Basketball notebook, Feb. 14 -- Gazette.Net


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In a league marked by plenty of upsets and curious outcomes this season, the Walkersville High School girls basketball team proved to be the most consistent team in Frederick County with a 15-4 record through Sunday. The reward was the program’s first Monocacy Valley Athletic League’s Piedmont Conference title since 2010.

“It’s a pretty balanced league,” Lions coach Mike Mathis said. “From top to bottom, I think it’s probably the strongest public school league in the state. You come ready to play or you could lose. We were fortunate to get through the league and win the championship. We lost four games and we were still able to win that championship.”

Walkersville’s title run came without the services of senior point guard Dani Medovich (13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists), who has since returned, but was sidelined most of the second half of the season with ankle injury.

“We had some kids step up and be pretty consistent throughout,” Mathis said. “I’m really happy with the outcome, winning the conference. I think it will really help us out come playoff time — each night having to come ready to play. There were no easy games.”

Leading the way with Medovich sidelined was Tyra Hughes (17 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.3 apg) and Lana Long (11.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg).

Orioles win in Connecticut

Paced by Tessa Lewis, the Maryland School for the Deaf girls basketball team won the ESDAA Tournament that was hosted by the American School for the Deaf in Connecticut.

Lewis, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, scored 27 points in the team’s 60-39 win against the Learning Center for the Deaf in Sunday’s final. Emily DeSimone and Rebecca Washington added 14 points each for the Orioles (18-6), which led 35-15 at the half. All three girls were named to the all-tournament team.

A wonderful reject

On Feb. 5, Tuscarora fans took the liberty of showering Oakdale boys point guard Clay Conner with chants of “Linganore reject.” Twenty-four hours later, Conner would need just 16 minutes to display what a wonderful reject he is.

By halftime of a Feb. 6 game against Linganore, where he transferred from this school year, Conner had outscored his old school, 15-13, to give Oakdale a 20-point lead at halftime. The Bears would go on to win 69-39.

“I enjoyed my time there,” Conner said of Linganore. “But I love being a Bear.”

Two days later, on its first ever senior night, Oakdale clinched its first ever Piedmont Conference title by beating Middletown 67-40. The win also secured the Bears a No. 1 seed in upcoming 2A West Region playoffs, which begin Feb. 22.

“It’s a special thing,” coach Terry Connolly said. “The first graduating class to be the best team in the conference and in the area, it’s a special thing.”

So what began as not quite a great week for Oakdale, losing to Tuscarora on Feb. 5, wound up becoming a rather historic and invaluable one.

Titans step back for a huge step forward

Tuscarora hasn’t exactly been known for its 3-point shooting prowess this season.

“We don’t rely on the three,” coach Pat Cook said. “But we can shoot it.”

With athletic slashers in Lamell Washington and Kwa McDonald, there’s never really been much need to shoot the ball from beyond the arc. On Friday at Linganore, it went a little differently.

The Titans knocked down what is tentatively being labeled a school record 14 3-pointers in beating Linganore, 88-41, their highest point total of the season.

“It was ridiculous,” Cook said. “We just shot out of our minds.”

Carney Bernard led the team, making five out of his six 3-point shots. As a team, the Titans shot 14-for-26 from 3-point land.

Oddly enough, this wasn’t the best performance Cook has witnessed from one of his squads. In his first year at Damascus — also playing against Linganore — Cook’s team went 17-for-21 from beyond the arc.

“When a team gets on a roll like that, it’s hard to defend them,” he said.

Kamara breaks out

Maryland School for the Deaf’s Mohamed Kamara has been a model of consistency all year by always scoring around the 14 points per game mark and never really pushing it much in either direction.

But on Thursday against St. John’s Catholic Prep, Kamara had a breakout performance. He scored 34 of his team’s 49 points while adding 11 rebounds and a block. But it wasn’t enough for the Orioles as they lost 57-49.

jpeters@gazette.net; tmewhirter@gazette.net



Best Bets

Boys

South Carroll at Urbana, 7 p.m., Friday

One of Carroll County’s top three vs. one of Frederick County’s top three.

Urbana at Damascus, 7 p.m., Tuesday

An intriguing matchup between two teams unfamiliar with each other.

Girls

Oakdale at Century, 7 p.m., Friday

Erica Buls leads Bears against the 2012 2A state finalists.

Urbana at South Carroll, 7 p.m., Friday

Cavaliers will look to finish off regular season strong against up-and-down Hawks.