Heading into the winter break with an 0-6 record and an average margin of defeat of almost 20 points, Hammond girls basketball coach Raymona Reid had good reason to be concerned about the second half of the season. But rather than focus on the negative, Reid opted to employ the power of positive thinking.
"We went into the second half of the season really learning. I kind of just envisioned that we were already better," said Reid, whose team erased a 12-point third quarter deficit to eventually beat Wilde Lake in overtime, 67-62, Friday night. "It was all a mindset. We decided to change the end of our season story."
The Golden Bears (1-7) tied the game with less than 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a pair of free throws by Shawnice King, then took a 64-62 lead with 55 seconds left in overtime on a basket by junior center Lauryn Terry.
"I was very nervous because I didn't think it was going to go in, but when it did I was extremely happy," said Terry, who scored all 12 of her points in the second half and overtime, and finished with more than 15 rebounds. "I hope we can do this again."
Wilde Lake (1-7) jumped out to a 15-7 lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 11 one minute before half time. When Rachel Lazris hit a three-pointer with 4:30 left in the third quarter to out Wilde Lake ahead, 43-31, it looked like the Wildecats might be running away with the game.
But Lazris, who finished with 17 points, left the game with a hand injury late in the third quarter, and Hammond used a 7-0 run — punctuated by a three-pointer by King — to battle its way back. King finished with a game-high 20 points despite fouling out early in the overtime period.
"If I don't get another win it doesn't matter. If they can have faith in each other and faith in themselves, and if we can fight like this every game, we'll win more than we lose," Reid said.
Wilde Lake took a 62-60 lead with 2:24 left in overtime on a pair of freethrows by Brynn Drury, but those were the last points that the Wildecats would score.
Hammond tied the game on a layup by Martin 10 seconds later.
After Terry's go-ahead score, guard Kathryn Witt hit three of four free throws in the last 20 seconds to secure the win. Witt finished with 13 points, including a four-point play to start the second half after getting fouled while hitting a three-pointer.
"It was a tough loss ... but they played aggressive and they played the whole game," Wilde Lake coach Bob Cranford said. "You've got to play four quarters and you've got to play with intensity the whole time, and they did that ... that's one thing about them is that they don't give up."
Drury finished with 14 points and more than 15 rebounds for Wilde Lake.
Ha (1-7): King 20, Witt 13, Terry 12, Wallace 10, Martin 6, Miller 6.
WL (1-7): Lazris 17, Drury 14, Robinson 11, Bialek 5, Radcliffe 4, N. Sciabarra 4, M. Sciabarra 3, Gill 2, Richardson 2.
Half: WL 34-25
Around the league
Oakland Mills 64, Reservoir 40
The Scorpions (5-3) bounced back from a lackluster performance against Atholton on Wednesday, led by Theda Jackson's 23 points.
"It's hard when you have two games back to back, and so we had a talk after yesterday's game and came back today and said we have to have some pride," Oakland Mills coach Christina Hewitt said. "Win or lose, you play hard. We came out and showed some pride. We played with intensity."
Re: Dudzinski 15, Avent 7, Tiller 7, C. Bartley 4, Delony 2, Miller 2, Wilson 2, Turner 1.
OM: Jackson 23, Lockwood 12, Diggs 11, Jones-Carter 8, Nicholson 4, Weiss 4, Pachoo 2.
Half: OM 26-17
Atholton 53, Glenelg 38
A: Mitchell 22, Jones 9, Vanegas 8, Mayhew 7, Quinn 3, Burmester 2, Owens 2.
G: Foster 10, Wolfrey 7, Price 6, Hanlon 4, Henggler 3, Johnson 3, Mattis 3, Butera 2.
Half: A 36-18
Centennial 49, Marriotts Ridge 32
C: Driscoll 12, Eads 11, Mitchell 11, Gray 4, Simmons 4, Burke 2, Conley 2, Chausse 1.
MR: S. Blalock 8, Ohnmacht 5, Held 4, Stepke 4, C. Blalock 3, Nelson 3, Miller 2, Sullivan 2, Hockensmith 1.
Half: C 30-11
Howard 56, River Hill 32
Ho: Gilmore 15, Batterton 12, Talley 10, Lewis 6, Scott 5, Worrell 2, Brune 1.
RH: Clark 5, Hopkins 5, Poindexter 5, Howell 4, Owens 4, Hovet 2.
Chapelgate at Park
Indian Creek at Glenelg Country
League standings, as of Jan. 9
Mt. Hebron, 7-1
Oakland Mills, 5-3
River Hill, 4-4
Long Reach, 3-5
Marriotts Ridge, 1-7
Wilde Lake, 1-7
Glenelg Country (IAAM C), 1-7
Chapelgate (IAAM C), 0-7
Monday, Jan. 12 schedule
Hammond at Lackey
Reservoir at Edgewood
Glenelg Country at Beth Tfiloh