Desperate for a signature win with the playoffs quickly approaching, Hammond got exactly what it was looking for Friday on the road against Oakland Mills.
Nyelle Allen and Imani Reid scored 22 points apiece, helping the Golden Bears rally from down four points in the fourth quarter to eventually earn a 70-62 victory. It’s the second straight win for a Hammond (6-8, 10-9) and marks the first winning streak for the team in over a month.
“We needed this win in a big way. We’ve needed to learn to compete for 32 minutes and [tonight] we finally did that,” Hammond coach Ryan Hudy said. “Even down by four with five minutes left after being up almost the entire game, we didn’t panic, fought our tails off and finally broke through.”
Meanwhile, Oakland Mills (11-4, 15-4) — which came into the week tied for first place in the county standings — suffered its second defeat in as many days. The Scorpions lost to Marriotts Ridge on Thursday and were unable to right the ship less than 24 hours later despite double-digit scoring efforts from Jazmine Washington (22 points), Marley Grenway (14) and Kiyah King (14).
Hammond jumped out to a 15-7 lead by the end of the first quarter and maintained that cushion to carry a 35-27 advantage into halftime. Both Allen and Reid — who added 13 and seven rebounds, respectively — scored in double figures through those opening 16 minutes.
But Oakland Mills regrouped in the third quarter to grab the lead and was still ahead heading into the final minutes. That’s when the Golden Bears found a second wind.
Taylor Liguori hit a pair of big 3-point shots and Reid scored 10 fourth-quarter points to go back ahead and never look back.
Jocelyn Fogle (10 points and 10 rebounds), along with Kaylee Beahm (season-high 5 points), each provided key contributions as well for Hammond.
“I’m so proud of these girls,” Hudy said. “We needed to make a statement and hopefully this momentum carries over to the next couple weeks.”
Hammond 70, Oakland Mills 62
Ha (6-8, 10-9): Allen 22, Reid 22, Fogle 10, Liguori 6, Beahm 5, Brown 5.
OM (11-4, 15-4): Washington 22, King 14, Grenway 14, Riggs 6, Scott-Pearson 3, Brown 2, McDuffie 1.
Half: 35-27 Ha.
Centennial 45, Wilde Lake 32
Tori Pearson scored a team-high 11 points for the Eagles, who had eight different players score in the win over the Wildecats. Kalani Corkeron was the leading scorer for Wilde Lake with 11 points of her own.
C (6-8, 10-9): Pearson 11, Welsh 9, Urquiaga 6, Pellegrini 6, Molz 5, Jackson 3, Anderson 3, Sopchick 2.
WL (0-14, 1-17): Corkeron 11, Floyd 7, Swaby-Rowe 7, Richards 4, Mullican 2, Johnson 1.
Half: 21-13 C.
Marriotts Ridge 43, Glenelg 26
The Mustangs won their third straight game for what is now the team’s longest winning streak of the season. Emma Morath scored a team-high 10 points, with nine players overall scoring at least one basket.
MR (7-7. 9-11): Morath 10, Bryan 9, Conroy 5, Miller 5, Held 4, Noll 4, Cooke 2, Lee 2, Colburn 2.
G (2-11, 3-15): Gillespie 6, LePage 6, Anderson 4, Prezelski 4, Salafia 3, Hirsch 3.
Half: 22-11 MR.
Long Reach 53, South Carroll 36
Lyric Swann (25 points, 8 steals) and Jaelyn Swann (12 points, 4 steals) led the way for the Lightning on the way to the non-county road win. Jalyn Richardson (9 points, 4 steals and 3 assists) also had a big game for Long Reach.
The Lightning outscored the host Cavaliers 18-0 in the first quarter and never trailed.
LR (13-4): L. Swann 25, J. Swann 12, Richardson 9, Ford 4, Proctor 2, Thompson 1.
SC: Tackett 8, Hardy 6, Fowler 6, Cooper 4, Reardon 3, R. Evans 3, Habighorst 2, K. Evans 2, Abbott 2.
Half: 24-12 LR.
Reach Brent Kennedy at email@example.com or follow him on twitter @BKBSunSports