Senior forward scores 31, chips tooth in Sherwood’s bounce-back win.
Sherwood Warriors 78- Blake Bengals 74 (OT)
January 13, 2012
Sherwood head coach Dondrell Whitmore saw something in Montgomery County scoring leader Scott Bolen he has wanted to see for a long time.
“Scott showed me something I’ve been trying to get out of him for three years. And now that I know it’s in him, I’m going to make sure that if we have to chip another tooth to make him play that hard every night, we’ll do it,” Whitmore said.
That’s right; Bolen lost about half of his right-central incisor diving for a loose ball in the fourth quarter, but coolly handed the enamel shard to his father in the stands and proceed to drop 15 of his 31 points in the game’s remaining four minutes and 20 seconds.
After a pair of Jason Frazier free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining gave the Warriors a three-point lead, Blake’s Breon Herbert (14 points, 4 rebounds) knocked down a three-pointer in triple coverage to send the 4A East battle to overtime and delighting the throng of Blake students who made the 15-minute drive from Silver Spring to Sandy Spring.
“That felt like you’re getting somewhere then all of a sudden everything you’ve worked for just disappeared. They’re a great team. They did what they needed to do, but we came out on top tonight,” Bolen said. “That was tough for me. I had to yell a lot and get into my teammates to make sure we did the right thing … But it wasn’t me tonight, it was my teammates putting us in a position to win this game.”
But as overtime began the toothless Bolen (toothless only in the literal sense of the word) stole and dunked Ricardo Mancia’s pass intended for Herbert then drained a three from the left wing the Warriors’ next possession to give Sherwood a 5-point lead that the Bengals could not surmount.
“He’s toughed up as a leader,” Whitmore said of Bolen. “He’s leading the team in scoring and even leading the County in scoring, but now he’s showed he can lead the team the whole entire way—offensively and defensively.”
The Warriors got out to an 11-2 run to begin the game behind eight points from Bolen, but Blake punched back with a 19-3 run to take a 21-20 lead at the end of the first quarter and at the half the game was tied at 33.
Blake took control in the third quarter however, holding Sherwood to only six points in the periods and holding a 49-39 lead at its conclusion.
But in the fourth quarter Bolen and fellow senior Charlie Rogers (15 points, 10 rebounds) caught fire, scoring 17 points between them in the frame while limiting Bengal leading scorer Magnus Richards (30 points, six rebounds) to only three points. Sherwood even forced the Bengals into five turnovers in the quarter and regulation ended with Herbert’s three knotting the game at 65.
From there it was all Sherwood; after Bolen’s five-point spree, Blake’s Avery Ugba (17 points, 8 rebounds) completed a three-point play, but Rogers hit a three in response the next time down for the Warriors. Richards and Mancia each scored two points in the extra session, but they were matched by Brandon Loiacono’s layup and two Bolen free throws.
Loiacono’s two free throws with just under 10 seconds remaining brought the Warrior’s lead back up to 4 and Mancia’s desperation heave fell short, giving Sherwood a huge win after a 40-point drubbing at Springbrook on Tuesday and sending Sherwood’s student section to meet their peers at mid court in a frenzy.
“The win is huge for us not because Blake is such a top-tier team, but because of what happened Tuesday against Springbrook,” Rogers said. “We want to show everyone Tuesday night was a fluke and we’re coming back ready to play.”