Marriotts Ridge guard Jon Whitacre talks about his team's win over Wilde Lake. Final score: 52-49
In a first half of the season that hasn't yielded much in the way of tangible results, Marriotts Ridge finally got a reward it could grab a hold of Friday night against Wilde Lake.
After trailing at the end of the third quarter, the Mustangs surged back into the lead and then used a couple big defensive stops late to earn a 52-49 road victory that marks the team's first county win of the season.
"They are very resilient and I think that's the biggest thing. I talk to them about perseverance all the time and, unfortunately, it's been continued effort through non-reinforcement for most of the season," said Marriotts Ridge coach Dave Appleby. "So it's good for them to get that kind of feedback in the form of a win like tonight. It validates all the hard work."
Jon Whitacre, who scored six points in the fourth quarter including a late free throw to create the final margin of victory, said the entire Mustangs' team has stayed positive throughout the slow start to the year.
"We're just trying to look forward, move on to the next game and trying to get better every time," he said. "(Tonight's) pretty big for us. We had a tough game, we were up most of the time. But you know we came down in the end, hit some clutch free throws and got the W."
As a team against Wilde Lake (2-6, 2-9), Marriotts Ridge (1-7, 2-9) was led by the guard duo of Christian Wright (17 points) and Cam Heard (11). Their efforts helped offset 12 points apiece from the Wildecats' Kyle Ichrist and Emmanuel Boateng.
The game was filled with runs by both teams. After a fairly even first quarter, finishing tied at 13-13, Marriotts Ridge made its first big push early in the second.
Over the first four minutes of the quarter, the Mustangs put together a 7-2 spurt to go ahead by five. By the end of the half, following a lay-up by Andrew Geiger (8 points), the Marriotts Ridge lead was seven, 28-21.
However, the third quarter was all Wilde Lake. Boateng began taking over on the interior and scored nine of his team's 15 points in the period as part of a run that allowed the Wildecats to retake the lead 36-33 heading into the final quarter.
Again, though, the momentum swung back the other way extremely quickly. Whitacre got an old-fashioned three-point play to begin the fourth and spark a quick 8-2 push into the lad.
"These guys still don't understand that consistency yet and it shows a lack of focus," Wilde Lake coach Deon Wingfield said. "We were down seven (at half) and then we brought it back and got the lead, but it was suddenly like, 'OK, we did what coach wanted us to do, now we are good.' Then we lost that focus again and just like that we're losing again."
Wilde Lake did come back to grab the lead again, 48-47, with 1:52 left in regulation. A pair of foul shots by Heard shortly after, though, gave the Mustangs back the lead for good.
Marriotts Ridge made things difficult on itself in the final minute — shooting just 1-7 from the foul line and missing three one-and-ones — but the team's defense persevered. Three big steals down the stretch helped keep Wilde Lake from going back in front.
"We just scrambled and played with urgency, which is the big thing we've been trying to get them to do," "Winning teams play with urgency down at the end when it's time to win and they dig in. That's what our kids did tonight. They dug in, got stops and showed that fight."
The Lions got back in the win column with the home victory, jumping out to a 32-15 lead at the half and never looking back. George Greene led all scorers for Howard with 21 points, while his teammate DJ Dawkins chipped in with 19.
A (4-4, 7-4): Mendelsohn 12, Waterworth 9, Mason 6, Rodgers 6, Dobson 6, James 6, Rankin 2, Washington 2, Jackson 1.
C (5-3, 7-4): Brown 17, Hohmann 12, Addisu 9, White 6, Williams 3.
Half: 22-20 A.
Oakland Mills 76, Long Reach 45
The Scorpions stayed undefeated in county play with the win, having 12 different guys score at least two points.
OM (8-0, 10-1): Williams-Day 18, Kiely 17, T. Hopkins 12, J. Hopkins 5, Harris 4, Smith 4, Estep 4, Rondon 3, Campbell 3, Riss 2, Aaron 2, McFadden 2.
LR (3-6, 4-8): Morgan 14, Chad Brown 10, Dix 8, Menusan 4, Brodnax 5, Butler 2, Parham 2.
Half: 40-20 OM.
Mt. Hebron 78, Hammond 77
The Vikings pulled off the upset win at home, handing the Golden Bears just their second loss of the season. Cleveland Horton led the way with 22 points, while Brandon Prox chipped in with a career-high 17.
Hammond had three guys — Jarvis Doles, Terrell Lamar and Brandon Willis — foul out, but Ryan Ridgell (16 points) scored nine of his points in the final quarter to keep the Golden Bears in it until the end.
Ha (6-2, 8-2): Johnson 18, Ridgell 16, Doles 15, Lamar 15, Willis 7, Aja 4, White 2.
Half: 33-32 Ha.
Reservoir 60, River Hill 53 OT
The Gators were down 40-29 late in the third quarter, but came back to force overtime and then won going away in the extra period. Reservoir held the Hawks scoreless in OT.
Judge Payne (13 points) and Matt Winters (11) led the team in the victory.
Re (5-4, 6-6): Payne 13, Winters 11, Phillips 9, G. Garcia 8, J. Garcia 6, Rickets 4, Akinbinu 4, Weith 3, Miller 2.
RH (2-6, 3-8): Mitchell 13, Isaac 12, DeSimone 10, Hraky 10, Clark 6, Martin 2.
Half: 26-26. Regulation: 53-53.
Chapelgate 66, Indian Creek 56
The Yellowjackets evened their record in MIAA B Conference play, getting double-digit scoring efforts from four guys. Freshman Jason Murphy (15 points, 14 rebounds, 9 blocks) also came one block away from a triple-double.