Atholton beats Oakland Mills twice in 4 days

February 10, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

It was a must-win situation for No. 14 Atholton against one of Howard County's perennial basketball titans, Oakland Mills.

The two-time defending Howard County champion Raiders (12-4 overall, 9-1 league) were fighting to remain in a first-place tie with Centennial.

But it was also a battle for bragging rights among a trio of close friends, Atholton's Tyrone Allmond and Nat Watkins, and Oakland Mills' Irving Conwell, the Howard County Player of the Year last season.

Those rights now belong to Allmond and Watkins, whose Raiders' one-two punch knocked Oakland Mills (7-8, 5-5) out of the county championship race this week.

Atholton beat the Scorpions, 67-58, last night at Oakland Mills, after beating them, 78-69, Tuesday.

Allmond's three-pointer gave Atholton a 22-6 lead early in the second quarter. The Scorpions shot 2-for-10 from the floor in the first period and 4-for-13 in the second and trailed at the half, 32-16.

"We did excellent work at the defensive end of the floor in the first half," Atholton coach Jim Albert told his team after the game. "I don't know if it can be any better."

Oakland Mills staged a furious defensive effort of its own in the third period, coming up with seven steals. But the Scorpions failed to convert off three of those steals.

And Atholton was able to penetrate a gambling Oakland Mills defense with several driving layups. So when the quarter ended, Atholton actually increased its lead by a point, 47-30.

Matt Hahn (17 points), whose three-point shooting has played a key factor in Atholton's success, sank three three-pointers and contributed a three-point play.

Allmond (21 points) sank six straight free throws down the

stretch after Oakland Mills pulled within 11 points, 59-47, with 2:36 to play.

Watkins scored 15. And Jamal Stafford came off the bench to score eight points and get five rebounds.

Conwell, who averages 25 points, was almost a nonfactor in the game until the fourth quarter. He sat out the second quarter even though he didn't have any fouls.

But he exploded in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 of his game-high 26 points. He sank four three-point shots in that period.

"I thought we'd be in for a war the whole game, not just the fourth quarter," Hahn said.

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