If not for a 5-foot-2, 95-pound freshman point guard who scored 24 points for Gilman, the score really would have been ugly.
Despite Jimmy Fields' heroics, Oakland Mills trounced the Greyhounds 88-62 Thursday night on the Scorpions' home court, nicknamed The Terror Dome. Oakland Mills put on an impressive display of rebounding, shooting and defense.
Amazingly, it was the powerful team's first win in three tries this year. But the Scorpions' 1-2 record is more a statement about a tough schedule than it is about the quality of Oakland Mills' team.
"We have some big-time talent on this team," Coach Dave Appleby said.
"This team has more talent than the one last year when we won the state title."
Before bagging the Greyhounds Thursday, however, the Scorpions lost to Loyola 61-59 in their opener, and then to Thomas Johnson 101-87 in double overtime Tuesday in a game Appleby described as "one of the two or three best high school games I've seen."
"It had 17 three-point baskets, and that might be some kind of a state record," Appleby said. Nine of those belonged to the Scorpions.
Oakland Mills didn't need much three-point shooting Thursday, although Carruthers Gant, a 6-1 senior guard, hit a couple of them.
After Gilman (4-3) scored the opening basket, Gant (24 points) banged home a three-pointer and Oakland Mills never trailed again. Gant has scored 65 points in three games.
Gregg Washington, who scored 37 points against Thomas Johnson, hit for 22 against Gilman. He has 75 points in three games.
Washington, a 6-5 junior forward playing his first varsity season, started slowly against Gilman with just one basket in the first quarter.
Oakland Mills led 18-12 at the end of the quarter.
But he scored eight points in the second quarter and nine in the third.
Washington led an eight-point run late in the second quarter that threatened to blow the game open. He sank two fouls, hit a layup and made a beautiful outlet pass to Gant, who completed a layup, putting Oakland Mills ahead 32-22.
Tony Richmond's two free throws made it 34-22.
But then Gilman's peewee sensation came to life. Fields, the diminutive freshman, led the Greyhounds to a six-point run.
Fields began the run by fighting off strong defensive pressure and made an incredible full-court pass to key a fast-break layup. Then he capped the run by driving down the lane for an in-your-face layup past the 6-5 Washington. Fields was fearless.
His play cut the lead to six, 34-28, and silenced an Oakland Mills crowd that had taunted him early in the game because of his size, telling him he was playing the wrong sport and that he should be a jockey.
"He's going to be a good one," Gilman coach Tim Holley said. "But any time a freshman has to lead a team with 11 seniors, you're in trouble. We just plain stunk tonight."
Holley was flabbergasted that his team got only 27 rebounds and took only 47 shots from the field.
"We can't win with so few shots. We didn't get our transition shots, because our defense played with no emotion," Holley said. "We could have given them a game. We were only down by seven at halftime, and wound up losing by 26. That's as bad as I remember a Gilman team playing in two years."
Maybe it was merely the frustration of the lopsided loss for a veteran team that went 26-8 last year, but Tolley damned Oakland Mills with some faint praise.
"Both teams sleepwalked, but they woke up more than us," he said. "We just went through the motions."
In fairness to the Scorpions, they were doing a lot more than sleepwalking.
They hit 35 of 69 shots from the floor, including 11-for-15 in the fourth quarter. The second team went in after the score reached 71-45.
Antoine Baker was impressive in scoring nine points off the bench for Oakland Mills in the fourth quarter.
At the start of the second half, Oakland Mills outscored Gilman 10-2 to take a 45-30 lead. Washington hit three baskets and talented 6-5 sophomore Mark Terry (10 points) two baskets.
Sleepwalking? Hardly. It was just an awesome display of defense and shooting that pulverized the overmatched Greyhounds.