The question county coaches are asking themselves these days is whether their teams can stop Oakland Mills' dynamic offensive duo of Murray Graves and Anthony Breland.
That's why the unusually high number of five head coaches showed up at Wilde Lake yesterday to scout the only game on the schedule. The coaches watched No. 16-ranked Oakland Mills (4-1 overall, 3-0 league) defeat winless Wilde Lake, 61-55, and witnessed first hand the Graves and Breland show.
Graves and Breland didn't disappoint. Graves scored 26 points and Breland 24. And they did it with the fan-pleasing showmanship more akin to the Harlem Globetrotters than to a high school basketball game.
Graves scored three times on outrageous dunk shots, and Breland slammed home four dunks, although he missed three, including one reverse jam.
Most of the dunks were alley-oops with one of the two 6-foot-5 seniors feeding the other. Graves' flying second-period dunk, on which he soared nearly the length of the lane, was the most spectacular.
Their dunking exhibition stole attention from what was a pretty good game.
Wilde Lake (0-5, 0-3) appeared overmatched and intimidated when Breland dunked twice and Graves once in the first quarter. The Wildecats made just two of nine shots and turned the ball zTC over eight times in the first quarter, which ended with Oakland Mills ahead, 16-5.
The Scorpions maintained control in the second period and led at halftime, 34-22.
Wilde Lake made 16 first-half turnovers.
But the Wildecats, playing under the direction of substitute coach Frank Rhodes while head coach Lester Clay recuperates from back surgery, began handling the ball better and shooting consistently in the second half.
With 7: 06 to play, Wilde Lake had cut Oakland Mills' lead to 47-41.
The Scorpions quickly inflated the lead to 57-41 before the Wildecats made a 10-0 run and again sliced the lead to six points, 57-51, with 1: 17 to play.
But Breland sank a layup and Graves put back a missed Breland dunk to make it 61-51.
Jerome Parkinson, who scored one point in the first half, led Wilde Lake's resurgence with 15 second-half points, including one third-period dunk that brought Wilde Lake fans to their feet.
"Oakland Mills played a decent game and put on a good show," Parkinson said. "We played a real good game, but didn't always get back on defense."
Pub Date: 12/22/98