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Hammond 2017-18 boys basketball preview

Micah Henry, right, of Hammond shoots against Trea Keys of Wilde Lake during a basketball game at Hammond High School on Feb. 17, 2017.
Micah Henry, right, of Hammond shoots against Trea Keys of Wilde Lake during a basketball game at Hammond High School on Feb. 17, 2017. (Matt Hazlett / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — 2016-17 record: 7-4 county, 11-13 overall

Coach: Michael Salapata

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Top players: Senior Robert Gordon (G) and David Edwards (G); junior **Micah Henry (G),

What you need to know: A young Hammond team seemed to find a rhythm towards the end of last season, knocking off River Hill and Centennial en route to winning six of their final nine games.

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The Golden Bears are hoping to build on that success behind a talented returning backcourt.

“With two starting guards returning as well as a third that was a part time starter a year ago, our backcourt figures to be our strength this year,” coach Michael Salapata said.

The first of those guards is Micah Henry, a second-team All-County selection who averaged 11.6 points as a sophomore last season. In addition to his scoring ability — he exploded for 25 against against Clarksburg last February — the 6-foot-2 slasher also finished fifth in the county with 3.5 assists per game.

Senior Robert Gordon was the Golden Bears’ top scorer last season (12.0 points per game) and averaged 2.2 steals.

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Despite losing Ryan Ridgell, the team’s third-leading scorer and top rebounder, Salapata has been “extremely impressed” with senior guard David Edwards.

“He played very sparingly last year,” Salapata said, “but I have seen tremendous growth and improvement and I think he will be a key contributor for us.”

In January, Hammond will be the first Howard County public school to compete in the Mayor's Academy event at Morgan State University in Baltimore. The Golden Bears will play Woodlawn on Jan. 11 and face New Town the following afternoon. Chapelgate is also participating in the tournament.

**Second-team All-County

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