County Boys Come Up Empty, As Oakland Mills, Wilde Lake Fall

March 11, 1992|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff writer

For the first year since 1981, the county has no regional boys basketball champion.

The Oakland Mills Scorpions were routed, 73-44, byOverlea Saturday afternoon in the Class 2A Region II championship game.

The county's only other regional finalist, Wilde Lake, also fireda blank, in its Class 1A Region II game Saturday against Milford Mill. That score was just as lopsided, 89-64.

The county champion Scorpions, whose top five players this year were seniors, performed about as poorly as can be imagined at Overlea in a nightmarish ending to their season. Their star player was benched during most of the game for poor conduct.

The 22-0 Falcons played a simple 2-3 zone designed to force Oakland Mills to shoot outside. The Scorpions sank just two of their first 16 shots and allowed Overlea a 13-0 run in the firsthalf. With 4:07 remaining, Oakland Mills trailed, 28-8.

"Because they weren't hitting from the wings (outside) it enabled us to sag back inside on their big guy (Mark Terry)," said Overlea coach Doug Eisenhauer.

During that run, the third-seeded Scorpions failed to getthe ball to Terry, their 6-foot-5, 225-pound center and top player. In the first quarter he scored six points and drew two fouls on Overlea's star player, 6-foot-7 Bernard Hopkins, who went into the game averaging 30 points and 16 rebounds a game.

The wheels fell off the cart for Oakland Mills when Coach Dave Appleby abruptly benched Terryfor the rest of the game.

"He violated a team principle," Applebysaid. "That's all I'll say about it."

Appleby benched Terry for expressing his anger to a teammate during a timeout, players said.

"Mark wanted me to get the ball inside to him more and he got to fussing with me," Scorpions senior Mike Phillips said. "So Coach sat him down."

From that point, the game became a travesty. Hopkins did whatever he wanted inside, finishing with 33 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots.

After three quarters, top-seeded Overlea led, 59-30, and the Falcons maintained that 29-point advantage at the end.

"Overlea's team quickness hurt us," Appleby said. "We looked tired, and Overlea was better than we thought."

Oakland Mills shot 34 percent, hitting 16 of 47 shots. The Scorpions averaged 50 percent most of the season. Overlea shot 58.5 percent, 31-for-53.

"I thought it would be close but that we'd win," Eisenhauer said. "But we reallytook the sting out of the Scorpions. It was amazing."

Oakland Mills finished its season with an 18-7 record and its fifth straight county title.

They had reached the final by trouncing Chesapeake of Baltimore County, 99-58, and turning back second-seeded Loch Raven, 66-52.

*

The Wildecats thought they might have a chance when Milford Mill's star, Norman Nolan, broke his left wrist during a regionalsemifinal victory over Poolesville.

But the 6-foot-7 Nolan, who was averaging 22 points and 16 rebounds, wore a soft cast on the wristand still scored 12 points despite playing one-handed.

"When you have to worry about someone like him (Nolan), you can't concentrate on the others, and they got a lot of weak-side rebounds," Wilde Lake coach Paul Ellis said. "I was impressed with Milford. They were quite tall, and we just didn't have a good shooting day."

Wilde Lake rallied a couple of times in the first half from 14-point deficits, but still trailed, 42-36, at halftime.

The Wildecats, with tremendous depth, pressed most of the

game, just as they did in their 80-77 semifinal win over Brunswick.

"We tried to keep a rapid pace, hoping to wear them down, but they they never tired," Ellis said.

George Bradford, whose 20-point average makes him the county's leading scorer, led the Wildecats with 18 points. He scored 68 points in the three tournament games.

Wilde Lake finished with a 13-11 record.

*

In other action, Centennial, Mount Hebron and Glenelg reached thesemifinals of their regional brackets.

* Second-seeded Centennial(14-9) earned a first-round bye and lost to DuVal of Prince George'sCounty, 77-66, at home.

DuVal, a sixth-seeded team with an 11-13 record, went on to win the Class 3A Region III tournament.

"They were bigger and beat us on the boards," Eagles coach Jim Hill said.

* Damian Biggs led Centennial with 24 points. The Eagles scored 10 three-point baskets, a school record, but made just two of 10 free throws while DuVal was 26-for-39 at the foul line.

* Fourth-seeded Mount Hebron (17-7) squeaked by Hereford in overtime, 66-60, in the opening round of the Class 2A Region II tourney. But at Overlea Thursdaythe Vikings ran into a stone wall named Bernard Hopkins, who scored 29 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked eight shots as the top-seeded Falcons prevailed, 59-41.

"We did what we wanted to do defensively, holding them to 25 points at halftime, but we shot only 15-for-60 for the game," said Vikings coach Scott Robinson.

Senior guard Tony Yanero scored 33 points in the two playoff games to lead the Vikings. He hit four clutch free throws in the over time win against Hereford.

* Sixth-seeded Glenelg (12-12) beat North Hagerstown, 79-69, in the first round of the Class 2A Region I tourney, but lost to Walkersville (18-4), 65-57, in the semifinal.

Jeff Slack scored 39 points in the two games for Glenelg. He scored 24 and missed just one shot against North Hagerstown.

"We rebounded real well against North Hagerstown, but Walkersville assaulted the boards against us," Glenelg coach Terry Coleman said.

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