Superior quickness, an effective full-court trapping defense, depth at guard, and two irrepressible scorers named Anthony Breland and Murray Graves added up to another Oakland Mills victory yesterday.
The Scorpions laid a 78-61 defeat on visiting River Hill, which was coming off an upset victory over Glenelg last Friday.
Oakland Mills (13-3 overall, 11-1 league) maintained a two-game lead in the Howard County race. Glenelg is the only county team to have defeated Oakland Mills.
"Our press is a big difference between us and the rest of the teams, because we get easy baskets off it," Oakland Mills coach Dave Appleby said.
"We moved the ball well today, and this is the first time all season, I think, that the opposing team didn't get to the one-and-one on us. If the other team isn't making free throws, we're going to outscore them from the floor."
The No. 17-ranked Scorpions outscored River Hill from both areas, sinking 14 of 19 free throws and 30 of 61 shots from the floor.
River Hill (5-11, 3-9) was only 4-for-6 at the line, but shot an excellent 27-for-54 from the floor.
The game was tied at 15 after one quarter despite eight River Hill turnovers, mainly because the Hawks hit seven of 11 shots.
But turnovers eventually exacted their toll on River Hill. The Hawks made 25 miscues in all against the 1-3-1 and 2-3 traps of Oakland Mills.
Breland and Graves put on their usual show for the fans with two dunks apiece.
Breland scored a game-high 26 points, had seven rebounds, six steals, three assists and shot 12-for-20 from the floor. Graves scored 24 points, had nine rebounds, and shot 11-for-13 from the floor.
Breland came alive in the second quarter with nine points, pacing Oakland Mills to a 32-25 halftime lead.
Oakland Mills continued to expand upon that lead in the second half as River Hill never got closer than eight points.
Point guard Thomas Browne, of Oakland Mills, who scored eight points and had seven assists and six rebounds, is one of several Scorpions who rotate to wear down opposing teams.
"With Breland and Graves you can do all kinds of things with your passes," Browne said. "It's a lot of fun. They make you look like you can really pass."
Joey Ellis scored only two points but contributed seven rebounds and four assists. Myke Price scored 11 points.
Jay Kreider, playing his first full game after missing nine games with a broken bone in a wrist, had 16 points for the Hawks. John Alascio also scored 16.
Pub Date: 2/04/99