Sophomore Marc Terry scored 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead host Oakland Mills over Hammond, 78-61, in a battle for first place in Howard County last night.
The Scorpions (14-7 overall, 10-3 league), with one league game remaining, clinched at least a share of its fourth straight county title and earned the second seed in the Class 3A, Region I playoffs.
Terry, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound center, scored repeatedly inside and shot 12-for-16 from the field.
"He's the best post man in the county and Hammond had no one to cover him man-for-man," Oakland Mills coach Dave Appleby said. We just zeroed in on him."
Hammond (12-9, 9-4) began the game playing a box-and-one on Oakland Mills' leading scorer, Carruthers Gant, but Gant sank two three-point shots in the first two minutes as Oakland Mills went up 8-0. Gant (19 points) made three three-pointers.
After the first quarter, Hammond switched to a man-to-man defense and used several different players trying to defend against Terry.
"It was the best game I've ever had," Terry said. "My previous high this year was 20 points."
In addition to big nights from Terry and Gant, Gregg Washington, 6-5, scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.
Hammond's leading scorer, Kyle Jefferson, drew his fourth foul early in the third quarter and finished the game with just 16 points after scoring 13 in the first half. His season average is 22.
Hammond stayed within about 10 points for much of the game, but every time it made a run it missed an easy shot or turned the ball over.
The Golden Bears shot just 26-for-70, and Oakland Mills was 30-for-62.