The last time Glenelg’s boys basketball team stepped onto the court to face Hammond, the Golden Bears eliminated the Gladiators from the Class 2A South Regional playoffs with a 79-57 win.
Glenelg didn’t forget about that game.
“Last year, we played them [at home] and at their gym and we lost by 30 points,” said forward Troy Spurrier. “We wanted this game so bad; we wanted to get back at them. Even after they were up by 30, they were still pressing us. So we just wanted to get them back.”
On Monday evening, the host Gladiators got a little revenge against the defending Howard County champions with a 78-65 victory.
“We made sure that we had that last game when we played them on our mind and we wanted to come out intense and execute on offense,” said Glenelg coach Jansen McMillian. “We wanted to set the tone for the rest of our season.”
Shooting guard Shane Kellaher scored a game-high 22 points and Spurrier contributed 20 more for Glenelg, including an emphatic dunk in the closing seconds of the contest.
Point guard Ryan Griffin added 18 points for the Gladiators, who improved to 3-0 overall and in league play.
Forward Matt Stephenson led Hammond (2-2, 1-2) with 20 points and guard Duane Echols added 12.
Glenelg built a 43-27 halftime lead and stretched its advantage to 58-41 entering the fourth quarter but the Golden Bears made a feverish attempt at a comeback.
Echols hit his third three-pointer of the night with 1:33 left to cut the Gladiators’ lead to 68-60, which was the closest Hammond had been since early in the second quarter. The Golden Bears forced a turnover and had a shot to get even closer.
David Patrick (11 points) missed a three-point attempt that would have cut it to just five points for Hammond. Kellaher knocked down two free throws to put the lead back to 10 and Glenelg handled its business at the foul line, going 14-for-20 in the final quarter, to hold on for the win.
The Gladiators will face a tough three-game stretch over the next seven days with games on the road against Centennial, Atholton and No. 11 Oakland Mills.
“We lost to Centennial both times we faced them last year and we know it will be a tough game,” Spurrier said. “We lost to Atholton at home at the buzzer so we’re looking forward to playing them again.”
The Gladiators won just five contests last season and took a lot of losses at the hand’s of their Howard County rivals. This season, the improved team is looking to dish out some payback in 2010.
“We’re taking it one game at a time, one practice at a time,” said McMillian. “We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
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|Glenelg 78, Hammond 65|
Baboolal 7, Bello 4, Lenear 7, Patrick 11, Powell 5, Stephenson 20, Echols 11. Totals 27 7-11 65.
Griffin 18, Kellaher 22, Siegfried 8, Spurrier 20, Hyer 6, Tolbert 4. Totals 25 24-32 78.