Conwell, Oakland Mills stop Centennial, 68-63 Loss ends six-game win streak for Eagles

Boys basketball

February 16, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Irving Conwell was harder to stop than a razor nick last night.

His 30-point, 14-rebound effort yesterday led Oakland Mills to a 68-63 victory and postponed Centennial's hopes for an outright county title.

It also ended a six-game Eagles' winning streak.

The No. 15 Eagles (16-4 overall, 11-2 league) already have clinched a tie for the title and have one more league game to play, against second-place Atholton, which could claim a share of the county championship by beating Centennial Tuesday.

"Irving beat us," Centennial coach Jim Hill said. "He hit some incredible shots with Scott Bross hanging all over him."

Conwell, who leads the Baltimore metro area in scoring with a 27-point average, scored 13 points in the fourth quarter when the Scorpions outscored Centennial 25-17.

Centennial was within three points, 66-63, with 13 seconds left. But the Eagles' Brian Otten (16 points) turned the ball over with five seconds remaining and Conwell, fittingly, ended the game with a dunk.

"We made some turnovers in the clutch, missed some layups and Oakland Mills capitalized when we made a mistake," Hill said.

Conwell's three-pointer with six minutes left put the Scorpions ahead to stay, 52-50. But he continued to make big plays in a pressure-packed stretch run.

With Oakland Mills (10-8, 8-5) ahead, 57-55, he muscled a rebound away from Matt Laycock (19 points) and made a layup. After stealing the ball, he sank a free throw for a 60-55 Scorpions' lead.

Bross, Centennial's point guard, tried to bring the Eagles back. He sank a three-point shot with 53 seconds left to make it 60-58.

After Jake Coleman sank two free throws for Oakland Mills, Bross scored on a coast-to-coast layup to make it 62-60.

But Fardan Carter (14 points) of Oakland Mills made a crucial rebound with 29 seconds left. He also sank two free throws with 13 seconds left that made it 66-63.

"We wanted it more at the end," said Carter, who had played with four of Centennial's starters on a championship youth league team.

Oakland Mills coach Dave Appleby said his team's defense made the difference in the fourth quarter.

"This was easily our best game against a quality team," Appleby said. "Defense made the difference."

Appleby had told his team during a timeout in the third quarter to pick up its defensive play.

Centennial outscored Oakland Mills, 18-8, that quarter, and led going into the fourth, 46-43.

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