Hot-shooting River Hill boys basketball knocks off Old Mill
By Bob Hough
Dec 21, 2017 at 12:35 AM
Sometimes it’s good to just give good shooters the green light.
After hitting just two 3-pointers in the first half of Wednesday’s game with Old Mill, visiting River Hill took control of the game in the second half by hitting six more and rode its hot shooting to a 53-44 victory.
Jacob Krause led the Hawks with 19 points, including a huge 3-pointer with two minutes left in the game after the Patriots had cut an 11-point deficit to four.
“In the first half we were getting the same shots, they just weren’t falling,” said Krause, who hit two 3-pointers in the second half. “In the second half, we knew they were going to fall so we just had to stay confident. Shooters are going to shoot. We knew we were going to knock them down.”
River Hill (5-0) hit four from beyond the arc in the third quarter, including three in the first four minutes that turned a halftime tie into a 10-point lead. Luke Champion, who scored all 11 of his points in the second half, hit a pair from long distance in the third quarter and added another in the fourth just 20 seconds after Krause’s late shot.
“We knew going in that they were a very athletic team and we knew if we could get into the middle of their defense and kick it out to our shooters, it was green-light special for all of them,” River Hill coach Matt Graves said. “Jacob really stepped up and hit some shots. It took a while to get warmed up, but once he did he saw the rim get bigger and bigger as the game went on.”
Josh Mann added a pair of 3-pointers for the Hawks, who never trailed after taking the lead for good a minute into the second half following the fifth lead change of the game. The game was also tied five times in the first half.
“The one thing I have changed as the shot clock has come into effect is giving these kids more freedom,” Graves said. “We didn’t play great tonight, but we hit the shots we needed to.”
Meade transfer Mahzi Thames, playing his first game for the Patriots, led his new team with 14 points. He scored four straight at the end of the third quarter after the Hawks had taken their biggest lead of the game at 41-28. He had four more in the fourth and helped the Patriots get as close as two with three minutes left.
“He’s trying to fit in and I think he had a pretty good game,” Old Mill coach Mike Francis said.
Daevone Johnson and Avion Robinson each added 11 points for the Patriots, who led by as many as nine points early in the second quarter.
“I think this came down to us not rebounding or playing well offensively,” Francis said. “We were able to get back in it when we moved the ball better and didn’t get stagnant. When we’re not stagnant and we move the ball, we’re able to get better shots.”