After his team scored just four points in the second quarter and trailed visiting Parkville, 23-19 at the half, Oakland Mills boys basketball coach Jon Browne had a message for his team in the locker room.

“Coach Browne gave us a speech at halftime.  He said, ‘nobody is supposed to come into your house and take your food or sleep where you sleep.’ So we had to defend our home and our tournament with a win,” said junior forward Kerry Bethea.

The No. 10 Scorpions heeded their coach’s words, turned up the defensive intensity and clawed back from eight down to defeat the Knights, 61-50, on Wednesday in the championship game of the Oakland Mills Holiday Tournament.

“I’m proud of them. They worked their butts off,” Browne said of his team’s effort.  “They could have buried their heads but they didn’t.  The defensive pressure, once again, proved to be our money when we need it.”

Three Oakland Mills (10-0 overall) players scored in double figures led by senior guard James Peters with 16 points.  Senior forward Greg Whittington added 14 points and Bethea added 13.  Cellus Ajiboye and Joe Kiely combined for 16 more.

Sophomore point guard Isaiah Tripp and senior guard Jamal Williams each scored 14 points to pace Parkville, which knocked off unbeaten Sherwood on Tuesday to advance to the finals.  James Milton and Dennis Hughes combined for 17 points for the Knights (5-3).

After two made free throws by Tripp, Parkville led 30-22 with 6:30 remaining in the third quarter.  That was when the Scorpions turned to a full-court pressure defense and got after the Knights.

Oakland Mills stymied the Baltimore County team by forcing several turnovers in the quarter and turned them into easy buckets in transition.

A 10-2 run that was began with a putback by Whittington and was capped with a layup by Peters, helped the Scorpions tie the game at 32-32 late in the third.

trippParkville got another score to break the tie and go ahead by two.  But Oakland Mills used another spurt, this time an 13-0 run, to turn an eight-point deficit early in the third into a 45-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t want to lose at home in our own tournament,” said Peters.  “It would be embarrassing with all of our fans coming out to see us lose.  We came together at halftime and said, ‘we can do this’ and we did it.”

Tripp scored to bring the Knights to within five points midway through the final period but the Scorpions kept the pressure on and made plays when they needed to pull out the win.

Whittington was named the MVP of the Tournament after scoring 31 points in a 64-32 win over Western Tech in the semifinal round. 

Peters was also named to All-Tournament team along with Parkville’s Milton and Williams.



No. 10 Oakland Mills 61, Parkville 50
Oakland Mills154261661
Tripp 14, Williams 14, Collens 5, Hughes 8, Melton 9. Totals 18 10-11 50.
Oakland Mills:
Kiely 7, Zayatz 2, Whittington 14, Peters 16, Bethea 13, Ajiboye 9. Totals 23 12-17 61.