Cubs improve to 3-1 after comeback win
OLNEY — The Olney High School Cubs improved to 3-1, following their come-from-behind 55-53 victory against Cityview Tuesday night.
With the Cubs and Mustangs each running a man-to-man, full-court press, every possession seemed a mad scramble, but Olney came out on top after overcoming an 8-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
“If the game gets over 45 points, we don’t have a chance to win,” Olney coach Carl Pennington said. “We know that. Our staple is digging in defensively. At first, [Cityview] was getting open shots so we changed our defense a little bit and went to a 1-2-2 (zone) and we were able to get to their shooters. We’re not a very big team, but we’re scrappy.”
A 3-pointer by senior guard Carsen Fite put Olney up early, but Cityview responded with seven unanswered points - setting off
off the first of four lead changes in the first half.
Olney senior guard Brent McCorkle’s 3-pointer pulled the Cubs within one, then Olney took the lead again, this time on a lay-in by Fite. Cityview would again take the lead, but Olney senior forward Travis Hudson matched the Mustangs shot-for-shot, scoring eight consecutive Cubs’ points. Hudson, who had not played high school basketball before this season, tied McCorkle for the team lead in scoring with 14 points.
“I was feeling pretty good,” Hudson said. “... Coach Pennington is great. He taught me everything. This is my first year ever to play. It feels great to be able to do that for my team.”
Sophomore forward Parker Mayer snapped Hudson’s scoring streak with a go-ahead put-back and a buzzer-beating hook-shot by McCorkle gave the Cubs a 21-18 lead going into halftime. The Cubs could not keep their momentum going in the second half. Cityview capitalized on a slew of poor passes and moving violations by Olney. Turnovers eventually allowed the Mustangs to take a 38-30 lead after a pair of free throws by junior guard Abbas Muhammad, who tied teammate Tammell Monroe as the Cityview’s leading scorer with 10 points.
With both teams running a full-court, man-to-man press for the majority of the game, fouls began to mount by the fourth quarter. Those mounting fouls devastated the Mustang’s starting lineup, which forced them to become more passive in the waning minutes. Fite, McCorkle and Hudson rallied the Cubs to a bucket, but it was a jumper Andrew Bernhardt that gave the Cubs a 43-42 lead. Cityview tied the game with a free throw, but on the ensuing Cubs’ possession sophomore forward Tyrese Smith fouled Olney senior forward Eli Johnson. With Cityview already putting Olney at the line with a double bonus after tallying its 10th foul, their issues were exacerbated after Smith was hit with a technical foul after complaining to officials on the call. This gave the Cubs four scoring opportunities at the free throw line, then gave the Cubs possession. McCorkle and Fite each went 1-2, but McCorkle would return to the free-throw line seconds.
“I was talking to myself the whole time saying ‘just put the ball in,’” McCorkle said. “It was all a rhythm and cadence.”
McCorkle would repeat that mantra two more times, which gave the Cubs a 5-point lead that not even a buzzer-beating half-court shot by junior Austin Lucas could overcome. With the win, and last Tuesday’s victory against Santos, the Cubs are now 3-1 and face Albany Friday. The junior varsity will tipoff at 6:30 p.m.
The junior varsity lost 56-34 Tuesday. Codie Fite led the Cubs in scoring with 13 points.