Damian Biggs has established a standard by which future Centennial High School basketball players will be measured.
The Baltimore Sun's Howard County Player of the Year set a school career scoring record with 1,076 points. He's the only Eagle to score 1,000 points.
This season, he led his team to its first county title -- a co-championship with Hammond.
While playing his third varsity season, Biggs epitomized the concept of team player.
Because a good pass was as satisfying to him as a basket, his 17.3 scoring average only partially reflected his scoring ability. Biggs at times had to be exhorted by coach Jim Hill and his teammates to shoot more often.
"My teammates got on me last season about not shooting enough. They wanted to see me get 20 or 25 points every game," Biggs said. He averaged 16.2 as a junior and 13.2 as a sophomore.
On occasions, the even-tempered Biggs could take over a game with his shooting, as evidenced by his 38-point effort on the road against county co-champ Hammond.
Centennial trailed 30-10 at halftime of that game, but lost by only one point after Biggs scored 36 in the second half -- the greatest individual scoring half in county history.
Biggs, a 6-foot-3 senior forward, turned in another milestone effort his junior year, scoring 35 in Centennial's upset victory over Oakland Mills. That season, he also beat Hammond twice on last-second shots.
"Opponents pay him the highest compliments. He's the best I've ever played against, except for Duane Simpkins, who's with Maryland," said Hammond guard Kelvin Stevens.
Hammond coach Jack Burke once thought about triple-teaming Biggs.
Burke said: "We thought about playing a triangle and two in the second half [of Biggs' 38-point game] with the triangle on Damian. We tried everything else to stop him -- diamond and one, box and one, man for man, zone. When he's into it, he's unbelievable."
Biggs was into it with a 30-point effort against C. Milton Wright and a 29-point game against North Carroll this season.
But most games his play reflected an overall unselfishness that helped his teammates contribute to Centennial's success.
The first team at a glance
Glenelg, Sr., guard
He led the county in scoring with 486 points in 24 games for a 20.3 average. He shot 86 of 123 (70 percent) at the foul line and had 146 rebounds, both tops on his team. Overall, he shot 187-for-209 (46 percent) from the field, including 26 three-point baskets in 86 attempts (30 percent). He had 64 steals and 45 assists. He's the school's seventh leading all-time scorer with 772 career points in two seasons. He scored 33 points against Atholton. "He was a jack-of-all-trades and an emotional leader," said Glenelg coach Terry Coleman.
Glenelg, Sr., guard
He scored 422 points in 24 games for a 17.6 average. He shot 141-for-317 (44 percent) from the field, including 20 of 60 three-point attempts. He led his team with 91 steals and was second in assists with 89. He had 92 rebounds and shot 120-for-177 (68 percent) from the foul line. He scored 29 points against Hammond and 27 in a regional semifinal loss to Allegany. "He's the best dribbler I ever coached, a great open-court player and is terribly competitive," Glenelg coach Terry Coleman said.
Howard, Jr., forward
He led his team in scoring and rebounding. He scored 380 points in 22 games for a 17.3 average and had 208 rebounds (9.4 average).
He had 27 steals, 30 blocked shots and 30 assists and shot 156-for-288 from the field (54 percent). At the foul line, he was 64-for-101 (63 percent). "He came to play every night. We wouldn't have won two games without him," Howard coach Kevin Broadus said.
Wilde Lake, Sr., center
He scored 452 points in 23 games for a 19.7 average -- second in the county league. He had 296 rebounds for a 12.8 average -- first in the league. He shot 201-for-323 (62 percent) from the field -- first in the league. He was 50-for-85 (59 percent) at the foul line and also had 43 assists, 58 blocked shots and 46 steals. He scored 34 points against Hammond and Atholton. He had 18 rebounds against Glenelg and Atholton. "His teammates look up to him. He's a positive settling influence," Wildecats coach Paul Ellis said.
Hammond, Sr., guard
He scored 322 points in 23 games for a 14-point average. He was 110-for-265 (41 percent) from the field and 81-for-122 (66 percent) from the foul line. He made 19 three-point shots, had 61 steals (2.6 per game), 134 rebounds (5.8 per game) and 70 assists (3.0 per game). His high-scoring game was 24 points in a crucial 68-64 victory over Glenelg. He was Hammond's go-to guy late in games and had the ability to go to the basket as well as anyone in the league. He led his team with 86 defensive rebounds.