Led by seniors Jazmine Washington and Jaidyn Harris, the Oakland Mills girls basketball team defeated Milford Mill, 57-41, in a physical matchup on Friday afternoon.
Both Washington and Harris were seemingly unstoppable from behind the 3-point line, netting seven made 3s combined. Washington finished with 21 points to Harris’ 19.
“Me and Jaidyn are very versatile,” Washington said. “...When we’re in the gym, we try to practice scoring at all three levels. We’re just showing our game.”
For Oakland Mills head coach Walt Hagins, the key to the game was to get everyone involved. However, his leadership and scoring came from Washington, Harris and Tyasia McDuffie, who chipped in with seven points. Their physical play delivered the team the win.
“We’re young, so other than our senior-laden guards, the rest of them are freshman,” Hagins said. “Our post was very fresh, but they played physical. We have this thing that we say: ‘Either we could play finesse, meaning with pure execution, or (play) physical.' Today Milford made us play physical basketball. It’s not a bad thing, but we had to match their intensity and physicality."
Early on in the matchup, Harris hit three consecutive 3-pointers to set the tone. Washington and McDuffie both hit 3s of their own for Oakland Mills (4-2) to lead 15-9 at the end of the first quarter. Amaris Brooks, meanwhile, led Milford Mill’s scorers with four points in the first period.
In the second quarter, Korai Bowen and Storm Ugbong added eight points for the Millers (4-4). However, they were outflanked by Washington’s seven points and Harris’ two points for an Oakland Mills halftime lead of 25-17.
The game became chippy in the third quarter, with both sides scraping for possession and receiving technical fouls. Harris stepped up to score 10 of her 19 points in the quarter to give the Scorpions a 46-28 lead at the end of the period. Washington finished strong with a team-high seven points in the fourth quarter to lead her team to the 16-point win.
Despite trailing for a majority of the game, Milford Mill’s bright spot came from its post play. Ugbong came off of the bench to score 10 points and Surena Ortega provided physical defensive play and rebounding. Head coach Candyce Jeter was pleased with the play from her post players.
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“I think that we’re just a little bit young right now and we still need time to gel and for everyone to get used to the system,” said Jeter. “I think that our post play is where our strength is, so we want to gear towards that against our opponents.”
Ortega understood that despite the time her team was down, she needed to step up. Going forward, she said her ability as a defender and rebounder as an upperclassman is needed for the team to go far.
“We need to be aggressive down on the block and feeling our way for the opponent, so I can go up strong,” said Ortega. “Sometimes you just have to step up and let everybody gel together and keep the energy up just because we’re down, just keep on pushing.”
Oakland Mills 57, Milford Mill 41
OM (4-2): J. Washington 21, J. Harris 19, T. McDuffie 7, K. Brown 6, R. Fairbanks 2, S. Novak 1, D. Chislom 1.
MM (4-4): K. Bowen 11, S. Ugbong 10, D. Blake 7, A. Brooks 6, S. Ortega 3, A. Perry 2, T. Adenugba 2.