Stone knocks off Great Mills
Cougars pull away late to grab win
A well-rounded Thomas Stone boys basketball team took on a young scrappy guard-laden Great Mills team to start the week off.
The Southern Maryland Athletic Conference nondivision battle went back and forth for the first half and was then again knotted at 44 with Great Mills senior David Oliveras’ bucket with 4 minutes 32 sec- onds remaining in the game.
Oliveras then put the host Hornets up by two with 4:21 remaining. Later, Stone senior Donovan McCrae scored to put the visitors up by two with just 2:19 remaining.
The Hornets had trouble finishing at the free-throw line and the Cougars brought in different looks from junior Demare Coates, sophomore Ervin Locke and sophomore Kevin Skidmore, who finished out the game on the line as well as from the field as the visitors took home a 60-53 victory.
Stone head coach Dale Lam- berth said he was happy with the team’s communication.
“We played well. I thought we worked well in the last quarter, took our time and were very patient,” Lamberth said. The Cougars evened their record at 2-2 with the win. “They didn’t turn the ball over. We made some bonehead plays, but for the most part we protected the ball well, which is something we didn’t do in the last two games, so that’s really what we were concentrating on coming in.
“I just finished telling them that they crashed the boards well and got our hands on the ball a lot. Defensively, Donovan McCrae always does a great job for us. The guys inside collectively worked well; Gary [Grant], Ervin and Kyle [Jackson]. Going down the stretch, I thought they got their hands on key rebounds for us.”
Grant, who led the visitors with 15 points, said he was happy with the way his team looked out for one another.
“I feel like we talked and com- munication well,” Grant said. “We also boxed out well tonight toward the end of the game and ran our plays well. They were a good challenge for us. They fought all the way to the end.”
Great Mills first-year head coach Jeff Burrell said his team put forth the effort but just couldn’t come up with the win.
“They gave effort and a lot of energy tonight,” Burrell said. The Hornets fell to 1-3 with the loss. “I’m proud of the way our guys played. I think at the end of the game a couple things just didn’t go our way; a couple calls here and there. I was happy with their shot selection and the game play, we just need to box out against taller opponents. That’s pretty much the story of the game and we’ll work on that more tomorrow at practice.”
Oliveras was the game-high scorer with 21 points. He said since the team is small in stature, he has to cover the big- gest man. Oliveras teamed up against Grant most of the evening.
“They did have the height ad- vantage,” Oliveras said. “They hustled and got more boards than us, especially since they’re bigger. Their height and ag- gressiveness challenged us tonight.”
Oliveras said they want to work on taking care of the ball.
“It’s something even players in the NBA struggle with, especially in the last two minutes of the game, especially if it’s close, we can’t turn the ball over. If you do, that it’s a big factor and that’s how they ended up winning that game. Actually they won that game off of offensive rebounds and those freethrows. It was tough. I think we’re on pace to where we want to be.”
Great Mills and Stone are back in action tonight. The Hornets travel to St. Charles to take on the Spartans and the Cougars will host Calvert. Both games are scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Thomas Stone senior Donovan McCrae looks for a pass from senior teammate Jalen Best-Payton in Monday night’s contest at Great Mills. The Cougars took home a 6053 victory, its second of the season.