Conwell, Carter spark Scorpions over Bears

January 04, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Oakland Mills saved its best for the fourth quarter yesterday, and it was good enough to dump Hammond in their Howard County league opener, 61-50.

After a lackluster three quarters, the Scorpions (3-2 overall, 1-0 league) scored 27 points in the final period. Irving Conwell scored 13 of his game-high 28 points, and Fardan Carter scored eight of his 21 points in that quarter.

"When it came to prime time they made the plays and we didn't," Hammond coach Mike Mongelli said. "They out-hustled us and got the loose balls."

Carter sank four three-point shots for the game -- two of them early in the fourth quarter when the Scorpions wiped out a 36-35 lead by Hammond (6-3, 0-1).

"The difference was Carter," Mongelli said. "He shot the ball well. And Irving [Conwell] always shows up in prime time. Once we got behind and had to start playing him man-for-man, it was Katie-bar-the-door."

Although Carter and Conwell came through offensively, the real turning point in the contest came in the first quarter when 6-foot-5 Hammond center Phil Mackey picked up two quick fouls.

Mackey (six points), one of the league's most talented players, rarely touched the ball and didn't score in the first quarter. He had only two points at halftime after picking up his third foul and missing most of the second quarter.

"We knew their offense ran through Mackey, and it was a big key getting him out of the game," Carter said. "We went inside early to get a couple of cheap fouls on him, and he was totally out of sync after he got his third foul."

With Mackey a non-factor, the Bears depended more on 6-5 forward Karl Friedheim (13 points) for rebounding and offense. Friedheim scored eight points in the fourth quarter and sank two three-pointers trying to rally the Bears down the stretch.

But by then it was too late. The Scorpions had an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter, and after two baskets by Hammond's Mike Bright (11 points), Oakland Mills went on a 10-0 run to build its lead to 52-40.

"We stepped up at the end, got some crucial rebounds and our defense shut them down when it had to," Carter said. "Then they [Hammond] panicked."

Hammond tried unsuccessfully to stop Conwell, last season's Howard County Player of the Year.

"They played a box-and-one on Irving, so I got open more," Carter said. "My jumper wasn't there at first, but it was at the end."

Hammond had a size advantage and out-rebounded Oakland Mills, 31-27, but that wasn't enough to offset Carter and Conwell. Hammond shot poorly in every quarter but the third, and finished 21-for-60 from the floor.

Neither team handled the ball well. Oakland Mills made 21 turnovers and Hammond made 22.

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