Howard County, MD — 2016-17 record: 3-8 county, 7-16 overall
Coach: Tim Brady
Top players: Senior Luke Ingersoll (G) and Berk Demirel (F); juniors **Brandon Held (G), Ryan Lee (F) and Cole Brown (C); sophomore Cam Brown.
What you need to know: With a new coach and little varsity experience last season, Marriotts Ridge finished tied for last in the county standings. There were bright spots, like second-team All-County guard Brandon Held, though he could only carry the Mustangs so far. They also lost a slew of close games.
But with Held back and several players primed to contribute more, coach Tim Brady sees this season playing out much differently.
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“It's time for the Mustangs Basketball program to have a breakout season and put us on the map,” Brady said. “We were competitive last season and hope that will translate to a winning season this year. We hope to double or triple our win total.”
Senior point guard Luke Ingersoll is a three-year varsity player and the team’s lone current captain. He led the county with 4.9 assists per game last season while averaging 7.2 points, good for third most on the team. Brady views him as a solid floor general with a “superior basketball IQ.”
Held, meanwhile, will likely provide most of the backcourt scoring after averaging 13 points per game a year ago.
“I believe we are so well rounded that really anyone could have a chance to break out,” Brady said. “Everyday someone different surprises the heck out of me at practice.”
Included in that bunch are senior forward Berk Demirel and junior forward Ryan Lee. Demirel made offensive contributions last season while Lee mostly did not, but Brady labels them both as valuable players. They can finish through contact, he said, or step out and hit outside shots. At center, Brady said he’ll rotate between brothers Cole and Cam Brown, the two most improved players on the team. While they’ll battle for the starting spot, Brady also plans to play the upperclassman a lot together to give the Mustangs a “dynamic brother duo.”
“Brown squared,” Brady said. “The camaraderie between them is fun to watch.”
** — Second-team All-County