The Havre de Grace boys basketball team won its 19th straight game Thursday night and it was a bit easier than many might have expected.
The Warriors (19-0, 13-0 Upper Chesapeake) jumped ahead of visiting Elkton (15-3, 9-2) with a big first quarter and never really looked back, winning big, 74-56. The win clinched the UCBAC Susquehanna Division title for the Warriors, who needed a buzzer-beater to beat Elkton in January.
Junior guard Josiah Scott lit the fire the Warriors needed to get going. Scott (team-high 19 points) drained three, three-point shots in the quarter and finished with 13 in a. 24-point first quarter.
"It wasn't so much me, it was all my teammates encouraging me to shoot," Scott said. "I was just finding the right spots, because any given night, we're so unpredictable, we could have anybody be the person that night."
This night it was Scott. The Warriors also got three-point baskets from Marlon Lewis and Jordan White in the quarter that ended with a 24-13 Warriors lead.
The Havre de Grace lead quickly grew to 30-13 and Elkton called timeout. Moments later it was 32-16, but on back to back three's by Elkton's Farad Stevens and JaKeen Jackson, the Elks were back to within 10, 32-22.
Havre de Grace's TJ Turner answered with a three in the final minute of the half that aided in the Warriors 38-22 lead at the half.
"It was fantastic, we know what kind of team Elkton is, they're just loaded with athletes." Warriors coach Brian Eberhardt said. "To get that kind of start here at home was fantastic, since en light of the way the game ended. Last game went right down to the wire.
Havre de Grace won that game, 61-58, on Jai'erre Hoke's three-point basket.
Elkton did make a run to open the third quarter. The Elks scored seven straight and the Warriors lead was down to nine, 38-29.
A Gary Gibson free throw with 4:26 to play in the third quarter was Havre de Grace's first second half point.
From there the Warriors went on an 8-2 run to push the lead back to 15, 46-31. The Warriors made eight free throws in the quarter and led 51-35 at its close.
White's three-point play, started by a Lewis block, boosted the lead to 21, 61-40, just a minute into the final quarter.
White (15 points), the lone starting senior for Havre de Grace, followed with another three-point shot and Lewis (16 points) also made a three as well.
"Basically, I was just trying to create defensive stops, take charges, rebound offensively and defensively, create shots for open teammates," Lewis said. "I don't really try to ballhawks, make sure everybody gets shots up."
The Warriors pushed the lead to its largest, 74-52, with 1:11 to play. Full substitutions followed.
Gibson finished with 11 points and Quentin Ware added 10 points in the win.
Stevens led all scorers with 22 points and Da'Mear Triplett scored 12.
Centennial 64, Howard 60: Centennial boys basketball first built a 14-point second-half lead, then went down multiple times in the fourth quarter and finally — thanks to a pair of difficult shots from senior guard Matt Merkey in the final 90 seconds — pulled out a victory at Howard.
Joey Sedlacko closed out the game with four free throws, helping Centennial (9-5 Howard County, 11-8 overall) bounce back from Wednesday's two-point defeat against Reservoir. Stafford Smith led the Eagles with 20 points, while Sedlacko (13 points) and Ryan Hollwedel (10 points) also finished in double figures.
For Howard (1-11, 5-13), the close loss marks its third-straight against a quality opponent. Junior guards Justin Hendricks and Darrion Harris led the Lions with 20 and 16 points, respectively.
Baltimore Sun Media Group
No. 10 Atholton 73, Long Reach 60: The visiting Raiders (17-2) took a 26-7 lead in the first quarter and rolled past the Lightning (5-15). Jordan Oates had 16 points for Atholton.
No. 15 Oakland Mills 72, Marriotts Ridge 51: Brandon Held had a game-high 20 points, but the visiting Mustangs (7-7) fell to the Scorpions (15-4). Daeshawn Eaton and Truth Norton each had 13 points for Oakland Mills.
Archbishop Spalding 71, John Carroll 57: Tyson Commander scored 22 points, but the Patriots (5-22, 3-12 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference Black Division) fell to the host Cavaliers (3-21, 1-14).
No. 1 Patterson at 7 Lake Clifton, ppd.: Thursday's highly anticipated game between the Clippers and host Lakers was postponed because no referees were assigned.
The game, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 22 but was postponed then because of a water main break near the school, is now set to be played on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. The junior varsity game will be played first at noon.
The visiting Clippers, who took over the area's No. 1 ranking this week with a 16-3 mark, will next host Mervo Saturday at 1:30 p.m. They have already clinched Baltimore City's A Division to earn a berth in Thursday's City championship game against B Division winner Edmondson. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Morgan State.
The No. 7 Lakers (16-3) will host Southwestern on Friday with game time set for 5:15 p.m.
Western Tech 73, Owings Mills 8: Tiffany Manning scored a game-high 18 points to lead the host Wolverines (15-3) to a victory over the Eagles (0-11).
Manning, who scored her 1,000th career point in the girls team's first-ever win at Catonsville earlier this year, had 10 points in the first quarter when the Wolverines built a 25-4 lead.
Sydney Stokes added 15 and Destini Ward chipped in nine for the Wolverines, who would represent Division II in the Baltimore County championship game on Feb. 26 if they defeat Kenwood and Lansdowne in their final two games.
Baltimore Sun Media Group
1 Patterson at 7 L. Clifton, ppd.
9 Dulaney 81, Joppatowne 61
10 Atholton 73, Long Reach 60
11 Liberty 67, Westminster 41
15 Oak. Mills 72, Marr. Ridge 51
Bel Air 62, Bo Manor 46
C.M. Wright 66, Aberdeen 60
Centennial 64, Howard 60
Coppin Acad. 60, Carver 32
Harford Tech 70, Edgewood 64
HDG 74, Elkton 56
N. Harford 51, Rising Sun 51
Northeast 78, ACCE 47
Patterson Mill 63, Fallston 58, OT
Reservoir 81, Mt. Hebron 60
River Hill 59, Glenelg 47
Spalding 71, John Carroll 57
Wilde Lake 77, Hammond 48
6 Long Reach 62, Atholton 44
Marriotts Ridge 56, 7 Oak. Mills 46
8 Howard 47, Centennial 32
12 Pikesville 65, Loch Raven 23
Catonsville 48, New Town 36
Fallston 41, Joppatowne 37
Hammond 57, Wilde Lake 34
Mt. Hebron 52, Reservoir 42
N. Harford 63, Rising Sun 40
River Hill 40, Glenelg 30
Western Tech 73, Owings Mills 8
Gilman 5, Sts. Peter & Paul 2
Laurel at Dunbar, 5:15
Catonsville at Parkville, 5:30
Chesa.-BC at Sparrows Pt., 5:30
Chesa.-SP at Ben Franklin, 5:30
Franklin at Milford Mill, 5:30
Lansdowne at Patapsco, 5:30
Overlea at Carver A&T, 5:30
Perry Hall at Dulaney, 5:30
S. Carroll at Long Reach, 5:30
Woodlawn at Dundalk, 5:30
St. Mary's at Severn, 5:45
Chapelgate at St. John's-CP, 6
Curley at Gerstell, 6
Key School at C.R. Jesuit, 6
St. Frances at Mt. St. Joe, 6
Fallston at Century, 6:30
Randallstown at Hereford, 6:30
Arundel at Annapolis, 7
Boys' Latin at John Carroll, 7
Broadneck at Severna Park, 7
Calvert Hall at Loyola, 7
Goretti at Mt. Carmel, 7
Indian Creek at Friends, 7
Meade at Chesa.-AA, 7
N. County at Glen Burnie, 7
Northeast at Old Mill, 7
S. River at Southern, 7
Towson at Pikesville, 7
McDonogh at AACS, 7:15
Arundel at Annapolis, 5
Broadneck at Severna Park, 5
Meade at Chesa.-AA, 5
N. County at Glen Burnie, 5
Northeast at Old Mill, 5
S. River at Southern, 5
Carver A&T at Overlea, 5:30
Dundalk at Woodlawn, 5:30
Hereford at Randallstown, 5:30
Milford Mill at Franklin, 5:30
Parkville at Catonsville, 5:30
Patapsco at Lansdowne, 5:30
Pikesville at Towson, 5:30
Sparrows Pt. at Chesa.-BC, 5:30
Long Reach at S. Carroll, 6:30
New Town at Man. Valley, 6:30
Bo Manor at Patterson Mill, 6:45
Winters Mill at Linganore, 7
Pallotti at Roland Park, 4
McDonogh at St. Frances, 4
Glenelg CS at Mt. de Sales, 4
St. Paul's at Mt. Carmel, 4
Bryn Mawr at Indian Creek, 4
Park at Catholic, 4
C Conference, 2
B Conference, 4
A Conference, 6