It took almost an entire three quarters for Glenelg to get going at its tempo on Friday night in opening round of the 3A East region playoffs against River Hill.
However, once the Gladiators found their rhythm late in the third quarter, they broke things open and never looked back on the way to a 59-48 victory. Trey Davis came off the bench to provide 13 big points, 11 coming in the second half, to lead a Gladiators group that had five guys finish with seven or more points.
“We knew that River Hill was going to play their brand of basketball, but what I tried to tell the guys was to stay the course. I felt like if we stayed patient, we were going to figure out what we needed to do offensively,” said Glenelg coach David Evans. “I thought as the game went on, you saw our guys start to play Glenelg basketball on both ends.”
Glenelg (14-9) advances to face Wilde Lake (7-16), a 58-49 winner on the road against Long Reach Friday night, on Monday in the region quarterfinals. River Hill, which was led by a career-high 26 points from Jaden Martin in the loss, finishes the year 5-18 overall.
Trevor Winn, who finished with 10 points on the night and is the leading scorer on the season for Glenelg, said the key to ultimately pulling out the win was maximizing runs.
“Basketball is all about a game of runs … the key there is that we just have to stay poised — just chop it piece by piece,” he said. “If we get three straight stops in row, score at least twice out of those three, that’s how we close the game out quicker.”
During the opening 12 minutes of the game, River Hill never allowed Glenelg to score back-to-back baskets at any point. During that stretch, thanks to some inspired play from Martin and Dylan Mitchell (8 points), the Hawks were able to build a four-point lead, 21-17.
But Glenelg found some momentum right before halftime as two quick buckets from Winn were followed by a lay-up from Jeffrey Powell (11 points) right before halftime to give the Gladiators their largest lead at the time, 24-21.
River Hill regrouped out of halftime to go on a 7-2 spurt to take a 28-26 advantage with 4:18 left in the third quarter. That, though, was the Hawks last lead.
Davis hit a pair of threes before the end of the quarter to help the Gladiators get back in front. Then, early in the fourth, threes from Winn, Powell and Davis helped Glenelg open up its first double-digit advantage, 44-33.
“The well went dry for us at a bad time and, unfortunately during that same stretch, they couldn’t miss,” River Hill coach Matt Graves said. “We are a very patient, methodical team, so once they went on that run and got up 10 or 11 it basically put us away. It was a hole that we just couldn’t get out of.”
Evans said that Davis, who added a lay-up later in the fourth quarter to extend things even further and played lockdown defense most of the night, was a huge lift.
“Trey is our defensive guy, and we count on him for that, but it always helps when he can hit a couple 3-pointers or make a lay-up like tonight to spark the team,” Evans said. “You could see the confidence his play gave all the guys on the team.”
River Hill was forced to foul down the stretch and ultimately ended up losing by the final 11-point margin.
Glenelg 59, River Hill 48 (3A East)
G (12-7, 14-9): Davis 13, Powell 11, Winn 10, Mills 9, Koele 7, Wade 4, Taylor 2, Currie 2, Piwowarski 1.
RH (4-15, 5-18): Martin 26, Mitchell 8, DeSimone 6, Krause 3, Daniels 2, Hraky 2, Clark 1.
Half: 24-21 G.
Reservoir 54, Mt. Hebron 49 (3A East)
The host Gators actually found themselves trailing for most of the first half, down 28-21 at the half, before rallying in the second half. The game was tied at 47-47 with just over three minutes left in regulation when Reservoir made the decisive push.
Judge Payne (11 points) hit a step-back jumper to put the Gators ahead and then a steal and leak out in transition led to a thunderous dunk by Ayomi Akinbinu (10 points) that put Reservoir ahead for good.
In the end, Reservoir coach Mike Coughlan said the team’s defense was the difference in the comeback.
“We had talked about the key being pressuring the ball, but I think the kids were a little amped up with the playoff atmosphere and everything else so we took a little while to get going with that,” Coughlan said. “I just felt like as our defensive intensity picked up in the second half, that’s what fueled our offense.”
Andrew Phillips, who was another key defensively for the Gators, finished with a team-high 13 points. Jack Schroeder finished with a game-high 16 points for Mt. Hebron in the loss.
Reservoir advances to play top-seeded Centennial, which had an opening-round bye, in the 3A East region quarterfinals on Monday.
Re (9-11, 10-13): Phillips 13, Payne 11, Akinbinu 10, Miller 6, J. Garcia 5, G. Garcia 2, Winters 2, Weith 2, Ricketts 2, Archampong 2.
MH (6-13, 9-14): Schroeder 16, Horton 11, Madden 7, Prox 5, Shriver 4, Bates 3, Linsenmeyer 3.
Half: 28-21 MH.
Wilde Lake 58, Long Reach 49 (3A East)
The third quarter ended up being the difference in the game, as the visiting Wildecats won the period 15-6 to break open a tie game. Kyle Ichrist continued his late-season surge with a game-high 18 points.
Wilde Lake advances to play Glenelg on Monday in the regional quarterfinals.
WL (6-13, 7-16): Cantwell 2, Ichrist 18, Samuels 6, Boateng 14, Barnes 6, Stubblefield 16, David 1, Keys 5.
LR (10-9, 11-12): Brodnax 13, Chad Brown 9, Dix 4, Morgan 11, Menusan 12.
Atholton 48, JM Bennett 41 (3A East)
A (8-11, 12-11): James 12, Rodgers 10, Waterworth 8, Mendelsohn 8, Mason 6, Jackson 4.
JMB: Chrysostome 5, Jefferson 18, Cannon 1, Woolridge 4, Ayeko 1, Scott 4, Conklin 4, Russell 4.
Half: 17-15 A.
Howard 61, Digital Harbor 50 (4A North)
The game was close for the first three quarters, with the Lions leading by only two, 38-36, heading to the fourth quarter. But, led by George Greene's game-high 27 points, Howard pulled away down the stretch.
Howard advances to play second-seeded Mervo, which had an opening-round bye, on Monday.
Ho (9-10, 13-10): Greene 27, Shuart 10, O’Malley 9, Dawkins 8, Ajayi 5, Scaife 2.
DH: King 24, Brown 12, Jones 5, Burrell 4, Stevenson 3, Travers 2.
Half: 28-25 Ho.
Winters Mill 53, Marriotts Ridge 36 (2A West)
WM (16-7): Claiborne 17, Dorsey 12, Witt 7, Woodyard 6, Martin 5, Eysaman 4, Bodden 2.
MR (3-16, 4-19): Whitacre 8, Geiger 8, Heard 7, Tallentino 5, Lunsford 4, Wright 4.
Chapelgate 75, Greater Grace 44 (Semifinal Maryland Christian Schools Tournament)
In the semifinals of the MCST, the Yellowjackets led from almost start to finish and really broke things open in the second half. Huge games from LeRome Ball (22 points) and Jason Murphy (19) led the way for Chapelgate.
The team now advances into the championship game of the tournament on Saturday night against Harford Christian. The game will be played at Annapolis Area Christian School at 7 p.m.
CCA (12-20): Ball 22, Murphy 19, Graves 11, Tringali 9, McEachin 8, Hatcher 2, Marvin 2, Mitchell 2.
GG: Phillips 14, Lewis 12, Pankey 11, Plunkett 4, Pellegrino 3.