Like Thanksgiving dinner leftovers families crave after the holiday, area boys basketball coaches appreciate a few talented leftovers themselves when they start a new season. Here's a look at who will back, and who will be new, on the basketball courts at Catonsville, Western Tech, Mount St. Joseph and Lansdowne for the 2013-14 season.
2012-2013 record: 5-17
Returning starters: Senior forward Teddy Crayton (6-feet, 2 inches), senior guard Christian Boxley (5-11).
Coach Matt Fannon’s quote: “We have the talent and we have the athletes to push for a winning season and maybe push for a county championship.”
Breakdown: For the first time in Fannon’s three seasons as head coach, he is thankful for height.
To go along with Crayton’s strong body, he can insert 6-4 junior bookends Antwan Pearson or Musa Wichhart, who were both promoted from the junior varsity.
They also welcomed the transfer of senior Adam Obanaga, who was at Catonsville as a sophomore, but played at Mount St. Joseph last season.
“I’ve got a tall front line,” said Fannon, who can also employ juniors Nathan Hines (6-5), Jake Bredeck (6-2) and Jeffrey Sewell (6-3).
Boxley, Daniel Carver (5-8) and Joey Getzendanner (5-10) are all returning varsity players in the backcourt.
Senior Jordan Harris (6-1) and juniors Brandon Johnson (5-11) and Lee Wolfe (5-11) add perimeter depth.
“The guys are really pumped this year,” Fannon said. “Last year, I didn’t think our record reflected how we played. We lost a lot of close games.”
Mount St. Joseph
2012-2013 record: 31-8
Returning starters: Senior forward Phil Booth (6-4), senior point guard Jaylen Adams (6-0), senior forward Kyle Doran (6-5).
Coach Pat Clatchey’s quote: “I think our strength is our backcourt experience and ability for guys to play different roles.”
Breakdown: The defending two-time Baltimore Catholic League tournament champions return four players who logged significant minutes last season and three of them have already committed to play college ball on the Division I level.
Booth (Villanova), Adams (Jacksonville) and Doran started last season and 6-foot-5 forward Jordan McNeil (Towson) was the sixth man and third leading scorer.
Look for all four to fill the void left by the graduation of Kameron Williams (Ohio State) and Charley Jones.
Booth was the Baltimore Catholic League’s Defensive Player of the Year and he averaged 16 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Gaels.
“He’s a very talented player and we expect him to have a big senior year,” said Clatchey, who won his 500th game last season.
The Gaels (1-0) christened the new athletic facility, The Smith Center, with Clatchey’s 503rd victory in a 72-45 romp over Annapolis Area Christian School.
The fifth starter for the Gaels is sophomore forward Doc Barnes (6-5)..
Sophomore guard Randy Miller (6-2) provides backcourt depth and seniors Graham Seering (6-7) and Zander Wear (6-11) add interior help.
Junior Pierre Johnson (6-2) and sophomore Jarvis Doles (6-7) could provide a spark along with senior Carson Scharf (5-8) and sophomores Bryce Thurston (5-10) and Alec Scranton (5-8).
2012-2013 record: 7-13
Returning starters: Senior point guard Edrick Mallard (6-2), senior guard Mark Jared-Kelly (6-3), senior forward Tyler Jones (6-4).
Coach Greg Karper’s quote: “We have a chance to be good, but they have to keep getting better.”
Breakdown: With three returning starters, the nucleus is in place for the Vikings to have a successful season.
Mallard holds the keys to the offense and he has the ability to jump start it with his quickness at point guard.
“He does a good job and he gets everybody involved,” said Karpers, of the third-year varsity starter, along with Jones.
Sophomore Sammie Samuels (5-7) should help the ball handling when he returns soon from a knee injury.
Seniors Deshawn Bell (5-8) and Alfred Allen (5-9) and juniors Darrius Purnell (5-7) and Axel Bayingana (6-1) provide relief on the perimeter.
Sophomore Kyndell Overton (6-4) brings length to the frontcourt after transferring from St. Frances.
He’ll be counted on to replace the interior scoring of graduated senior Trevor Morris, along with senior Damon Deshields (6-2) and juniors Dwayne Dorsey (6-2), Steven Houck (6-3) and Bobbie Peterson (6-2).
“Our size and our length are good, and we are pretty athletic, and we will be able to guard pretty well and make it tough to score,” Karpers said.
2012-2013 record: 16-9
Returning starters: Senior forward Josh Miles (6-5), senior point guard Donald Imes (6-0), senior forward Mike Haysbert (6-3), senior guard John Williams (5-11).
Coach Mike Slepesky’s quote: “We are young, but we are talented and we should be able to make a run. I expect to have similar results to last year.”
Breakdown: With four veteran starters back in the mix and some younger talent joining the squad, Slepesky expects to make a strong run in the Class 2A North region.
To do that, the coach beefed up the schedule with some tough foes that includes Calvert Hall and Patterson Mill as well as dates with Carlisle, Pa. and Ben Franklin, of Baltimore City.
“It will be challenging, but I don’t want our first game in the playoffs to be a tough city school and us not be ready,” Slepesky said.
Slepesky has no doubt Imes can make the transition from forward to point guard.
“He has outstanding ball-handling skills, is very quick and has a strong first move to the rim,” Slepesky said.
Freshman shooting guard/small forward Isaac Iyoriobhe (6-1) looks primed to make an immediate impact.
“By the time he’s a junior, he should be competing for All-County,” Slepesky said.
Sophomore small forward Tyrell Mosely (6-2) has inside-out potential and juniors Jared Millburn (6-0) and Joseph White (5-11) could help in the backcourt which will welcome the addition of junior Caleb Johnson (6-0) when he returns from a knee injury.
Senior Malik Moore (6-0) and juniors Chris Johnson (6-0), Justin Sye (5-9), Renfore Richards (6-0), Aaron Daley (6-2) and Jordan Carter (6-1) should help at the swing positions.