Rockville used center Doug Oakford's inside power and Tim Shockley's passes last night to beat Wheaton, 81-78, and win the Montgomery County Division II basketball championship before a packed, frenzied crowd at Wheaton.

Oakford, a 6-foot-8 senior, scored 26 points, making 12 of 15 shots from the floor, as the Rams finished the regular season 14-6 overall, 11-3 in the division. A victory by Wheaton (12-8, 9-5) would have left the two schools sharing the division title.

Despite a comfortable lead most of the game, Rockville needed Shockley's six straight free throws in the last 2:56 to preserve a quickly waning advantage and claim its fifth victory in six outings.

Wheaton, which trailed, 64-48, entering the fourth period, rallied behind Sean Carey's three-point range shooting to get within 79-76 with 11 seconds left. The Knights, who had won four of their previous five, got no closer.

"We kept spreading it out, but Carey kept making those shots," said Shockley of Carey's four consecutive three-point baskets in the closing 3:25.

Carey finished with 18 points. Wheaton was led by senior Curtis Hill's 33 points and 15 rebounds.

Hill was about all Wheaton had for the first three periods. Rockville took control in the opening minutes with Shockley getting the ball down low to Oakford and getting everyone else involved in the offense when Wheaton went to close off the middle.

Shockley finished with 13 points and nine assists, but, more important, his leadership resulted in the Rams having only one first-half turnover. They increased their lead to 15 midway in the second period.

The Knights shot 58 percent in the first half, but still found themselves trailing, 36-29, at intermission chiefly due to 12 turnovers.

"I am biased, and {Shockley} may not be the best guard athletically in the county, but I think he is simply the best guard around," said Rockville Coach Dean Weingard, who won his second county championship in six years at Rockville. "You can always count on him to do the right thing at the right time -- like make free throws when it counts."

Shockley penetrated past the foul line only when necessary, but otherwise controlled Rockville's halfcourt offense from the top of the key. He constantly found Oakford for easy layups.

"Whenever we can get it down low to Doug, we will, because he has such good hands," said Shockely, whose team was a 54-53 come-from-behind winner over Wheaton earlier this season. "The first time we played Wheaton, we were sloppy, but this time we played under control and were able to do the things we wanted."

Wheaton Coach Tom Crowley, whose team was 9-10 last year but will be in the regional playoffs that start next week, said the Knights were prepared for Oakford.

"We worked on that in practice," said Crowley. "But tonight, they got the ball inside to Oakford and we just couldn't stop him."