A great start and a great finish helped Oakland Mills withstand a significant third-quarter push by Reservoir Friday night, with the Scorpions pulling out a 79-61 victory on the road.
Four guys — Will Robinson (23 points), Mamadou Ndiaye (18), Daniel Kiely (17) and Naquan Williams-Day (11) — finished in double-digit scoring for a Scorpions team that picked up its fourth straight win.
“I thought we were sharing the ball well, we were running our sets and guys made some plays early on to get us a lead,” Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said. “But Reservoir is resilient and tough and they made their run like we knew they were going to, so it took us regrouping a little bit and refocusing on hitting the glass.
“I thought we eventually answered their run and finished well.”
Oakland Mills (6-1, 8-2) had raced out to a 47-31 lead at the half and had its largest lead of 18 points immediately out of intermission following a lay-up by Robinson.
But Reservoir (5-3, 6-5) proceeded to outscore the Scorpions 19-8 over the final six minutes of the third quarter to get back within seven, 57-50.
That’s when Oakland Mills started attacking the basket again and managed to snatch back control. A series of jumpers and lay-ups from Robinson and Kiely pushed the lead back into double digits.
Then, over the final two minutes as Reservoir was trapping full-court, Kiely and Williams-Day were able to break the pressure and find Ndiaye for eight straight points to seal the deal. Two of Ndiaye’s late baskets were dunks.
“For Mamadou, I was really happy to see him playing above the rim again at the end there. I think mentally he needs that to move forward and progress past his injury,” Browne said.
The win was extra sweet for Oakland Mills considering Reservoir beat the Scorpions twice last season. On top of that, and perhaps more importantly, the result keeps the team just one game back of first-place Centennial.
“It’s certainly something we talked about … what they did to us last year basically taking our county championship away with those two games. So, yeah, that makes it a little personal,” Browne said. “But, I mean, most importantly we need to get on track. Our responsibility now is to stay with Centennial and control our own destiny by winning one game at a time.”
Oakland Mills 79, Reservoir 61
OM (6-1, 8-2): Robinson 23, Ndiaye 18, Kiely 17, Williams-Day 11, Stanfield 4, Hopkins 2, Harris 2, Aaron 2.
Re (5-3, 6-5): Henry 20, Obering 11, Mierzwa 10, Maloney 6, Phillips 5, G. Garcia 5, J. Garcia 4.
Half: 47-31 OM.