Stone knocks off Great Mills

Cougars pull away late to grab win

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TAMMY SHOWAL­TER tshowal­ter@somd­news.com

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY TAMMY SHOWAL­TER

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.

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