After steamrolling to the Howard County crown, Oakland Mills High boys’ basketball team thought Wednesday night’s District V title game with Broadneck would serve as a quality tune-up for the regional tournament.

Then came the opening tip.

The No. 5 Scorpions overwhelmed the 10th ranked Bruins in the opening half, taking a 58-24 decision at Mount Hebron. Senior center Greg Whittington scored a game-high 23 points and pulled down 17 rebounds for unbeaten Oakland Mills (23-0 overall).

The Columbia school scored the game’s first 20 points en route to its 20th double-digit decision and capturing the District V championship trophy for the first time for Howard County. Last year, Annapolis defeated Hammond in the inaugural matchup of best from Howard and Anne Arundel county leagues.

“It’s a playoff game as far as I’m concerned, it’s about getting ready for next week,” said Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne. “The boys responded to the challenge overwhelmingly.”

“It would’ve been good to been in a closer game, but it was good just to get another game in,” said Scorpions senior guard Joe Kiely. “We were expecting a little more.”

So did most of the audience who came to the Ellicott City school for a matchup of Top 10 teams. Instead, it was a mismatch as the Scorpions led by as many as 37 points.

Oakland Mills rolled out to a 20-0 first quarter lead. Broadneck had 20 points with under seven minutes remaining in the game when the Bruin starters were mercifully given the rest of the evening off.

Taquan Colbert had a team-high eight points for Broadneck (20-3). Whittington, who had University of Texas assistant coach Russell Springmann in the audience observing, scored nine points in the opening quarter.

“Our coach said if we pressured the ball, because they don’t have a lot of ballhandlers, and we would be able to take them out,” said Whittington, 6-foot-9. “I was expecting a good game, but I guess the pressure got to them.”

Broadneck simply had no answer against the combination of Whittington’s size and the Scorpions’ overall athleticism. The Anne Arundel County champs missed their first eight shots with five turnovers before calling their first timeout with 2 minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the first quarter, down 14-0.

The Bruins got their first points on a reverse layup by Colbert with 7:07 left in the second quarter. It was 32-8 at halftime as Broadneck missed 19 of 22 shots with 13 turnovers in the first 16 minutes.

“When you shut out a team for eight minutes in a championship game, you’re playing some great defense,” said Browne. “They looked like were defeated. I knew they had a chance to shoot their way back into the game, but we stay in the zone because simply it wasn’t broke.”

It was simply a night Broadneck would rather forget. After winning the Anne Arundel County crown for the first time since 2006-07, the Bruins had their worst showing of the season Wednesday.

“It’s really disappointing for us to come out in a game like this one and play the way we did,” said Broadneck coach John Williams. “All in all, it’s a disappointing night.”

The Cape St. Claire school will have a few days to regroup before hosting either Severna Park or Chesapeake-Anne Arundel in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A East Region tournament Monday. The Bruins are the No. 2 seed behind unbeaten North Point from Charles County.

The top-seed in 2A South, Oakland Mills will play either Central from Prince George’s County or St. Mary’s County’s Patuxent Monday evening. The Baltimore area’s only unbeaten squad, the Scorpions know the stakes are high.

“You get 13, 14, 15 games and start wondering when are we going to get that loss especially in Howard County,” said Browne, whose team will be seeking its first state Final Four berth since 2001. “As the streak got higher and higher, the boys didn’t want to lose and I didn’t want to lose quite frankly. Is that going to haunt us down the road, maybe.

Twenty-two games, 23 games, it doesn’t mean a damn thing. The streak is the streak, but who cares at the end of the day?”

District V Boys’ Basketball Championship

at Mount Hebron

No. 5 Oakland Mills 58, No. 10 Broadneck 24

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Broadneck: Colbert 8, Solomon 5, Bates 5, Aorillo 2, Hart 1, Barnes 3. Totals: 8 8-12 24.
Oakland Mills: Whittington 23, Bethea 9, Peters 8, Kiely 6, Ajiboye 4, Allen 3, Zayatz 3, Davis 1, Dorsey 1. Totals: 9 3-9 24.
Halftime: Oakland Mills 32, Broadneck 8.