Facing Wilde Lake, the county's hottest team, Oakland Mills relied yesterday on the two players who have carried the offense most of the season, Murray Graves and Anthony Breland.
With 30 and 20 points, respectively, Graves and Breland, a pair of 6-foot-5 forwards, scored all but three of Oakland Mills' fourth-quarter points to disappoint the upset-minded Wildecats, 65-62.
"I'd rather run through a briar patch naked than lose that game," said Wilde Lake coach Frank Rhodes.
The win was No. 20-ranked Oakland Mills' eighth straight over the arch-rival Wildecats and kept the Scorpions (11-3 overall, 9-1 league) two games ahead of Mount Hebron in the county championship race.
"I knew it'd be tough, but not that tough," said Breland, who also had 14 rebounds and two dunks. "I'm just glad we came out on top."
Said Graves, who had 11 rebounds and three dunks: "It was definitely our hardest win of the season."
A Wilde Lake win would have pulled the Wildecats (5-6, 5-4) within a game of the Scorpions.
A large crowd at Oakland Mills was treated to an intense game that wasn't decided until the final seconds, when Brandon McCreary (16 points) threw up a desperation one-handed shot from the three-point arc following a rebound.
Wilde Lake, riding a five-game winning streak but playing without scoring leader David Martin, who broke his right hand last Saturday, had missed another three-point attempt and a two-point follow on the same possession.
The score was deadlocked, 61-61, with 1: 32 to play, following a basket by McCreary, who sank three three-point baskets in the fourth quarter to rally the Wildecats from a 57-48 deficit.
Back-to-back treys by McCreary pulled the Wildecats within a point, 57-56, with 2: 34 left.
That's when Breland and Graves scored back-to-back baskets for a 61-56 lead. But back came the Wildecats, McCreary sinking another three-pointer and then a two-pointer to tie at 61.
Breland, nursing a cold, connected on a game-winning 15-foot jumper that put the Scorpions ahead, 63-61.
Wildecat Jerome Parkinson (11 points) hit a free throw with 55 seconds left. Twenty seconds later, Graves, inside, made it 65-62.
Wilde Lake made 24 turnovers and shot 41 percent from the floor. Oakland Mills had 17 turnovers and shot 46 percent.
Rhodes praised the shooting of Nyema Wilson (16 points) and the defensive play of point guard, Chad Fawcett. "That's the best defense I've seen a Wilde Lake guard play in a long time," he said.
Pub Date: 1/28/99