The first of two Howard County against Anne Arundel boys basketball showcase play days this winter was held on Saturday, with the two counties earning an even split.
Howard County teams Centennial, Glenelg, Mt. Hebron, Oakland Mills, Reservoir and Centennial were all victorious, while Anne Arundel programs Arundel, Chesapeake, Glen Burnie, Northeast, Old Mill and Southern won to balance things out. All 12 schools from each county will be back in action against one another, with different match-ups, on Dec. 21.
For recaps and box scores from the individual games, see below:
Glenelg forward Ryan Davis talks about the Gladiators' 41-24 win over South River on Saturday, Dec. 10. (Brent Kennedy/BSMG)
Glenelg 41, South River 24
After a sluggish first half, the Gladiators turned things around over the final 16 minutes to pull away for the lopsided victory.
Ryan Davis, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half, led what was a balanced scoring effort for Glenelg (2-0). Southern, which managed just seven points in the second half, was led by seven points apiece from Josh Lee and Dilon Holland.
"We came in at half and our coach was pretty mad because we didn't play as good as we could. But in the locker room he said that we need to work out for ourselves what we need to do to come back in the second half," Davis said. "That's pretty much what we did, we came out in the second half and came back [strong]."
Neither team managed much in the way of offensive consistency in the first half, with South River heading into the break with a 17-16 lead. Glenelg didn't get on the scoreboard until 3:49 was left in the first quarter courtesy of an old-fashioned three-point play by Hank Koele, but did lead 10-8 after that first period.
The Gladiators simply struggled to take care of the ball in the second quarter, allowing the Seahawks to push back in front heading into the half.
The second half, however, was a different story as Tommy Walsh set the tone immediately in the third quarter. A tough lay-up, followed by a steal and dunk, quickly gave Glenelg the lead.
SR: Lee 7, Holland 7, Anderson 4, Dinkins 3, Denten 2, Proctor 1.
Half: 17-16 SR.
Centennial senior Elijah White talks about the Eagles' 50-46 win over Meade on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Centennial 50, Meade 46
In the final game of the day at North County High School, the Eagles and Mustangs delivered a barnburner.
Both teams took turns with the lead and neither squad led by double digits at any point. In the end, Centennial (2-0) got some key late baskets and enough stops to secure the victory. Elijah White led the way with 17 points, while Haden Ford chipped in with a career-high nine — seven of which came in the fourth quarter.
"It felt like another rivalry game, even though I've never played Meade in my life. It was two very competitive teams, teams that are used to go to the state championship. It was high intensity, it was loud," White said.
"In Atholton [our first game] and in Meade, we had to fight. We were down in both games … [we had to] learn to push through adversity."
Centennial held early leads of 14-9 after the first quarter and 22-21 at the half. Then the Eagles started the second half hot to take their largest lead of the night, 35-27.
But Meade, which was led by 13 points from Mahzi Thames, countered with its own run to grab a 40-37 advantage after the third quarter.
The two teams traded blows down the stretch, but ultimately it was Centennial that made the plays in crunch time. Sean Taylor provided some steadying play at point guard and then Ford converted a lay-up with 1:41 left in regulation to put the Eagles ahead 47-45. Staked to the lead, Centennial guard Corey Eudell came through with a couple big steals and Meade missed on a couple shot attempts over the next 90s seconds to help that advantage hold up.
With less than a second to go, White ended up icing the game with a pair of foul shots.
Centennial will be back in action on Wednesday at home against Mt. Hebron.
C (1-0, 2-0): White 17, Ford 9, Hohmann 8, Addisu 6, Taylor 6, Williams 2, Eudell 2.c
M: Thames 13, Washington 11, Jennings 6, Sturdivant 6, El 6, George 4.
Reservoir guard Zabril Carey talks about the Gators' win over Broadneck on Saturday, Dec. 10. (Brent Kennedy / BSMG)
Reservoir 66, Broadneck 38
The Gators wasted little time establishing the tone for the game against the Bruins, going on a 12-2 run to close the first quarter to jump out to a lead that they never relinquished the rest of the way.
Reservoir (3-0) increased its advantage to 37-22 at the half and then went up by more than 20 points by the end of the third quarter. Balanced scoring continues to be the team's calling card, as Judge Payne scored 17 points to lead an effort that saw 11 guys score at least one basket.
"I feel like this year's group is a lot stronger than last year's, the chemistry is really good," said Zabril Carey, who scored five points. "The good thing about this group is that we have a lot of guys, everybody on the bench can contribute."
Other Reservoir offensive standouts were Kevin Miller (13 points) and Isaac Gunther (8).
On the other end, the Gators' defense held the Bruins to just 16 points in the second half, sparking the team's transition game as well. Late in the fourth quarter, Ayomi Akinbinu even brought the team's bench to its feet with an emphatic fast-break dunk.
While pleased with the start this winter, Reservoir's players also were quick to note that there's a lot of season left.
"I'm really excited, but I know we're going to have to keep it up though because last year we started 4-0 and then we had a downslide. But I feel like if we keep playing with energy and enthusiasm, we will be fine," Carey said.
Re (1-0, 3-0): Payne 17, Miller 13, Gunther 8, Carey 5, Upsher 5, Archampong 5, Diarra 3, Ajimatanrareje 3, Akinbinu 3, Okolo 2, Walker 2,
Arundel guard Christian Thornton talks about the Wildcats' 53-48 win over Long Reach on Saturday, Dec. 10. (Brent Kennedy / BSMG)
Arundel 53, Long Reach 48
In one of the closest games of the day, the Wildcats held off several Lightning comeback attempts to earn the win. Michael Joyner (16 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks) and Christian Thornton (9 points, 6 assists) each played huge roles in the victory.
Arundel (3-0) had opened up a 32-24 lead at the break and threatened to run away with the game early in the third quarter. But Chad Brown (26 points) and Tre Morgan (10 points, 12 rebounds) helped Long Reach claw its way back. It was following a lay-up in traffic by Morgan with two minutes remaining in the third that the Lightning had tied the game up, 36-36.
Shortly after that, Morgan gave Long Reach (1-1) the lead with another lay-up.
But just when the momentum seemed to be swinging, Arundel found an answer. After tying the game at 38, Arundel had Thornton bury a three just before the buzzer at the end of the period to help it retake the lead.
"[That shot] was real big, because momentum is basically what leads to us getting into our offense and making us focus," Thornton said. "It allows the young players to do what they have to do and not think about how big the game is."
Long Reach hung tough, giving itself several opportunities to retake control of the game down the stretch. But Arundel simply answered every push. A key block by Joyner on a shot by Morgan with 20 seconds left helped seal the game.
"It was definitely a big win, getting it against an out-of-county team and not just any out-of-county team, but one of the betters ones," Thornton said.
LR (1-0, 1-1): Brown 26, Morgan 10, Jones 8, Ekop 3, Dix 1.
Half: 32-24 A.
Southern boys basketball seniors Jarius Carroll and Tison Graves talk about the team's 59-46 win over Atholton on Saturday, Dec. 10. (Brent Kennedy / BSMG)
Southern 59, Atholton 46
After digging itself a 13-2 hole in the first quarter, the Bulldogs methodically began climbing back into the game and it started on the defensive end of the floor. Ultimately, Southern came all the way back to earn the 13-point victory.
Jarius Carroll scored a game-high 20 points to lead the way in the win.
"I think [the key] was energy on defense. Everybody was talking and we went on a little run and that definitely helped us out," Carroll said.
Atholton had jumped ahead early on the strength of the strong play from Skyler Rankin (9 points) and Andrew Dobson (9), but simply was unable to sustain the momentum.
After a 3-pointer by Jasen Parkins (10 points) late in the second quarter, the Raiders led by just three, 28-25, at the half.
Then Southern issued what ended up being the knockout blow early in the third quarter. The Bulldogs put together a 15-0 run in the opening five minutes out of halftime to establish the team's first double-digit advantage.
Southern also got strong games from Curtis Holland III (11 points) and Logan Clingerman (11 points). Tison Graves chipped in with six big rebounds.
S: Carroll 20, Clingerman 11, Holland III 11, Horvath 7, Drake 6, Salisbury 2, Graves 2.
The Hawks played their best game of the young season, using some hot-shooting toward the end of the second quarter to establish a lead the team never relinquished at any point in the second half. River Hill ended up hitting nine threes as a team, with Jaden Martin (16 points)
Blake Rebstock scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Cougars over the Mustangs. Ebenezer Hagan followed with 11 points and 13 rebounds, Matt Kern had six rebounds and four steals and Russell Tongue came off the bench to contribute five rebounds and had four steals for Chesapeake.
In the loss, Troy Hettinger's 10 points led Marriotts Ridge.
C (1-2): Rebstock 22, Hagan 11, Oxyer 8, Nock 4, Young 4, Kern 4, Seidler 2.
MR (0-1, 1-2):
Glen Burnie 64, Howard 59
It was all Howard in the first half, as the Lions opened up a 35-24 lead through two quarter thanks to strong play led by Jayden Cowan (21 points), Johnson Kim (17) and Dequon Walker (12).
But the Gophers stormed back to actually grab the lead, 47-44, by the end of the third quarter. Dayvon Cuffey, who finished with game highs of 30 points and 15 rebounds, played a key role in the comeback.
Ho (0-1, 0-3): Cowan 21, Kim 17, Walker 12, Blanco 5, Cross 4.
Half: 35-24 Ho.
Oakland Mills 82, Annapolis 76
After scoring just 43 points in a season-opening loss to Hammond, the Scorpions eclipsed that total in the first half alone on Saturday against Annapolis. Oakland Mills was up 46-42 at the half and then held on down the stretch to earn the victory.
Old Mill 59, Hammond 55
The Golden Bears had a 32-24 lead at the half and increased that advantage to double digits in the third quarter, but ultimately were unable to hang to defeat the Patriots. Avion Robinson scored 20 points, while Marcell Jenkin added 16, as Old Mill outscored Hammond 21-9 in the final quarter to emerge victorious.
Micah Henry and Robert Gordon scored 11 points apiece for Hammond in the loss.
Ha (1-0, 1-2): Henry 11, Gordon 11, Ridgell 9, Woodson 8, Goodson 8, Stallings 4, Martin 3, Darko 1.
Half: 32-24 Ha.
Northeast 66, Wilde Lake 55
The Eagles took advantage of a short-handed Wildecats' team, breaking open a close game with a 22-point fourth quarter to earn the win by double digits. Brennen Volkman scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Northeast, while Troy McNeill Jr. added 16 points and 11 assists.
Wilde Lake, which was without football players Tyrell Barnes and Darius Nichols, was led by a career-high 17 points from PJ Joseph.
NE (1-1): Volkman 19, McNeill Jr. 16, Rojas 8, Switzer 7, Sommer 5, Fair 5, Stewart 4, Christian 2.
WL (1-0, 1-1): Joseph 17, Keys 14, Hunter 6, Bullett 6, Greene 6, David 4, Van Tassel 2.