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Boys basketball: 2011-12 preview

Taking a look at the local squads as they gear up for a long campaign

BY DEWEY FOX, dfox@theaegis.com

11:57 AM EST, December 6, 2011

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Aberdeen

Head coach: Richard Hart (14th season)

2010-11 record: 15-8

Key returning players: Brian Adkins, Sr.; Mike Davenport, Sr.; Deandre Henson, Sr.; Dezmon Smoaks, Sr.; James Warfield, Sr.

Key newcomers: Anthony Bennett, Jr.; Eric Briggs, Jr.; Maurice Harris, Jr.; Jevon Hill-Gee, Sr.; Virgil Kennedy, Jr.; Christian Marks, Sr.

Outlook: This year's Eagles will be without the services of All-Harford first-team selections Tevon Saddler and Gerrae Williams, whom coach Hart admitted he will have a difficult time replacing, but they have a strong enough group of returning players to make things interesting in the Chesapeake (upper) Division.

"I expect that our style of pressure defense will remain the same," Hart said. "We have talent at key positions, and I expect solid contributions from the juniors on the roster."

Bel Air

Head coach: Mike Getz (2nd season)

2010-11 record: 15-9

Key returning players: Aaron Farley, Sr. (F); Tyler Norcross, Jr. (C); Juwan Singletary, Jr. (G); Derek Spanellis, Sr. (F)

Key newcomers: Nick Adams, Jr. (G); Jake Andrews, Jr. (F); Derek Freels, Jr. (G); Parker Jones, Jr. (G); Tommy Keller, So. (F); Chris Murdock, So. (G); C.J. Simmons, So. (G); Nick Vazquez, Jr. (C)

Outlook: "Replacing the solid inside, outside combination of Dezmon Hall and Cavin Murray, who graduated last year, will be a challenge, but with program continuity consisting of four returning varsity players who saw significant playing time and experience last season, along with eight junior varsity players moving up, we are looking to build on last year's turnaround season," coach Getz, who took over in Bel Air last season after helming the Fallston program for three years, said. " We look for a December schedule including Perry Hall, top Harford County teams in the Chesapeake Division, and the North Carroll Holiday Tournament to prepare us to make a run at the Susquehanna (lower) Division title in January and February."

C. Milton Wright

Head coach: Jon Stefanides (first season)

2010-11 record: 5-16

Key returning players: Kevin Dorsey, Jr. (G)

Key newcomers: Conner Bays, So. (G); Sam Hahner, Jr. (C); Matt Kline, Sr. (G); Chris Panzeri, Sr. (C); Ryan Walsh, Sr. (C)

Outlook: "The Mustangs will be looking to Kevin Dorsey to provide leadership for the young team," Stefanides, who left the head coaching spot at Joppatowne to take reins of the CMW program, said. "We have three centers, Panzeri, Hahner and Walsh, who will be counted on to provide a presence underneath, and to relieve the pressure from the young guards this season. Losing four starters will mean you'll see an inexperienced/young team on the floor early in the season. The energy and enthusiasm the youth brings to CMW is contagious, and will make us fun to watch this year. How quickly we develop as a team, however, will determine how well we will do in conference play this season."

Edgewood

Head coach: Austin Hill (second season)

2010-11 record: 11-9

Key returning players: Thomas Dillard, Sr.; Van Rolle, Sr.; Freddie Story, Sr.

Key newcomers: Troy Anderson, Sr.; Roderick Harrison. So.; Detrick Matthews, Jr.; Lenier Tucker, Jr.

Outlook: "The Rams will look to reload this season," coach Hill said. "We have returning all-conference guards Thomas Dillard and Van Rolle, who should ease the transition of having nine new players on the varsity roster. We are looking to be competitive in the Chesapeake Division this year."

Fallston

Head coach: Tim Lacock (first season)

2010-11 record: 14-8

Key returning players: Ryan Bonhoff, Sr. (F); Jason Lawrence, Sr. (G)

Key newcomers: Wyatt Alexander, Jr. (G); Kyle Tyree, So. (F); Mitchell West, Jr. (G, F)

Outlook: "We lost a lot of players from a very successful team last year," rookie skipper Lacock said. "We have a young, inexperienced group who is ready to work and be the best team they can be. The players have set goals to get better each day, and to be the hardest-working team in the league."

Harford Christian

Head coach: Richard Westerlund (second season)

2010-11 record: 6-22

Key returning players: Travis Henderson, Sr. (G); Luke Steelman, Sr. (G); John Wilson, Jr. (PG); Vince Wilson, Sr. (G)

Key newcomers: Jesse Anderson, Sr. (G); Nathan Good, So. (F); Phillip Good, So. (G)

Outlook: "Last year, Harford Christian had a brand new coach with a brand new system," Westerlund said. "This year I'm very optimistic about my second season at the helm. There isn't as much of a transition period as there was last year, and there is more continuity within the program. This year we have a good mix of returners and newcomers. I am excited about the talent we have this year, as we look to contend in the MACSAC conference, and be more of a presence in Harford County basketball. The program still has a long way to go, but this season we have the tremendous opportunity to take some huge steps in the right direction. We have worked extremely hard over the summer to improve our game and prepare for the rigors of our season. We are excited about the journey ahead and look forward to the challenges that are waiting for us. We look to bring back the proud basketball tradition Harford Christian once had."

Harford Tech

Head coach: Bill Jones (sixth season)

2010-11 record: 11-9

Key returning players: Danny Crawford, So. (G); Isaiah Gills, Jr. (F); D.J. Jackson, Sr. (G); Telvonne Lambert, Sr. (G); Derrell Lee, Sr. (F); Treyvone Tribble, Sr. (G)

Key newcomers: George Hargrove, Jr. (F); Koron Harris, Jr. (F); Tyler Mister, So. (G); Dennis Pink, Jr. (F); Owen Rogers, So. (G); Tahir Senoussi, So. (F); Zack Valenti, Jr. (F)

Outlook: "With three returning starters and two others that started a couple games last year, we have some experience," coach Jones said. "We don't have much size, so we will continue to use our quickness and length to play up-tempo and try to force games into the 70-point range. If we do that, we should have a successful season. Lambert is a three-year starter who led county in assists last year, while Gills has started every game for two years and has averaged double digits in points and assists over that time. Look for Crawford to take on more of a leadership role and have a good season."

Havre de Grace

Head coach: Brian Eberhardt (first season)

2010-11 record: 14-7

Key returning players: Chris Askew, Sr. (G, F); Andy Meiselwitz, Sr.(F)

Key newcomers: Elijah Baily, So. (G); Lavell McCullers, So. (G, F)

Outlook: The reigning Chesapeake Division champs were hit hard by graduation last year, and will need their underclassmen to step up if they want to stay near the top this campaign.

"We graduated all of the starters from last year's team," coach Eberhardt said. "With many new players and a new coaching staff, it looks to be a rebuilding year. We are excited with the quality of the sophomores on the team, and with time this team has the potential to be a strong unit."

John Carroll

Head coach: Tony Martin

2010-11 record: 33-5

Key returning players: Rodney Elliot, Jr. (G); Jarred Jones, Sr. (F); Christian Owona, Jr. (F); Lionel Owona, So. (F); Mike Owona, Jr. (F); Kamau Stokes, So. (G)

Key newcomers: Justin Jenifer, Fr. (PG); Marcus James, Sr. (F); Michael Maric, Sr. (F); Marcus Monroe, Jr. (F)

Outlook: Last year's MIAA "A" Conference and Baltimore Catholic League's regular-season champs, the Patriots will have a tough time topping their 2010-11 campaign, which saw them earn a spot at the prestigious ESPN RISE National High School Invitational Tournament. Coach Tony Martin and his staff, not content to bask in the glow of recent accomplishments, set up a punishing schedule for the Patriots. "It is one of the most challenging schedules in the country," Martin said. "Our young but experienced roster is excited about the challenges ahead. As always, hard work, good health and a little luck will go a long way in determining our success on the court."

Joppatowne

Head coach: Jermaine Head (first season)

2010-11 record: 4-17

Key returning players: Terrell Adams, Sr.; Keith Alexander, Sr.; Markell Huggins, Jr.; Matthew Jones, Jr.; Anthony White, Sr.

Key newcomers: Lavelle Banks, Sr.; Kalil Gore, So.; Trevon Mosely, So.

Outlook: "This year, the future looks very promising for us," first-year head coach Head said. "With senior leadership at key positions, it will help me transition into my first year a little easier. The team is extremely athletic and quick, and getting familiar with each other and the staff is the most important thing at this point. Joppatowne is a in rebuilding situation with the program, and there's a tremendous amount of excitement in the community, and within the program."

North Harford

Head coach: Jeff Burrows (fourth season)

2010-11 record: 19-5

Key returning players: Rodney Barnett, Sr. (G); Nick Tittle, Jr. (G); Ryan Stinar, Sr. (F)

Key newcomers: Eric Bayer, Jr. (G); Brock Hurley, Jr. (C); Max Mullin, Jr. (G)

Outlook: Last season's Susquehanna Division front runners and surprise UCBAC champions after upsetting Havre de Grace in the conference title game, the newly promoted Hawks will not have an easy time of things in the Chesapeake.

"We have our work cut out for us," coach Burrows said. "We graduated eight seniors who accounted for the majority of our scoring and rebounding. The key this year will be for somebody to step up and take a leadership role. We have some talent returning in Tittle, Barnett and Stinar, but somebody has to fill the big shoes of our departing front court. Hurley has the skill set to be a low-post scorer. We should be able to push the ball more this year. With the move to the upper division, our schedule is harder, but we are looking forward to the challenge. If we continue to work hard like we have so far in the pre-season, we will be fine."

Patterson Mill

Head coach: Jeroud Clark (fifth season)

2010-11 record: 18-5

Key returning players: J.J. Butler, Sr. (G); Garett Burkhead, Sr. (G); Brandon Burris, Sr. (G); Matt Golczewski, Sr. (G); Donte Johnson, Sr. (G); Jay Kuhn, Sr. (F)

Key newcomers: Andrew Bonds, Jr. (G); Malik Bonds, So. (G); Mike Reed, Jr. (G)

Outlook: Coach Clark had a plain-and-simple outlook for the Huskies 2011-12 campaign: "We hope to compete each game, and continue to get better each day throughout the season. Along with that, we want to continue to work hard, and hope to be in the mix at the end of the season."