This winter may very well be remembered as the most successful in Howard County boys basketball history. Centennial and Oakland Mills each won state titles, marking the first time two county teams have ever won state championships in the same season.
Centennial, led by the trio of Isaiah White, Chad Strothers and Tom Brown, ended up winning the county championship with an 18-1 record. The team then rolled to a region title, getting a buzzer-beating shot from Connor Clemens to beat River Hill by a point in the 3A East championship game. The Eagles then defeated C. Milton Wright and Westlake to win the first state championship in program history.
Oakland Mills, meanwhile, lost three times during the regular season. But once playoffs rolled around, the team accomplished something the program hadn’t done in 25 years. Led by the play of Will Robinson Jr, Mamadou Ndiaye, Daniel Kiely, Naquan Williams-Day and Tre Hopkins, the Scorpions won three thrilling games to close out the postseason. In the region championship, the team beat Douglass in overtime and then went on to take down Oakdale and Patterson for the title in the state final four.
Elsewhere, there were plenty of standout performers that carried their teams to big wins throughout the season.
Charlie Thomas, who is headed to play at Wisconsin after graduation, was the leader for River Hill while averaging 23 points a game. Other top individuals were Seth Henry at Reservoir, Nick Oates at Glenelg, Mark and Aaren Smith at Mt. Hebron, along with Brandon Willis at Atholton.
Boys basketball beat reporter Brent Kennedy talks about these stars and many more in his recap of the 2014-15 season. To check it out, watch the video above.