In one midseason stretch for the Glenelg Country School boys basketball team, Kevin Quinlan learned everything he needed to know about forward Warren Powers.
On Jan. 21, the Dragons trailed Pallotti by one with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter when Quinlan – Glenelg Country's first-year coach – called timeout. He drew up a play off the inbound pass for Powers, but the 6-foot-5, 210-pound sophomore missed the shot as time expired.
Thankfully for Powers, redemption came soon after defeat.
"We got in a similar situation at the end of the Gilman game at our place, the same scenario," Quinlan said. "We won that game. He's that kind of kid. He kept his chin up and executed the play a little bit better. He made the right play. He got the shot off and scored. I was real proud of him for that."
The missed shot against Pallotti "hurt so bad. That shot really stuck with me and I prayed I'd get another chance or opportunity to do it," Powers said. "Sure enough … I got the same exact shot [against Gillman], the same floater, and it went right through the hoop. I was so thankful for that opportunity and so happy it happened."
Sophomore year came with lofty expectations for Powers, but time and time again, he delivered. A first-team all-conference selection, Powers teamed with highly touted junior Isaiah Miles to lead the Dragons to the MIAA B Conference championship. On the year, Powers averaged 16.2 points and 6.8 rebounds. He saved one of his best performances of the year for the conference title game against Annapolis Area Christian, scoring 18 points, grabbing six rebounds and blocking three shots.
"Warren really, really improved a lot," Quinlan said. "I think defensively he got a lot better. He's incredibly athletic. Offensively, he really ran the floor well for us in transition. Warren's big enough where we push the ball and get it inside. We really benefited from that. I was very pleased with his performance this season. I thought he got better fundamentally and also in some team concepts, especially man-to-man defense."
Powers made Quinlan's transition to Glenelg Country (27-4, 21-1 MIAA B) an easy one, demonstrating a "great attitude all the time" and proving to be a "good leader and a good role model" for his teammates.
Because of his height and strength, Powers played a power-forward type position for the perimeter-oriented Dragons. On the AAU circuit with Team Melo this spring and summer, the goal will be sharpening his guard skills for the next level. Quinlan thinks Powers will be a 2 or a 3 in college. Powers, meanwhile, hopes to raise his recruiting profile – starting this weekend at the Big Shots tournament in Chantilly, Va.
"My ultimate goal by senior season is to have some serious looks by schools and maybe even have an offer," Powers said. "That's my main goal this offseason, just working hard in the weight room and training hard. I have the opportunity to get out on the circuit and maybe get some serious looks."
While his recruitment is in its infancy, Powers – the son of the former Terps football player of the same name – has a clear favorite.
"My main school that I'm really interested in is Maryland," Powers said. "I worked out a few times there this summer. They seemed really interested. My dad talked to [Terps assistant coach] Keith Booth, they had me get back down there. They want to see me develop more."
George Mason has been in contact with Quinlan about Powers, while Bucknell has expressed serious interest recently. Powers said he has also received interest from Arkansas, Virginia Tech and Xavier, among others.
"I think this summer's going to be really important for him," Quinlan said. "When he gets out on the circuit with Team Melo, I think he's a much better defender after the past year. Hopefully that will turn some heads on the circuit. He's just an impressive athlete."
While he's focused on AAU right now, Powers can't help but look forward to his junior season, when Glenelg Country moves up to the A Conference. The tougher competition will be a welcome challenge for Powers and his teammates.
"I'm just excited to move up and test our talent against some of the best schools in the area," Powers said. "I'm really excited about that. Hopefully we'll have the same results as [we had this year] and keep building as a team."
Photo of Warren Powers courtesy of Glenelg Country School.