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Oakland Mills 2017-18 boys basketball preview

Howard's Elijah Cross defends Oakland Mills' Daeshawn Eaton during a high school boys basketball game Jan. 11.
Howard's Elijah Cross defends Oakland Mills' Daeshawn Eaton during a high school boys basketball game Jan. 11. (Howard County Times file)

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — 2016-17 record: 4-7 county, 8-16 overall

Coach: Jon Browne

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Top players: Seniors Robert Burgess (F), Kevon Simpson (F), Harrison Greggs (C); junior Daeshawn Eaton (G)

What you need to know: After five straight 20-win seasons, which included the school’s second-ever state title in 2015, Oakland Mills took a major step backwards last year with its bottom-half finish in the county standings.

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But with three returning starters, the Scorpions seem ready to forget about that campaign and return to the top half of the league.

“Tempo will have to be our strength as it has always been,” coach Jon Browne said. “I think our bench is a little deeper than in previous years. We will try and trap a lot and put on a lot of full court pressure.”

Headlining this year’s group is junior guard and captain Daeshawn Eaton, who finished near the top of the county in assists and steals per game last season despite starting the year on junior varsity. He was also the Scorpions’ second-leading scorer (10.0 points per game).

While Eaton will primarily play shooting guard, Browne said the 6-foot-1 junior will also play some point guard.

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Other returning starters include seniors Robert Burgess (7.7 points per game) and Kevon Simpson. Browne said to keep an eye on 6-foot-5 senior center Harrison Greggs.

The Scorpions also welcome senior point guard Chan Brown, a Long Reach transfer, and junior Jaelen Gaymon, who has impressed his new coach after spending the past two seasons on junior varsity.

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