UPPER MARLBORO – Bolstered by a trio of rising seniors, the Crossland High School boys’ basketball team overcame a slow start and pulled away from Flint Hill High School for a 65-56 victory in the House of Champions league at Dr. Henry A. Wise High School on Wednesday. Crossland (4-4) sputtered through the early stages […]
UPPER MARLBORO – Bolstered by a trio of rising seniors, the Crossland High School boys’ basketball team overcame a slow start and pulled away from Flint Hill High School for a 65-56 victory in the House of Champions league at Dr. Henry A. Wise High School on Wednesday.
Crossland (4-4) sputtered through the early stages of the game and fell behind by six points on two different occasions in the opening five minutes. But over the latter portion of the first half and well into the second half the Cavaliers’ returning senior trio of Kelvin Sellman, Adarius Diggs and Marzel Hendricks proved too difficult to handle and enable the county squad to earn a victory that brought them back to .500 in the league formerly known as “The Rock” during its days at High Point.
“Those guys know what’s expected of them this season,” said Crossland summer coach William Foster, a Crossland alum and junior varsity coach during the winter season. “We had a slow start tonight, but we made some defensive adjustments and we were able to get things turned around in the second half. Flint Hill had a few good players who started, but they did not appear to be very deep.”
Much of Flint Hill’s offense in the first half revolved around center Ben Stern, who scored one-half of his team’s 28 points in the opening 18 minutes. But after leading Flint Hill to 13-7 and 15-9 leads in the first five minutes of play, Stern was not enough to carry the team into halftime with the lead. Buckets by Sellman, Diggs and Hendricks sparked a late Cavaliers’ run that enabled Crossland to forge a 31-28 lead at the intermission.
Through the opening minutes of the second half, Stern was instrumental in keeping Flint Hill close with a layup and a midrange jumper, but the Cavaliers countered with buckets from Sellman and Hendricks, whose first three-point field goal of the half vaulted Crossland to a 41-33 lead with 13:25 remaining. Hendricks added two more free throws one minute later to give the Cavaliers a 45-35 lead.
Flint Hill clawed back to within 45-39 on another jumper by Stern, but the Cavaliers countered with a 6-0 run of their own to forge a 51-39 lead with seven minutes remaining. Hendricks started the run with another three-point field goal and Diggs added a layup. Crossland continued to display long range capabilities over the next three minutes with three-pointers from Diggs, Sellman and Hendricks which eventually gave the Cavaliers a 65-49 lead, their biggest of the night.
Stern scored four of the game’s final seven points over the last two minutes, but Crossland was never seriously challenged despite committing a pair of turnovers in that span and failing to score from the floor or the foul line. Nevertheless, Foster deemed the outing a success and looked for the game to further bolster the team’s chances of making a run in next week’s playoffs.
“All three of those guys are back at Crossland for their senior season,” said Foster, who played for the 2004-05 Cavaliers team that won the 3A South Region title. “We lost one of our starters [Mike Middleton] to grades late last season, but these guys were really the key to the team. If we can keep them all season, we’re going to be tough to beat.”