No. 19 Oakland Mills finally found out what it was like to trail at halftime in last night's game against Mount Hebron.
But, much like the Vikings' lead, that feeling didn't last for long.
The host Scorpions outscored Mount Hebron 8-0 near the end of the third quarter to take a lead they would never relinquish, and went on to win, 65-58, in a Howard County league game.
"We just got more aggressive as the game went on," said Oakland Mills coach Dave Appleby. "We started to rebound better, and tightened up our defense."
With the win, Oakland Mills (14-4, 10-0) clinched at least a second-place finish in the league, and remained No. 2 in its region, trailing only Overlea. The Scorpions are shooting for their fifth straight county championship, and sixth in the last seven years.
But this one didn't come easy. Down the stretch, rebounding was the difference.
Led by forwards Gregg Washington and Marc Terry, each with 11 rebounds, the Scorpions took control of the boards late, helping to preserve their slim lead and thwarting any chance of a Vikings comeback.
"They beat us to the ball," said Mount Hebron's first-year coach Scott Robinson, whose team dropped to 12-6, 7-3 in the league. "My kids played as hard as they can, but [Oakland Mills] is a physically talented team. They were quicker and a little stronger."
The turning point occurred near the end of the third quarter, when the Scorpions' Mike Phillips stole a pass and drove the length of the court for a resounding dunk, and completed the three-point play, to give his team a 44-40 lead at the end of the quarter.
"It really hyped us up," said Terry.
Mount Hebron led most of the first half. Tony Yanero gave the Vikings their first lead at 6-4 on a 10-footer 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the game.
Yanero had nine points in the quarter, as Mount Hebron took a 16-14 lead.
Before halftime, the Vikings led by as many as four by turning hard-nosed defense into points at the offensive end.
They held the Scorpions to one field goal in their first six attempts of the second quarter, hitting their first four in a row to lead, 25-21, with 4:11 left in the half.
"It was a new experience to trail," said Terry, whose Scorpions hadn't been behind at the intermission all year. "At halftime, everyone had their heads down."
Said Appleby: "It seemed like everything they shot went in. I told our guys to just be patient and not get frustrated."