In a season filled with upsets and near-upsets, every team had at least one star.
And all county high schools placed at least one player on The Howard County Sun's 1991 All-County Boys Basketball Team.
Regional champions Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake each produced twofirst-team players.
Hammond's Kyle Jefferson was Player of the Year for leading his team to another strong season.
Oakland Mills' Dave Appleby rebuilt the Scorpions into another county and regional champion to repeat as Coach of the Year.
From the first to the last tip-off, this season produced plenty of the unusual and the remarkable.
The remarkable all started early when Hammond coach Jack Burke showed up for opening practice having lost 116 pounds on a liquid diet. Opposing teams were doing double-takes on Burke's first swing through the league -- that's how much his appearance had changed.
Mostcounty teams stumbled to a slow start.
Highly touted in preseason, Oakland Mills promptly lost its opener to Loyola, 61-59. In other early-season games, Newport Prep beat Wilde Lake, 79-78, and Bel Air nipped Atholton, 59-58.
It looked like it would be an especially long season for most county teams. And by the time the pre-league season ended, only two schools, Centennial and Howard, had winning records.
Mount Hebron enjoyed a lot of excitement as the league season began, however. The Vikings, with former coach Chuck Monninger returning after a three-year retirement from coaching, won their first five league games, including huge upset victories over Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake.
But the Vikings finally faltered during a 70-60 loss to Hammond, and the team lost six of nine to finish fourth.
Oakland Mills, a strong favorite to win its fourth straight league title, stumbled to a 3-2 record after five league games.
And Wilde Lake, the other highly touted team in preseason, stumbled to a 2-2 record before righting its course by knocking off Oakland Mills, 79-72.
When Wilde Lake beat Oakland Mills again later in the season, it left fans wondering when the Scorpions last had dropped two league games in oneseason to the same team.
The Hammond Bears, a second-place finisher the three previous years and expected to contend again, also started slowly with a shocking 49-45 league-opening loss to Atholton. The Raiders were touted as a sure second-division club.
The Bears alsowere stunned by a 78-74 overtime loss to Howard in the fourth game of the league season.
Howard was involved in two of the strangest, most one-sided scores of the season. First the Lions beat Wilde Lake by an eye-opening 85-51 margin during the 'Cats' 11-of-13 games winning streak. Then the Lions lost to Centennial by an equally stunning margin, 91-70.
It was hard to figure out Howard. The Lions beat Hammond and Wilde Lake and lost once by just one point to Oakland Mills but finished the league season at 6-8.
Oakland Mills struggled even when winning. The Scorpions scored a pair of two-point wins over Atholton, a one-point win over Howard and a two-point win over last-place Glenelg.
These were remarkable games for the losing underdog teams, but also frustrating.
The powers that be eventually got theiracts together and staged a thrilling stretch race that ended with Oakland Mills 11-3 and Wilde Lake and Hammond both at 10-4.
Unusual plays abounded all season. Who present will forget the night Oakland Mills' Carruthers Gant tried a jam only to have the ball fly about 6 feet straight up and then fall down through the hoop?
Who could forget the shot Wilde Lake's 5-foot-5 point guard, David Friedman, madein the regional championship game against Hammond? Friedman was free-falling backward through space after getting fouled, when he launched a wild shot that bounced off the backboard and went in.
Here's abrief look at the players who stood above the crowd and earned a spot on The Howard County Sun's All-County squad:
Joe Guyton (Wilde Lake): This senior guard remained cool under pressure and was a major player in Wilde Lake's second-place county finish and regional Class 2A title.
He could protect the ball, pass it inside,shoot from outside and penetrate. He was a heady player who made histeammates better players.
Guyton, who will attend the University of Delaware on a football scholarship, started slowly, missing a lot of basketball practice time due to the late-running football season.
But once he got his basketball act together he was awesome, and the 'Cats suddenly clicked into high gear, winning 10 of their last 12 league games.
Guyton scored 437 points for a 17.5 average. He scored 20 points or more in a game 10 times, and only once wasn't in double figures. The last six games of the league season he averaged 21.5 points.
He led the 'Cats in scoring with 22 and 23 points in both wins over league champion Oakland Mills and scored 22 in a crucial upset of Overlea in the regional playoffs.
Carruthers Gant (Oakland Mills): As one of the best outside shooters the county has seen in a long time, Gant opened up the inside game for Oakland Mills' Marc Terry.
The senior scored 32 points in both regional playoff games against North Hagerstown and Thomas Johnson. He had another 30-point game against Atholton in the regular season.
"He has Division Ioffensive talent," Oakland Mills coach Dave Appleby said.
Gant averaged 20 points and five assists for 24 games.
Jermaine Reynolds (Atholton): This 6-2, 175-pound senior forward had the quickest leaping ability in the league and finished strongly this season.
The Raiders won just nine games, including six in the league, but without the athletic Reynolds they might not have won any.
In each of three straight games against Oakland Mills, Centennial and Glenelg Reynolds scored 31 points. And in the next game against Mount Hebron hescored 28.
He was a streak shooter who scored a lot on rebounds and turnaround jumpers.
Reynolds averaged 21.7 points for 23 games and 12.8 rebounds.
"I think he was the best player in the league,"Atholton coach Jim Albert said.
Phil Chenier (Wilde Lake): This 6-5 senior could single-handedly dominate a game but sometimes tried to do too much.
He could shoot outside or drive and could be unstoppable when he went to the boards.
He scored 29 points in the regional semifinal against Overlea, and came back with a 32-point performance against Hammond in the regional championship game. The 'Catshad lost to Hammond twice in the regular season.
Chenier, the sonof a former Washington Bullets star, averaged 15.4 points.
Marc Terry (Oakland Mills): This 6-5, 210-pound sophomore center was astrong rebounder and the best post player in the league.
His turnaround jumpers, bank shots and power moves to the hoop were difficultto stop.
Terry's best game was against Hammond the next-to-last game of the league season. Hammond needed a victory to take over firstplace, but Terry played an inspired game and scored 31 points, leading his team to victory and its fourth straight county title.
For the season he averaged 12 points and 11 rebounds per game.
Alec Sutton (Howard): The 6-1 senior guard was one of the bestoutside shooters in the league, hitting 47 three-point shots.
He scored in double figures in all 22 of Howard's games and his high game was 29 against Glenelg.
"We always looked for him in the clutch," Howard coach Rich Jenkins said.
He scored 19 in the first half in Howard's upset win over Wilde Lake and finished with 23.
For theyear Sutton averaged 21.1 points and 6.5 rebounds.
Chad Harris (Centennial): Harris is a natural shooting guard but played mainly forward for Centennial.
He averaged 13.2 points and 10.2 rebounds.
"He was the MVP of the Carroll Tournament and he beat Glenelg almost single-handedly for us," Centennial coach Jim Hill said. "We usually played him defensively against the other team's best guard."
Gregg Washington (Oakland Mills): This 6-5 junior forward perhaps didn't get as much recognition as he deserved this season because teammates Gant and Terry played so well. But he quietly averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game.
He won a game against Atholton with a tip-in with four seconds left. His high game was 37 points in Oakland Mills' first of three meetings with Thomas Johnson.
"Washington is a rising star," Oakland Mills coach Appleby said.
Juan Dorsey (Glenelg): This 6-2 senior forward was the brightest spot in a3-18 season for Glenelg.
A tremendous all-around athlete, Dorsey averaged 14.6 points and 10 rebounds per game.
His best game was a25-point effort against Westminster in which he also had eight rebounds and four steals.
Marek Jantac (Mount Hebron): This 6-3, 210-pound center helped lead the Vikings to a respectable fourth-placefinish.
He averaged 13.3 points and 9.2 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the floor.
"He was a strong inside player for us," Vikings coach Chuck Monninger said.
HOWARD COUNTY SUN ALL-COUNTY BOYSBASKETBALL TEAM
Player .. School .. Class .. Position
Joe Guyton Wilde Lake Senior Guard
Carruthers Gant Oakland Mills Senior Guard
Phil Chener Wilde Lake Senior Forward
Jermaine Reynolds Atholton Senior Forward
Marc Terry Oakland Mills Soph. Center
Player .. School .. Class .. Position
Alec Sutton Howard Senior Guard
Chad Harris Centennial Senior Guard
Gregg Washington Oakland Mills Junior Forward
Juan Dorsey Glenelg Senior Forward
Marek Jantac Mount Hebron Senior Center