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Howard County boys basketball fan’s choice team of the decade tournament

The Howard County boys basketball All-Decade mock tournament bracket heading into the championship
The Howard County boys basketball All-Decade mock tournament bracket heading into the championship

In a year where no in-person high school basketball games will take place in Howard County, all winter activities are occurring via virtual meetings.

It seems only fitting for a little fun and friendly competition to take place virtually as well.

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To go along with the recently released boys basketball All-Decade package, the staff of the Howard County Times is posing the question: Who would win a tournament featuring each school’s best roster from the last decade?

We’ve created a mock bracket, selected starting fives and are leaving the rest up to you. Vote in the polls below to determine who will move on to the next round and eventually be crowned as the winner.

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(The polls for each round will stay open for 24 hours)

CHAMPIONSHIP (twitter poll ends at 8 p.m. on Thursday)

River Hill vs Centennial

Vote on the winner by clicking the tweet below:

River Hill

The River Hill All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The River Hill All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

How They Got Here: Defeated Howard in the opening round (117-40); Defeated Reservoir in the Elite 8 (103-21); Defeated Oakland Mills in the Final 4 (160-72)

Starting Five: Varun Ram, Nick Marshall, Jaden Martin, Walt Moody, Charlie Thomas

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Bench: Gary Sandler, Jacob Krause, Jordan Knisley

Rundown: The Hawks have a starting group that boasts a little bit of everything, including Division I talent in the form of Ram (Maryland), Marshall (Loyola) and Thomas (Wisconsin), hustle and toughness in Moody and an elite scoring combo guard in Martin. Thomas and Martin finished their careers as 1,000-point scorers and garnered Player of the Year honors. Ram is an elite defender on the perimeter and ball handler, while Marshall can either score or create for others. Moody may be undersized for a forward but can score as well in a number of different ways (21 ppg in 2013). Krause brings outside shooting coming off the bench, while Sandler and Knisley can fill numerous roles.

Centennial

The Centennial All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Centennial All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

How They Got Here: Defeated Chapelgate in the opening round (98-59); Defeated Atholton in the Elite 8 (52-37); Defeated Glenelg Country in the Final 4 (60-21)

Starting Five: Chad Strothers, Keonte Potts, Isaiah White, Omari Ringgold, Tom Brown

Bench: Joey Sedlacko, Aaron Adams, Elijah White, Timi Tinuoye.

Rundown: While this Eagles’ roster features no one over 6-foot-5, there’s plenty of athleticism and length among a group that features several guys capable of playing multiple positions. More importantly, this is a group of winners — eight of the nine players won at least one region title during high school. Strothers, White and Brown combined to help the program to its first state title (2015). Strothers can score, but his ability to run the show is key here with Potts, White, Ringgold and Brown all finishing their careers with 859 or more points. At 6-foot-4, Brown is undersized at forward but that never hindered him as he pulled down 615 career rebounds. In reserve, Sedlacko, Adams and Elijah White are all in the same mold as athletic combo guards that can score in a multitude of ways, while Tinuoye brings toughness as more of a combo forward.

ELIMINATED

Atholton

The Atholton All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Atholton All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Gavin Stephenson, Casey Parkins, Jordan Oates, Justin Oates, Matt Robinson

Bench: Raymond Brown, Justin Ballmer, Michael Bernetti

Rundown: The Raiders have a group capable of beating you in a number of different ways, with several guards great at creating going to the basket, a couple strong mid-range players to go with technically-sound stretch forwards. Stephenson is the best scorer of the bunch, having averaged 23 points per game as a senior. Parkins was no slouch either with just shy of 17 points per game as a senior. Jordan Oates, the 2020 Player of the Year, is a perfect picture of versatility after setting program records for both single-season rebounds (368) and threes (66). His brother Justin and the 6-foot-3 Robinson fit a similar mold of undersized, hard-nosed forwards who each made All-County twice. Robinson went on to star on the football field at the University of Maryland. Off the bench, Brown and Ballmer can score in different ways from the guard positions and Bernetti is a talented 6-foot-4 forward to fortify the frontcourt.

Result: Defeated Mt. Hebron in the opening round (107-47); Lost to Centennial in the Elite 8 (52-37)

Chapelgate

The Chapelgate All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Chapelgate All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Aaron McCall, Nate Frierson, Matt Frierson, Malik Grandy, Winfield Taylor

Bench: Terrell Willis, Gordie Frierson, Chris Grandy, Chika Obi

Rundown: What the Yellowjackets lack in size among its starting group, they make up for in versatility. All five players, can shoot, penetrate and guard multiple positions. McCall and Matt Frierson both rank among the top scorers in program history, with McCall surpassing 1,000 points as a junior and Frierson making 283 threes in his career (program-record 137 as a senior). Nate Frierson can slide in and run point or score as needed. Malik Grandy and Taylor both are 6-foot-3 or less, but are capable rebounders and scorers as combo forwards. The 6-foot-7 Obi provides the team’s best interior presence off the bench (10.3 rebounds per game in 2013), while Willis, Gordie Frierson and Chris Grandy all excel in different areas from scoring to leadership to defense.

Result: Lost against Centennial in the opening round (98-59)

Glenelg

The Glenelg All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Glenelg All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Nick Oates, Shane Kellaher, Trevor Winn, Ryan Davis, Troy Spurrier

Bench: Ryan Griffin, Dom Napolitano, Johhny Piwowarski

Rundown: With Davis and Spurrier each standing 6-foot-6 and serving as athletic stretch players, the Gladiators have a couple versatile forwards to go with their talented group of guards. Davis was a co-Player of the Year in 2018 and Spurrier made first team All-County twice, both averaging double-doubles as seniors. Oates joined Spurrier as a 1,000-point scorer, while Kellaher just missed the milestone with 948 career points. In his lone season with the program in 2016, Winn averaged 14.6 points per game. There are shooters all over the roster as well, with Oates, Napolitano and Kellaher all hitting 82 or more threes in their career. Also off the bench, Griffin is a capable distributor (4.5 assists per game in 2011) and Piwowarski owns the Glenelg program record for points in a game (40) and threes made in a game (9).

Result: Defeated Marriotts Ridge in the opening round (53-45); Lost to Glenelg Country in the Elite 8 (35-31)

Glenelg Country

The Glenelg Country All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Glenelg Country All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Josh Hightower, Chancellor Barnard, Warren Powers, Isaiah Miles, Anthony Longpre

Bench: Kevin Boyd, Darryl Williams, Chase Paar

Rundown: No area program can match the level of Division I talent that the Dragons’ have boasted this decade, with Hightower (Saint Louis), Barnard (Loyola/Binghampton), Miles (Saint Joseph’s) and Longpre (Saint Joseph’s) all going on to play for top-level colleges. And then there’s the 6-foot-5 Powers who played at DII Chowan University and scored over 1,700 points while at Glenelg Country. Each member of this starting five stands 6-foot-3 or taller, is an adept shooter and can play inside-out. Miles and Longpre, for example, are forwards who each had at least one season in high school where they hit 40 or more threes. For good measure, there’s the 6-foot-9 Paar — a freshman starter at George Washington — coming off the bench to go along with versatile combo players Boyd and Williams.

Result: Opening round bye; Defeated Glenelg in the Elite 8 (35-31); Lost to Centennial in the Final 4 (60-21)

Hammond

The Hammond All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Hammond All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Brandon Willis, Micah Henry, James Turner, Brandon Bjerre, Jarvis Doles

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Bench: Dave Patrick, Avery Terry, Robert Gordon

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Rundown: The Golden Bears have sharpshooters at all five positions on the floor — even the 6-foot-8 Doles (Drexel/Albany) hit double-digit threes as a senior in 2016 to go along with a county-leading 10.8 rebounds a night. Willis and Henry finished their careers as 1,000-point scorers, Bjerre was named Player of the Year after averaging a double-double as a senior and Turner is an elite athlete capable of playing either inside or outside. The bench features three guards, with Patrick a facilitator (6.5 apg in 2011) and Terry and Gordon serving as additional multi-dimensional scorers.

Result: Lost against Wilde Lake in the Opening Round (77-63)

Howard

The Howard All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Howard All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Malcolm Tatum, George Greene, Cooper Haberern, Dequon Walker, Reed Scott

Bench: Bryce Shuart, Darrion Harris, Andrew Blanco

Rundown: While the Lions feature a perimeter-oriented roster, the 6-foot-7 Scott does provide a legitimate post presence. He led the county in points and rebounds as a senior. Greene, Tatum and Haberern can handle the ball and distribute — as can Shuart coming off the bench — or they can also all look for their own shot. All three had at least one high school season averaging 15 or more points per game. Walker is an adept scorer in his own right and would probably be asked to chip in as a rebounder. In addition to Shuart in the backcourt, Harris and Blanco are wing scorers off the bench.

Result: Lost in the opening round against River Hill (117-40)

Long Reach

The Long Reach All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Long Reach All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Chad Brown, DeVaughn Nowlin, Brian Green, Tre Morgan, Ron Carter

Bench: Shane Barr, Kojo Addo, Daquan Hargrove

Rundown: In terms of size, this is the smallest of the all-decade starting units with Carter (6-foot-3) and Morgan (6-foot-2) both playing as undersized forwards. But both guys have proven themselves as workhorses and rebounding machines, with each posting multiple varsity seasons averaging eight or more rebounds a game. Carter is now playing in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. On the perimeter, Nowlin, Green and Brown all have at least one high school season where they averaged 14 or more points per game and hit 17 or more threes. Coming off the bench, Barr is a perimeter weapon, while Addo and Hargrove provide some reinforcements on the interior.

Result: Lost against Reservoir in the opening round (55-27)

Marriotts Ridge

The Marriotts Ridge All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Marriotts Ridge All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Robert Davis, Arjun Patel, John Miller, Brandon Held, DJ Tucker

Bench: BJ Durham, Cam Heard, Greg Speelman

Rundown: The Mustangs start a four-guard lineup around Tucker, a 6-foot-7 bruiser in the middle who averaged a double-double as a senior in 2012. The guards can all score, with Davis a Player of the Year in 2014 and the all-time scoring leader in program history. Both he and Held finished with more than 1,000 points in their careers, while Miller and Patel each had at least one high school season averaging 17 points per game. Patel and Davis are the best shooters of the bunch, each hitting at least 135 career threes in high school. Durham and Heard provide backcourt depth, while the 6-foot-3 Speelman would bring toughness and rebounding off the bench.

Result: Lost against Glenelg in the opening round (53-45)

Mt. Hebron

The Mt. Hebron All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Mt. Hebron All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Deonte Moses, Brandon Prox, Mark Smith, Odell Dickerson, Diara Woodard

Bench: Aaren Smith, Zach Neal, David Herlihy

Rundown: Arguably the best perimeter-shooting group of the All-Decade squads, the Vikings have three guys — Prox, Smith and Dickerson — who have one season hitting 47 or more threes. Prox ranks first all-time among Howard County public school players in career 3-pointers made (197) and Smith ranks third (167). There’s plenty of overall scoring as well, with Moses, Prox, Dickerson and Woodard all having one season averaging at least 17 points per game. The 6-foot-5 Woodard is the lone true post player among the starters, averaging 19 points and 8 rebounds in 2013. Mt. Hebron is also unique in that its depth off the bench comes primarily in the frontcourt with Smith, Neal and Herlihy all standing at least 6-foot-5 and providing versatile forward play.

Result: Lost against Atholton in the opening round (107-47)

Oakland Mills

The Oakland Mills All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Oakland Mills All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Daniel Kiely, Daeshawn Eaton, Lavon Long, Will Robinson Jr. Greg Whittington

Bench: Joe Kiely, Antonio Manns, Dajuan Dent, Mamadou Ndiaye

Rundown: The entire starting five has either been named Howard County Player of the Year or All-Met Player of the Year (Robinson Jr.). The only question with this group is whether there are enough basketballs to go around considering that Kiely, Eaton and Whittington all rank among the top six scorers in program history. Long — a star at Siena College —and Robinson, meanwhile, only played one year at Oakland Mills but both averaged 15 or more points in that one season. There isn’t a true post player in the starting unit, but all five stand 6-foot-2 or taller and can play multiple positions. The 6-foot-8 Whittington, who currently is playing in the NBA for the Denver Nuggets, can play inside but is actually probably the best 3-point shooter of the bunch. Joe Kiely is one of the best point guards in county history coming off the bench. As for the other reserves … Manns is an elite scorer, while Dent and Ndiaye are top-level athletes and rim-protectors.

Result: Opening-round bye; Defeated Wilde Lake in the Elite 8 (49-33); Lost to River Hill in the Final Four (160-72)

Reservoir

The Reservoir All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Reservoir All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Aaron McDonald, Kyle Reilly, Seth Henry, Josh Odunowo, Shane Reybold

Bench: Taz Larry, Judge Payne, Bobby Hill

Rundown: This Gators’ squad may not have the same gaudy stats of some of the county’s other all-decade teams, but they are all team-first guys who have plenty of winning experience. Four of the five starters were leaders on region-championship Reservoir teams. McDonald can score all over the floor, Reilly is a dangerous shooter and Henry is a workhorse as an undersized forward. Then on the inside, Odunowo is one of the county’s most athletic forwards this decade to go alongside a Division I talent in the 6-foot-8 Reybold (UNC-Wilmington). Larry comes off the bench to run point as one of the county’s all-time assist leaders (314, tied 12th all-time), to go with a nice mix of scoring and defense from Payne (guard) and Hill (forward).

Result: Defeated Long Reach in the opening round (55-27); Lost to River Hill in the Elite 8 (103-21)

Wilde Lake

The Wilde Lake All-Decade boys basketball starting five.
The Wilde Lake All-Decade boys basketball starting five.

Starting Five: Trea Keys, Devon Groves, Dante Garner, Eric Handy, Marquis Bullett

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Bench: Marcus Mitchell, DeVaughn Garner, Dennis Williams

Rundown: The Wildecats are one of the smallest starting fives of the all-decade squads, with Keys 5-foot-7 and Bullett the only who stands over 6-foot-4. But Wilde Lake more than makes up for the size disadvantage with athleticism and toughness. Handy played football at Towson, Garner is a state-champion long jumper and Keys and Groves are exceptionally quick. Keys scored over 1,000 points and was named Player of the Year as a sophomore. Mitchell, Garner and Williams all bring quality guard play to the mix off the bench.

Result: Defeated Hammond in the opening round (77-63); Lost to Oakland Mills in the Elite 8 (49-33)

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