Marriotts Ridge boys able to turn the tables against Reservoir
Mustangs get payback after losing by 23 versus Gators
For one night, Marriotts Ridge put aside talk about county titles or playoff positioning.
As far as coach Tim Brady was concerned, going up Thursday against a Reservoir team that had defeated his squad by 23 points in mid-January was simply about the Mustangs proving that they belonged.
“Redemption is obviously a very sweet thing, but more than that we needed to show that we were capable of hanging with the top teams,” Brady said. “We’ve had some great wins this season, but against the best of the best — Reservoir and Oakland Mills — we played two of our worst games.
“So the message this whole week was we need to show who we are … that we weren’t that team that got blown out at their place a month ago. This was absolutely a statement game for us.”
And what a statement it ended up being. Led by a game-high 24 points from John Miller, including 12 in the decisive fourthquarter, the Mustangs delivered a very loud message to the rest of the county in the form of a 57-51 comeback victory over the visiting Gators. Marriotts Ridge (11-3, 15-5) pulls into a tie for first place with Reservoir (11-3, 15-4) with two county games left in the regular season.
Neither the Mustangs or Gators have ever won a boys basketball county championship.
“Weknewwewere there the whole game … it was within four points most of the game and we just had to hit big shots,” said Miller, who helped ice the game by scoring six of his team’s eight points in the final minute. “The whole key to that game was our defense. We held them to  and I don’t think we’ve lost a game this year when team’s have scored [that few against us].”
Marriotts Ridge, which also got strong games from Austin Avent (11 points) and Kaden Bryan (10), improves to 9-0 when holding the opposition to 55 points or less.
On the other side, Reservoir was held to its second-lowest point total of the season and saw an11-game winning streak snapped.
Rashod Ballard (13 points), Kaleb Glasper (10) and Jaylen Manning (10) paced the offense, but the Gators’ sputtered down the stretch after holding a 40-33 lead with 6:52 left in regulation.
“They made some decent adjustments as the game went on, moving someone over to sit in the lane and take away the driving lanes when we looked to attack in that fourth quarter,” Reservoir coach Ian Pope said. “We simply didn’t move the ball the way we are accustomed to moving it. But man, Marriotts Ridge played great. They limited us to one shot, they outrebounded us and then made some clutch shots of their own at the end.”
Oakland Mills 61, Hammond 59: The visiting Scorpions (16-5) led 45-40 heading into the fourth quarter and held off the Bears (7-12) to win. Oakland Mills; Ke’mari Simpson led all scorers with 18 points. Ian Addison had 16 points for Hammond. The Scorpions host Marriotts Ridge Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland semifinals: Defending B Conference champion and No. 8 St. Paul’s beat visiting Maryvale, 64-28, and will face Mount Carmel, a 31-27 winner over visiting St. Timothy’s, in Sunday’s final at 4 p.m. at Stevenson University. The Gators improved to 22-3 and the Lions fell to 14-8. Tsion Smith had 10 points for the Cougars (14-13) and St. Timothy’s finished at 14-4.
In the C Conference, Bryn Mawr beat visiting Indian Creek, 51-24, and host Concordia Prep beat Oldfields, 54-28. The Mawrtians (15-4) and Saints (21-10) play in Sunday’s title game at 2 p.m. The Eagles finished at 11-9 and Oldfields finished at 11-7.
Marriotts Ridge’s Austin Aven, left, celebrates with teammate Ira Snell as the Mustangs seal a win over visiting Reservoir on Thursday night in Marriottsville.