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Defense, rebounding and a 23-point night from Michael Phillips addedup to Oakland Mills' eighth straight league victory without a loss Friday night.

Three weeks ago Hammond took Oakland Mills (now 12-4 overall, 8-0 league) into overtime before losing. Friday at Oakland Mills, the Bears (5-11, 3-5) were pounded into submission by halftime before losing, 67-40.

"This was our best all-around game of the season," Oakland Mills coach Dave Appleby said. "I was surprised. I thought Hammond would dobetter. We're just glad to get them out of the way. This was a good win."

Oakland Mills' defense forced Hammond into taking poor shots. The Bears shot only 27 percent (16 for 59) from the floor.

Phillips was as excited after the game as he was during it, when he put ona multifaceted offensive show.

He glided to scores on fast breaks. He powered to scores on drives. He swished a buzzer-beating three-pointer. He cooly sank free throws.

"I came ready to play tonight,"he said. "And we came together and played as a team tonight the way we always should. We're clicking and on a roll now."

At first, thegame looked like it might become a repeat of the first meeting between the two teams.

Curtis "Boo" Barnard's three-point play with seven seconds left in the first quarter tied the game, 14-14.

But Phillips clicked on a three-point buzzer-beating shot to demoralize the Bears.

Then, as the second quarter started, Phillips scored on a stuff-back basket that he turned into a three-point play for a 20-14 Oakland Mills lead.

Andrew Tetteh, who led Hammond with 15 points, sank a layup, cutting the lead to four points.

But Oakland Mills' Gregg Washington scored off a rebound, and the Scorpions pounded Hammond on the boards in the second quarter as well as picking up their defensive intensity.

The Scorpions forced Hammond to shoot just 3 for 11 from the floor that quarter and pulled away by 13 points, 35-22.

Oakland Mills ended the second quarter with an eight-point run capped by John Hilliard's coast-to-coast layup.

"Hammond came in pumped up for the first quarter as we knew they would," Phillips said. "But we can score inside or outside, and took it to them in the second period before finishing them off in the second half."

Hammond never came closer than nine points, 39-30, in the second half.

Mark Terry scored 16 and had 15 rebounds for the Scorpions, and although he missed several layups, played an intense game.

"Terry always comes to play in the big games," Hammond coach Jack Burke said. "He had a ton of rebounds."

Terry also held Tetteh to just four second-half points.

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