Mar­riotts Ridge boys able to turn the ta­bles against Reser­voir

Mus­tangs get pay­back af­ter los­ing by 23 ver­sus Ga­tors

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY -

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 [51] 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.

Girls bas­ket­ball

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.

DOUG KAPUSTIN/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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.

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