They got there in very different ways, but ultimately both the girls and boys Howard County basketball all-star games came down to the final possession on Tuesday night at Oakland Mills High School.
In the end, the East girls team got a late 3-pointer from Howard’s Courtney Furr to pull out a 67-66 victory over the West squad and the 2A boys team held off a late comeback attempt from the 3A/4A group to earn a 108-105 win.
The event, which was sponsored by BodyArmor Sports Drink and was hosted by the Oakland Mills Booster Club, spotlighted the county’s top seniors. After initially being postponed twice over the last two weeks, things went off without a hitch this time around.
In addition to the games, there were also 3-point competitions held between the boys and girls and a dunk contest.
Centennial’s Sean Taylor and Glenelg’s Jess Foster each made 12 3-point shots in 45 seconds to be crowned as the champions of that event. Overall, the five boys shooters combined to knock down seven more threes than the girls on the way to a 49-42 team victory.
In the dunk contest, Glenelg’s Ryan Davis was voted by the fans as the winner.
Howard’s Madison Burris started things and Courtney Furr, her teammate, finished them for the East squad in the opening game of the night.
Burris hit five threes and scored 19 of her game-high 25 points in the first half, helping the East team to a 34-33 lead at the break. Then, after a back-and-forth second half, Furr (13 points) stepped up and drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key with seven seconds left for the final points in a one-point victory.
On the other side, the West team got big games from Glenelg’s Jess Foster (24 points) and Long Reach’s Kiana Williams (16) in the narrow defeat.
Unlike the girls game, the boys match-up was lopsided most of the way. The 2A squad jumped out to a double-digit advantage in the first five minutes, sparked by a mix of breakaway dunks from Ryan Davis (15 points), layups by Wilde Lake’s George Hunter (10 points) and some outside shooting from Oakland Mills’ Robert Burgess (10).
By halftime, the 2A team had built a 61-39 lead and that advantage grew to as many as 31 points in the early stages of the second half. River Hill’s Jay Martin also was a strong contributor for the 2A team overall with 11 points on the evening.
But just as things seemed well in hand, the 3A/4A group found life behind an array of 3-pointers. Long Reach’s Josh Jones (22 points), Reservoir’s Donye’ Moore (17) and Centennial’s Andrew Hohmann (11) combined to hit 11 threes over the final 11 minutes of the game to stage a furious comeback.
The score got as close as two points in the final minute and Moore had one final chance as the buzzer sounded to hit a 3-pointer that would have forced overtime. His shot went in and out, however, and the 2A squad held on.
In the loss, Chapelgate’s Brandon Wise also had a strong effort with 15 points.
GIRLS BOX SCORE:
East 67, West 66
East: Madison Burris 25 (Howard); Courtney Furr 13 (Howard); Ashlyn McInerney 9 (Hammond); Madison Eich 6 (Howard); Deonna Jones 5 (Howard); Nia Powell 4 (Reservoir); Taylor Addison 2 (Howard); Bryce Bathras 2 (Atholton); Juli Hancock 2 (Reservoir).
West: Jess Foster 24 (Glenelg); Kiana Williams 16 (Long Reach); Kellie Johnson 10 (Glenelg); Elesha Jackson 6 (River Hill); Mona King 3 (River Hill); Octavia Florent 2 (Chapelgate); Carolyn Foreman 2 (Marriotts Ridge); Hope Morath 2 (Marriotts Ridge); Sarah Dawit 1 (River Hill).
BOYS BOX SCORE:
2A 108, 3A/4A 105
2A: Ryan Davis 15 (Glenelg); Jay Martin 11 (River Hill); Robert Burgess 10 (Oakland Mills); George Hunter 10 (Wilde Lake); Luke Champion 9 (River Hill); Mister Hairston 9 (Oakland Mills); Prophelando Joseph 9 (Wilde Lake); Robert Gordon 8 (Hammond); Dylan Daniels 8 (River Hill); Garrett Mills 6 (Glenelg); Dragan Hornatko 5 (Glenelg Country); Harrison Greggs 4 (Oakland Mills); Jacob Krause 4 (River Hill).
3A/4A: Josh Jones 22 (Long Reach); Donye’ Moore 17 (Reservoir); Brandon Wise 15 (Chapelgate); Andrew Hohmann 11 (Centennial); Micah Carey 9 (Atholton); Blake Hatcher 6 (Chapelgate); Jalen Morant 6 (Chapelgate); Andrew Blanco 5 (Howard); Corey Eudell 5 (Centennial); Tyri Davis 4 (Long Reach); Bouraima Diarra 3 (Reservoir); Sean Taylor 2 (Centennial).
3-POINT COMPETITION LEADERS (45 seconds):
GIRLS: Jess Foster, Glenelg, 12; Madison Burris, Howard, 9; Courtney Furr, Howard, 9; Ashlyn McInerney, Hammond, 7; Sarah Dawit, River Hill, 5.
BOYS: Sean Taylor, Centennial, 12; Andrew Blanco, Howard, 10; Robert Gordon, Hammond, 10; Jacob Krause, River Hill, 9; Jalen Morant, Chapelgate, 7.
Reach Brent Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter @BKBSunSports