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Harford County boys basketball teams excited, ready for new season

Bill Jones takes over the Aberdeen boys basketball program, his first head coaching role in four years.
Bill Jones takes over the Aberdeen boys basketball program, his first head coaching role in four years. (Randy McRoberts)

All 12 Harford County high school teams have been on the hardwood for at least three weeks, preparing themselves for the 2021-22 season. Except for John Carroll, teams haven’t been on courts since late February of 2020 and they are happy to be back. See team information below.

ABERDEEN

Head coach: Bill Jones (first year)

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Top returning players: Donovan Peyton, Sr. (G); Tylan Bass, Jr. (G)

Key new players: Ru Mubia, Sr. (F); Artarus Brown, Jr. (G); Tyseaun Rodgers, Jr. (G); Kanye Stephens, Jr. (F)

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Outlook: “Team members have been working hard both on and off the court with the goal of making the entire Aberdeen community proud,” Jones said. “Senior Donovan Peyton and junior Tylan Bass will lead a talented group who have high expectations for a winning season.”

BEL AIR

Head coach: Alex Darko (eighth year)

Top returning players: N/A

Key new players: Tre Dennis, Jr. (G); Gavin Shaw, Jr. (G); Nick Golinski, Jr. (G); Dyllon Barrett, Sr. (G)

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Outlook: “We have a totally new identity this year. We’re working on who we are and building on from that,” Darko said. “Team chemistry has been evident early on and we are excited for the season.”

C. MILTON WRIGHT

Head coach: Jon Stefanides (10th year)

Top returning players: Jordan Stiemke, Sr. (G); Jordan Tuttle, Sr. (G); Tommy Murray, Sr. (G)

Key new players: Rocco Polesovsky, Sr, G); Aaron Redman, Sr. (G); Aaron Clarke, Jr. (G); Cooper Hichkad, Jr. (C); Eric Berger, Jr. (G)

Outlook: “We are an enthusiastic young group that will be counting on the senior leadership to bring us game experience and guidance for our newcomers throughout the season,” Stefanides said. “How quickly the lessons are learned throughout the season will determine our growth as a team.”

EDGEWOOD

Head coach: Terry Maczko (first year) This Time Around. Head Coach JV 1988, Head Coach Varsity 2005-2007, All at Edgewood

Top returning players: Elson Berhanu, Sr. (C); Timi Oyekunle, Sr. (G)

Key new players: DeAndre Maxwell, Jr. (G); Trent Alexander, Jr. (F)

Outlook: Maczko is back for his second stint as head of the Rams, having led the varsity for three seasons, 2005-2007. “Team has a positive attitude and working hard as we get started. With that mindset, we will get better over the course of the season. Defense will be our calling card,” Maczko said.

FALLSTON

Head coach: Brian Hulka (seventh year)

Top returning players: Luke Wolff, Sr. (F); Collin McMaines, Sr. (G); Charlie Widomski, Sr. (G); Matthew Manolis, Sr. (G); Dylan Kreis, Jr. (F)

Key new players: Dylan Wheeler, Sr. (G)

Outlook: “I’m really excited about what I’ve seen so far in practice. We’re very versatile on offense and we have more depth than in past years,” Hulka said. “If we can commit to playing the kind of defense I want us to play, we’ll be a tough out for anyone.”

HARFORD CHRISTIAN

Head coach: Brian Akers (sixth year)

Top returning players: Peyton Heiss, Sr. (C); Dan Giro, Sr. (G); Timmy Williams, Jr. (G); Josh Olinger, So. (G); Ben Coomes, So. (G); Jay Arnold, So. (F)

Key new players: Ben Kuntsbeck, Fr. (G)

Outlook: The Eagles are rebuilding this year with a young team, who are looking to grow into a quality team on defense and offense. “Scoring will be spread throughout the team; point guard Timmy Williams to lead the offense, senior center Peyton Heiss to control the boards and sophomores Josh Olinger and Ben Coomes to provide scoring and defense,” Akers said. “Should be a fun year as we improve each time out.”

HARFORD TECH

Head coach: Drew Gill (third year)

Top returning players: Evan Buck, Sr. (G); Hans Sazon, Sr. (G); Austin Brown, Sr. (F); Zhamari Johns, Sr. (G)

Key new players: Jayden Oliver, Jr. (G); Matayo McGraw, Jr. (G); Connor Jergensen, Jr. (F)

Outlook: “We’re extremely excited to be back on the court and looking forward to competing again this Winter,” Gill said.

HAVRE DE GRACE

Head coach: Brian Eberhardt (10th year)

Top returning players: Will Lawder, Sr. (G/F); Braydyn Malloy, Sr. (G)

Key new players: Dominic McKenney-George, Sr. (PG)

Outlook: ”Looking for seniors to develop team leadership through the course of the season,” Eberhardt said. The Warriors went a combined 44-5 (23-1, 2018-19) and 21-4, 2019-20) over the past two seasons.

JOHN CARROLL

Head coach: Seth Goldberg (fourth year)

2021 record: 11-5, BCL Champions

Top returning players: Tyson Commander, Sr. (G); Jeannot Basima, Jr. (F); Cesar Tchilombo, Sr. (C); TJ Vaughn, Sr. (G); Terry Long, Jr. Sr. (G); Rex Romain, Jr. (G): Max Snellenburg, Sr. (G); Miles Smith, Jr. (G); Noah Miller, Jr. (G)

Key new players: Jensen Perkovich, Sr. (G); Grier Martin, Jr. (G); Theartis Battle, Fr. (F); Caden Chinnia-Falline, Fr. (F)

Outlook: “This group of seniors have been with us on varsity since their freshman year. They have experienced a lot of ups and downs together,” Goldberg said. “They have steadily improved their winning percentage each of their three seasons. Chemistry, toughness and energy will be key for us if we are going to achieve our potential this season as a team.”

JOPPATOWNE

Head coach: Jesse Jones (first year)

Top returning players: Kenneth Ejelonu, Sr. (F); Kylil Omar, Sr. (F); Demauri Ponder, Sr. (G)

Key new players: Favor Okigweh, Jr. (SF); Andrew Chase, Jr. (G); Kenny Hunter, Fr. (G)

Outlook: “Rest in Peace to my mentor, Mr. Johnny Brooks. Stepping into this space has been bittersweet for me. I was looking forward to another year with him and excited about the upcoming season,” Jones said. “A young but smart, high energy team. The same core group from junior varsity so there is a foundation. chemistry and familiarity with the system in place. Expectations are to improve, develop and get better as the season progresses and take it one game at a time and see where it takes us.”

NORTH HARFORD

Head coach: Nick Panos (first year)

Top returning players: George Alexander, Sr. (G); Dylan Allred, Sr. (G); John Allred, Sr. (G); T.J. Berger, Jr. (G); Shane Borns, Sr. (F); Andrew Gainey, Sr. (F); Aaron Huth. Sr. (F); Garrett Reinecke, Sr. (G); Mike Rote, Sr. (G); Patrick Shrodes, Sr. (G); Evan Wagner, Sr. (F)

Key new players: Jon Roth, Sr. (G); Ryan Tracy, Sr. (F)

Outlook: “The players and coaches (Mitch Vocke, first year assistant) are really excited about the upcoming season,” Panos said. “Our goals are lofty and we hope to achieve them by playing one solid possession at a time and accepting the results as a team.”

PATTERSON MILL

Head coach: Jeroud Clark (15th year)

Top returning players: Kyle Luddy, Sr. (G); Tyree Wilson, Sr. (G); Will Pape, Sr. (F); Robby March, Sr. (G)

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Key new players: Drew Pape, So. (G)

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Outlook: “Everyone is in the same boat this year without having a season last year. We are really excited to reset and restart our program,” Clark said. “We have a strong group of senior leaders that are looking forward to keeping our basketball tradition. Very thankful for the opportunity to play basketball this year.”

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