kept his team ahead. There was the putback to put Reservoir up, 58-50, with 4:49 to go, the floater that gave the Gators a 65-62 lead with 2:06 left and the two foul shots that extended that advantage to five with 100 seconds to play.
Finally, with about 15 seconds remaining and Wilde Lake training by three, Manning corralled a loose ball and ensured the Wildecats would not get another possession until after Manning shot a pair of foul shots. His 14th and 15th free throw attempts were pure, giving him 22 points on the night, and were just what the Gators needed to spoil the Wildecats’ undefeated county run.
“It’s just what he does,”coach Mike Coughlan said about Manning. “He’s had spurts of that, I don’t know which games, but it’s been one or two of them like that. It’s funny because it’s a team effort, so [starting point guard] Kyjuan [McCallum] sat, and I just talked to him and I said, ‘Look this is what a team does.’ We’ve had different people step up at different times throughout the year, and he stepped up. It doesn’t surprise me.”
The win was not all about Manning, though. It was leading scorer Josh Odunowo ripping down rebounds on both ends of the floor and getting to the foul line. It was Ryan Saunderson, who was out sick against Mt. Hebron on Jan. 4, adding 10 points, including a pair of crucial 3-pointers. It was Kaden Toler keeping everyone on task, To’Godio Hester and Aria Ameli adding value from distance and sophomores Kaleb Glasper and Victor McKoy playing composed despite a raucous crowd where at times it sounded like a Wilde Lake home game.
Above all, it was about the Gators (5-2 county, 8-3 overall) knocking off the first-place team and moving one game behind Wilde Lake (6-1, 9-2) in the league standings.
“This win against Wilde Lake High School is really going to pump us up,” Manning said. “They were No. 1, and now that we beat them we can beat any other team.”
For Wilde Lake, coach Deon Wingfield is never thankful for a loss but did acklowedge that a close road defeat could have long-term benefits. With the Wildecats winning their opening six county games and eight of their first nine overall, Wingfield saw a team that was starting to get complacent. It’s understandable, sure, but Wingfield knew that mindset would not be enough to run through Howard County play unscathed.
In his mind, the Wildecats were not as energetic as the Gators early on, and the reason they hung around before halftime was because of their 13-for-18 shooting from the foul line. Despite missing several shots from in close, they went into the break facing a four-point deficit.
The third period proved even more difficult for Wilde Lake as the shooting struggles continued and the free throw attempts all but disappeared. By the end of the period, their deficit grew to eight.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that both halves of the superb senior scoring duo came alive. After scoring nine points in the first half and none in the third quarter, Trea Keys added six points over the final eight minutes. Marc Marshall, meanwhile, scored 18 of his team-high 20 points after the break, including 10 in the last period.
The duo finished with a combined 35 points, just a tick below their season average, but neither attempted a shot with the game on the line. Instead it was Manning securing the steal and the Gators celebrating their triumph.
“It was two good teams playing against each other,” Wingfield said. “With the start of the season that we had, we had a target on our back, so I think Reservoir was very amped up for this game, and as a whole, I did not think my team matched the intensity in the beginning of the game.”
Reservoir (5-2 county, 8-3) — 71, Wilde Lake (6-1, 9-2) — 66
Re — Manning 22, Saunderson 10, Odunowo 7, Ameli 6, McCallum 6, Toler 6, Glasper 5, Bradford 3, Hester 3, Adubi 2, McKoy 1.
WL — Marshall 20, Keys 15, Wright 10, Burris 4, Zimmerman 6, Edmond 3, Adams 2, Boampong 4, Chamblee 2.
Oakland Mills (5-2 county, 9-3 overall) — 76, Atholton (5-2 8-2) — 64
Oakland Mills got the best of Atholton in a battle of two of the top county teams on Friday night.
Despite a big first half from Raiders senior Albert Jackson (21 points), the Scorpions entered halftime with a one-point lead thanks to leading scorer Daeshawn Eaton, who finished with a game-high 25 points. Eaton continued to produce in the second half, while Ke’von Simpson (15 points) provided a huge second-half boost.
Then the Scorpions’ role players had a big fourth quarter, ensuring they’d move into a tie for second place in the county standings.
OM — Eaton 25, Simpson 15, Gaymon 9, Eiland II 7, Evans 6, Riggs 6, Hopkins 2, Fairbanks 2, Norton 2, Parks 2.
A — Jackson 21, Parkins 18, Jordan Oates 8, Murray 7, Daniel 4, Brown 2, Miller 2, Justin Oates 2.
Marriotts Ridge (3-3, 7-4) — 62, Mt. Hebron (3-4, 6-6) — 51
Friday night was a coming out party for Marriotts Ridge sophomore John Miller.
Miller, who entered the game against Mt. Hebron averaging 5.6 points per game, consistently produced throughout the contest to finish with a season-high 18 points. Reigning Player of the Week Brandon Held also had 18 points in the victory.
Despite receiving 20 points from Odell Dickerson, Mt. Hebron got down in the first quarter and could never overcome its double-digit halftime deficit.
MR — Held 18, Miller 18, Little 9, Olsufka 6, Heard 5, Cole Brown 4, Snell 2.
MH — Dickerson 20, Bates 13, Crump 6, Kinloch 6, Prox 4, Cargiulo 2.
Centennial (6-1, 7-4) — 57, Glenelg (0-7, 3-8) — 56
About an hour before Wilde Lake suffered its first county loss, Centennial needed a late-game layup to defeat Glenelg and maintain its one-loss county mark.
Stafford Smith was the hero Friday night, as his layup with 24 seconds left put the Eagles ahead for good. Smith, who scored a season-high 20 points against Marriotts Ridge on Wednesday, led the team with 17 points and was one of four Eagles players to finish in double figures Friday.
For Glenelg, it’s the latest heartbreaking county loss. Of the Gladiators’ seven county defeats, four have come by five points or less.
C — Smith 17, Berkeley 11, Bonner 11, Hollwedel 10, Schickner 4, Hwang 2, Sedlacko 2.
G — Dick 21, Chappell 8, Piwowarski 8, Onwumbiko 7, Koele 5, Walsh 4, Soltis 3.
River Hill (4-3, 8-4) — 65, Howard (0-7, 3-8) — 31
River Hill’s third straight county win was a team effort. Brothers Nick and Ryan Marshall combined for 26 points and Josh O’Brien added 12 points, providing all the scoring the Hawks would need thanks to its lockdown defense.
RH — Nick Marshall 14, Ryan Marshall 12, O’Brien 12, Yu 8, Feeney 4, James 4, Okojie 4, Graves 3, Uecker 2, Jahangir 1.
Ho — Hendricks 8, Rodgers 7, Harris 6, Bruner 2, Simmons 2, Williams 2, O’Connor 1.
Long Reach (2-5, 5-6) — 81, Hammond (2-4, 6-5) — 66
Jaylen Wiggins went off for 38 points, but it was not nearly enough to beat a Long Reach squad that had four players score at least 14 points. Carey Olivis (17 points) led the Lightning, who earned their first county win since Dec. 17. Darelle Raymond Jr. (16 points), Craig Johnson (14 points) and Elijah Modeste (14 points) were also integral in the victory.
LR — Olivis 17, Raymond Jr. 16, Johnson 14, Modeste 14, Martin 6, Charles 5, Haberern 4, Addo 3, Brown 2.
Ha — Wiggins 38, Henry 11, Aodu 7, Asa 3, Holloway 3, Miller 2, Purcell 2.
Glenelg Country (5-4 MIAA A Conference, 12-5) — 61, Archbishop Spalding — 53
Indian Creek — 63, Chapelgate (1-6 MIAA B Conference, 5-14) — 40