“You’re not going to touch the ball, you’re not going to touch the ball,” Marc Marshall remembers his defender telling him in overtime of Wilde Lake’s game against Marriotts Ridge on Monday. “So I said, ‘OK, watch.'”
Little did the defender know that coach Deon Wingfield drew up the play for Marshall during a timeout moments earlier. With the contest tied at 70 and 12.5 seconds to play, Wingfield trusted his smooth senior guard to drives past his defender and into the paint. If other Mustangs defenders came over to help, Wingfield thought Marshall’s length would allow him to shoot over them.
After easily receiving the inbounds pass, Marshall dribbled to the left wing as the shot clock winded down. Once it hit four seconds, Marshall exploded towards the basket, taking two dribbles before letting go of a right-handed shot from the right side of the paint. As the ball reached its peak, the referee blew his whistle to signal a foul. Then the ball bounced through the hoop.
“I knew I had to make a play,” Marshall said after the Wildecats’ 73-70 home triumph. “I went down the middle, the defense didn’t stop me at first so I just shot a floater that happened to go in.”
Marshall’s old-fashioned three-point play gave him 22 points, which tied him with Marriotts Ridge senior Brandon Held as the game’s top scorer. Wilde Lake (9-2 Howard County, 12-3 overall) also leaned on seniors Trea Keys (20 points) and Emmanuel Wright (nine points) throughout the game and relied heavily on junior Marcus Mitchell in the final eight minutes of regulation. Mitchell, who transferred to Pallotti before the season but came back to Wilde Lake in early January, scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Wildecats in the game.
Held was one of five players to finish in double figures for Marriotts Ridge, which entered Monday’s contest on a three-game county winning streak but had not played since Jan. 18 because of midterms and inclement weather. The Mustangs (5-4, 9-5) were also without starting point guard Cam Heard, who suffered a concussion at a recent practice. In his absence, Amari Little (14 points) and John Miller (11 points) assumed the point guard responsibilities while big men Cam Brown (11 points) and Ryan Lee (10 points) were crucial scorers and rebounders down low.
Marriotts Ridge would not have even made it to overtime without Brown, whose buzzer-beating bank shot off a pass from Held tied the game at 66. The Mustangs then nearly forced double-overtime. Following Marshall’s free throw with 4.9 to play in the extra period, Ira Snell hoisted a shot from beyond the three-point line that had a promising trajectory towards the hoop but clanked off the front rim, clinching the defeat.
“I told the guys that I’m nothing but proud of them for this game,” coach Tim Brady said. “After not playing for two weeks, how could you be disappointed? We have a game against the No. 1 team in the county and it goes into overtime.”
Before the madness that defined the final moments of regulation and the duration of overtime, the two teams played a back-and-forth affair. Marriotts Ridge controlled the glass in the opening minutes and jumped out to an 11-4 lead because of it, but the advantage did not last long. By the end of the period, Marshall and Keys led Wilde Lake back within 19-17.
The senior guard duo was even more dominant in the second period as Marriotts Ridge began to struggle against the full-court press. When they were not turning the ball over, the Mustangs abandoned their offensive sets for dribble drives into traffic and contested perimeter looks. That led to errant shots and long rebounds, and the Wildecats capitalized. With Keys and Marshall combining for 18 points in the frame, the hosts entered intermission with a 40-33 advantage.
Wilde Lake extended its lead to eight points midway through the third quarter, only to see Marriotts Ridge claw back on back-to-back 3-pointers from Held and two free throws from Little. And when the Mustangs went down double digits after 10 straight points from Mitchell in the final period, Brady’s team rebounded again. The scoring came in a variety of ways, ranging from a layup from Held to 3-pointers from Miller and Lee and finally the game-tying bank shot from Brown.
Free throws from Mitchell and Keys put Wilde Lake back up four to start the extra period but were the last points the Wildecats would score before the final moments. Their mini drought allowed the Marriotts Ridge back into the game for a third time.
But with the contest on the line, the Mustangs were not in a position to hold for the final shot. That luxury went to Marshall, who knew exactly what to do with the ball in his hands.
“It was great to get back in the win column,” Wingfield said. “After a sluggish game on Saturday that we had, tonight’s game was a must win for us if we wanted to stay tops in the division.”
Wilde Lake (9-2 Howard County, 12-3 overall) — 73, Marriotts Ridge (5-4, 9-5) — 70 (F/OT)
WL — Marc Marshall 22, Trea Keys 20, Marcus Mitchell 12, Emmanuel Wright 9, Kwaku Boampong 4, Will Zimmerman 4, Avery Woods-Gresham 2.
MR — Brandon Held 22, Amari Little 14, Cam Brown 11, John Miller 11, Ryan Lee 10, Cole Brown 2.
Halftime: 40-33, WL
Mt. Hebron (5-6 county, 8-9 overall) — 36, Centennial (7-4, 9-7) — 33
After five consecutive county losses, Mt. Hebron picked up its second straight league victory on Monday night.
Typically an offensive juggernaut, Mt. Hebron posted its lowest scoring output of the season yet still emerged victorious thanks to stellar defense. The Vikings, who received a game-high 14 points from Odell Dickerson, held Centennial to 33 points after allowing them to score 69 in a lopsided loss on Dec. 12. Ryan Hollwedel and Joey Sedlacko each scored 12 points for the Eagles in the defeat.
MH — Dickerson 14, Ichrist 6, Bates 5, Coleman 5, Crump 4, Cargiulo 2.
C — Hollwedel 12, Sedlacko 12, Berkeley 4, Bonner 3, Smith 2.
Halftime: 21-12, MH
Oakland Mills (9-3, 13-4) — 57, Glenelg (1-9, 4-10) — 49
Despite a season-low five points from leading scorer Daeshawn Eaton, Oakland Mills pulled out an eight-point victory thanks to the contributions of its supporting cast.
DJ Hopkins led the charge with 11 points, but Truth Norton, Dooley Riggs, Frederick Eiland II and Ke’von Simpson also scored at least eight points. While the Scorpions were outscored, 17-12, in the final frame, they did more than enough across the first three periods to hold on for their sixth win in seven games.
OM — Hopkins 11, Norton 10, Riggs 10, Eiland II 9, Simpson 8, Eaton 5, Gaymon 3, Parks 1.
G — Piwowarski 11, Dick 10, Owens 10, Walsh 8, Onwumbiko 4, Chappell 2, Pearcy 2, Soltis 2.
Halftime: 29-23, OM
Reservoir (8-4, 11-6) — 64, Long Reach (2-8, 5-9) — 45
Re — Odunowo 14, Glasper 10, Ameli 9, McCallum 9, Barrett 7, Hester 6, McKoy 4, Manning 2, Woods 2, Musser 1.
Halftime: 36-22, Re
Archbishop Curley — 72, Chapelgate (1-10 MIAA B Conference, 6-19 overall) — 45
CCA — Zach Knox 12, Jace Perfater 12, Marvin Cofield 11, Jax Felder 6, Kendall Mitchell 4.
Halftime: 34-14, Archbishop Curley