Whittington leads Oakland Mills over Hammond in OT

Scorpions win, 64-61, in 2A South regional semifinals

March 05, 2010|By Mike Frainie | Special to The Baltimore Sun

The last time that Oakland Mills met Hammond, center Greg Whittington didn't play. Unfortunately for host Hammond, he did Thursday night.

The junior scored a game-high 25 points - including a clutch 3-pointer to send the game to overtime - as Oakland Mills defeated the Golden Bears, 64-61, in the Class 2A South regional semifinals.

Sophomore James Turner led the Bears with 24 points.

The Scorpions (17-5) will meet the winner of the Frederick Douglass-Gwynn Park game on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.

"Coach told us during a timeout [late in the game] not to worry about the crowd," Whittington said. "He said we just needed to play our game and make plays."

With the Scorpions trailing 54-51, the 6-foot-7 center played like a shooting guard, burying his 3-pointer from the top of the circle to tie the game with 29 seconds left.

The Scorpions jumped out to a 59-54 lead with 1:37 left in overtime, but Hammond came back. The Bears got a clutch 3 of their own by Brandon Bjerre to cut the margin to two points with 1:20 left. Hammond repeatedly fouled Whittington on the Scorpions' last four possessions, but the junior made just enough free throws (5-for-8) to preserve the victory.

"When I took the shot, I thought that was our season right there," Whittington said. "I just popped out to the top and was open. I took it, and it went in."

Whittington has "been our emotional leader all year," Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said. "It's just not the same team when he doesn't play. He's matured this year, especially as a defender. He wants the ball on offense, too. You saw that tonight."

For host Hammond, the loss was a story of missed opportunities.

"They beat us to a lot of 50-50 balls tonight," Bears coach Karl Friedheim said. "On some plays, the ball just bounced their way. I thought we played hard and kept fighting. I was proud of our effort. This is a special group of guys."

OM - Keily 12, Hopkins 10, Whittington 25, Mallory 8, Bethea 9. Totals: 26 10-23 64.

H - Blossom 10, Baboolal 4, Patrick 9, Bjerre 12, Turner 24, Terry 2. Totals: 24 11-18 61. Halftime: 23-23. End of reg.: 54-54.

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