The race for this year’s Howard County boys basketball championship came down to the final week of the regular season, capping off what was an extremely competitive year filled with close games and parity from top to bottom.
When the dust settled, it was Atholton that was standing alone in first place with a league record of 17-2. The Raiders, which were led by seniors Michael Bernetti and Justin Ballmer, won their final eight county contests to edge out both Oakland Mills (16-3) and Reservoir (16-3) by a single game.
In the postseason, both Reservoir and Oakland Mills advanced to their respective regional title games before falling a game short of making it the state semifinals.
Individually, Marriotts Ridge’s Robert Davis was the top public school scorer in the county with an average of 21.6 points a night. He became the first player in program history to reach 1,000 points for his career.
Behind Davis, River Hill’s Charlie Thomas (20.2 points and 11.3 rebounds) and Oakland Mills’ Mamadou Ndiaye (19.1 ppg and 9.8 rpg) were consistent stars for their respective teams throughout the winter.
The duo of Thomas and Ndiaye, both juniors, figure to be the face of Howard County basketball next season.