Brendan Davis took the hard road coming out of Broadneck High, accepting a preferred walk-on offer at UMBC in order to fulfill his dream of playing Division I basketball.
Davis was recruited by former UMBC coach Ryan Odom, who left following his freshman season to take the job at Utah State. The Arnold resident spent one more season with the Retrievers under Jim Ferry.
After playing just 43 minutes during brief appearances in 17 career games, Davis decided he wanted more out of the college basketball experience. He transferred down to Division III Salisbury and found immediate success.
Davis moved into the starting lineup midway through this season and became a real glue guy for Salisbury, making positive contributions in numerous areas. The 6-foot-1 wing guard led the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference in 3-point shooting percentage (.448) on the way to averaging 7.4 points per game.
Davis also evolved into a real playmaker for Salisbury and topped the team with 93 assists. He gave great effort on the defensive end and also led the Sea Gulls with 32 steals.
“Being a Division I walk-on is one of the hardest things to do in college sports. Because of Brendan’s two years of doing that, he understands the seriousness of daily preparation,” Salisbury coach Maurice Williams said. “He has never been a guy I’ve had to worry about as far as studying scouting reports and watching film to prepare for the upcoming opponent.”
Davis is part of an athletic family with both parents and both brothers also playing college sports. Father Emmett played basketball at St. Lawrence University and just completed his 20th overall season as an assistant coach with the Navy men’s basketball program. Mother Gail played basketball at LaSalle and has been an assistant at the collegiate level at Navy and Georgetown as well as a head coach at the high school level, most recently for six seasons at Broadneck.
Davis completed the fall semester at Salisbury with a 4.0 grade point average. Williams employs an offensive system that he described as “positionless basketball” and made it clear the coaching staff liked when the ball was in the hands of Davis.
“I would call what Brendan does a decision-maker or a creator. He does a great job setting up his teammates,” Williams said.
“As we go through the flow of our offense, we look to set up Brendan with kick-out 3s,” Williams said. “He did a tremendous job of knocking down a very high percentage of those.”
Williams was a sophomore eligibility-wise this past season in helping Salisbury reach the semifinals of the conference Tournament. He will graduate in May 2024, but intends to use two more years of eligibility.
“If you really think about it, this was Brendan’s first season of college basketball as far as really playing in games. He was kind of like a freshman to start the season,” Williams said.
Sachs spurs success
Anne Arundel County native Andy Sachs led the Chesapeake College men’s basketball team to another successful season. The Skipjacks compiled a 29-4 record and recently captured the Region XX championship at the Division II level of junior college.
Sophomore guards DJ Earl and JayShaun Freeman led the way on the court for Chesapeake, averaging almost 30 points between them. Freshman forward Azim Sana, an Arundel High graduate, was a reserve.
Second-seeded Chesapeake upset No. 1 Howard, 69-61, in the semifinals, then edged No. 3 Cecil, 88-83, in the final to claim the Region XX crown. Lamont Powell was named tournament Most Valuable Player.
The Skipjacks went 23-3 last season, setting a school record by winning 17 straight games. The Chesapeake High graduate now boasts a 71-16 record in three seasons (the 2020-21 campaign was canceled due to COVID).
Former Annapolis High standout Dalonte Joyce, who played for Sachs at Bethany College in West Virginia, is the top assistant at Chesapeake.
- Freshman forward Cam Whitmore averaged 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds for Villanova this season. The Archbishop Spalding product led the Wildcats with 37 steals. It was initially thought that Whitmore would sit out the entire season with an injury, but he returned to action after missing eight games.
- Senior forward Mayowa Taiwo started all 31 games for George Washington women’s basketball and led the team in rebounding with almost 10 per game. The Rockbridge Academy graduate also averaged 7.9 points per game. The Hanover resident hauled down a career-high 19 rebounds against Loyola-Chicago and reached double digits in rebounds in 14 games. She notched six double-doubles, totaling 14 points and 15 rebounds versus St. Bonaventure.
- Severn resident Kamari Sims signed a National Letter of Intent with George Washington in November. The 6-foot-1 forward began her career at Spalding and was a Capital-Gazette first-team All-County selection as a junior after averaging 28 points and 16 rebounds. She transferred to Riverdale Baptist and is ranked the No. 14 prospect in Maryland by MaxPreps.
Towson attackman Joaquin Villagomez made an impressive collegiate debut. The freshman from Severna Park fired in five goals on eight shots during the season opener against Mount St. Mary’s.
Villagomez has started all six games on attack and is tied for the team lead in goals with 13. The imposing 6-foot-5, 215-pounder has a sparkling shooting percentage of .523.
“We were excited for Joaquin to start his career so strong and help the team earn the win up in Emmitsburg,” Towson coach Shawn Nadelen said. “Joquin has tremendous potential and we are looking forward to the impact he will make for Towson lacrosse in the future.”
Freshman midfielder Mikey Weisshaar missed the first two games of the season while still recovering from a knee injury suffered during fall ball. The Archbishop Spalding product has started three of the four games in which he’s played and totaled five points on three goals and two assists.
Millersville resident Reagan McNemar has started all six games on close defense for Towson (1-5). The Boys Latin graduate has now started 22 straight games over the past two seasons.
St. Mary’s College standouts
Sophomore attackman Aidan Doyle is having an outstanding season for the St. Mary’s College men’s lacrosse team. The Broadneck High graduate leads the Seahawks in scoring with 39 points on 25 goals and 14 assists.
Doyle was named United East Conference Player of the Week on Monday after totaling seven goals and two assists in two games. The Annapolis resident notched his 100th career goal along the way.
Freshman attackman Josh Martel is among the leading scorers for the Seahawks. The North County graduate has nine goals and three assists in seven games, having missed two contests due to injury.
Davidsonville resident Ben Robertson is the starting goalie for St. Mary’s. The senior from South River recorded 13 saves versus Marymount then followed with 11 against Shenandoah. He has a .412 save percentage and 11.15 goals-against average.
Meanwhile, sophomore attacker Hailey Betch is enjoying a prolific campaign for the St. Mary’s College women’s lacrosse team. The Severna Park product leads the Seahawks in scoring with 33 points on 25 goals and eight assists and also in draw controls with 32.
Betch opened the season by totaling 10 points on the strength of nine goals against Stockton. She was named first-team All-United East Conference as a freshman after putting up a team-high 49 points and amassing 128 draw controls.
Anne Arundel Retrievers
Numerous Anne Arundel natives are once again playing prominent roles for the UMBC men’s lacrosse program. Three of the Retrievers’ top five scorers are county residents.
Junior attackman Allen Hockenberry is the team’s second-leading scorer with 16 points on seven goals and nine assists. The St. Mary’s High product totaled three goals and two assists against St. Bonaventure.
Graduate student attackman Brett Baucia is right behind Hockenberry with 12 points on the strength of 10 goals. The Crofton resident and Archbishop Spalding graduate scored five goals to spark a 13-8 victory over Mercer
Fifth-year midfielder Taylor Bohanan has contributed nine points for UMBC. The St. Mary’s High alum was voted by teammates as one of four captains.
Sophomore Josh Tang (Spalding) is starting on attack and has scored five goals through six games. Freshman midfielder Nick Gutierrez (Spalding) is starting in the midfield.
Salisbury outfielder Kavi Caster was named Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week in late February after going 4-for-7 with two home runs and five RBIs in a doubleheader sweep of St. John Fisher. The South River graduate extended his homer streak to five games along the way.
Castor is batting .327 with a team-best six homers and 17 RBIs through 14 games. The Crofton resident also leads the Sea Gulls with 20 runs scored and is second with a .709 slugging percentage.
AACC pitcher honored
Anne Arundel Community College pitcher Jacob McDonald was named the NJCAA Region 20 Division II Baseball Player of the Month. The sophomore right-hander went 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA in three starts in February.
McDonald struck out 22 batters in 16 innings, giving up just two runs on nine hits while walking two. In the season opener at Surry on Feb. 4, the Glen Burnie High graduate struck out five and allowed one run on three hits in four innings. In Anne Arundel’s home opener on Feb. 18, the Pasadena resident gave up just one hit in five innings of scoreless work and struck out eight batters.
McDonald was even better In his third start, notching a career-high nine strikeouts during a one-hit complete game win. For the season, McDonald owns a 3-1 record with two complete games and a 1.04 ERA. He has recorded 37 strikeouts in 26 innings and allowed only five walks.
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