Senior swingman Greg Whittington scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help No. 11 Oakland Mills overcome the normal miscues of a first game of the season.
The Scorpions accounted for 13 of the first 15 points scored to begin the third quarter and pulled away from a scrappy Woodlawn team, 77-62, on Monday night.
“We were sloppy. We turned the ball over a little too much,” said Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne. “We had trouble getting into our offensive sets and at times, we looked confused. That’s how we allowed them to get back into the game.”
Senior guard James Peters scored 19 points, junior forward Kerry Bethea netted 18 and senior point guard Joe Kiely added 10 points and added six assists for host Oakland Mills (1-0).
The Warriors (0-1) were paced by outstanding guard play by Devin Brown (20 points) and Corey Thomas, who scored 17 points.
“That is probably one of the better teams we’re going to see all year,” Browne said of Woodlawn. “Athletically, I can’t see anyone being better than them.”
Trailing by 12 points heading into the fourth quarter, Woodlawn kept pushing. The Warriors went on a 9-0 run that spanned the end of the third and moved into the early part of the fourth quarter. A jumper by Thomas capped the run and cut the Scorpions lead to 53-47.
But Oakland Mills was too much for the visitors. The Scorpions went on an 11-2 run that included seven points from Peters, who injured his ankle but returned a couple minutes later, to push their lead to 17 points. The Warriors wouldn’t get much closer after that.
With less than two minutes remaining, Bethea received a pass from Kiely and threw down an emphatic dunk over a Woodlawn opponent. Afterward, Bethea got into the player’s face and was called for a technical foul. After the game, he apologized to his teammates for letting his emotions get the best of him.
“I shouldn’t have did that,” Bethea admitted. “I’m an emotional dude. Next time, that’s not going to happen; I’m going to keep my head.”
Whittington scored nine of his 25 points in the final quarter to spark the Scorpions. The 6-foot-9 forward made a name for his self this summer, playing with the HCYP Elite Under-17 Amateur Athletic Union team. That unknown squad took third place in the AAU National Tournament. Since then, coaches from several Atlantic Coast Conference schools have inquired about him.
Oakland Mills is the early favorite to win the Howard County league. With four seniors in the starting lineup, Browne has a lot of firepower and experience at his disposal.
“When we ran our [offensive] sets and executed, we got easy shots — mostly layups or dunks for that matter,” Brown said. “Our full court pressure…it creates a lot of problems. I’ve got five athletic guys that start and can all go after it.”
CLICK RELATED VIDEOS TAB AT TOP OF ARTICLE TO VIEW VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE GAME!
|No. 11 Oakland Mills 77, Woodlawn 62|
Thomas 17, Wynn 3, Brown 20, Rice 9, Jackson 3, Collins 2, Okafor 1, Arnold 4, Baldwin 3. Totals 21 18-28 62.
Kiely 10, Zayatz 3, Whittington 25, Peters 19, Bethea 18, Lewis 2. Totals 30 14-23 77.