High School sports

Players eager to showcase skills in 32nd annual Anne Arundel Senior All-Star Basketball Classic

Some elements of what makes the Anne Arundel County Senior All-Star Basketball Classic special were on display during Sunday’s practice sessions.

Players went at each other hard during scrimmages, but there was a lot of laughing and smiling along the way. There was some good-natured smack talk, but it was obvious the seniors from schools throughout the county enjoyed spending time together.


For more than three decades, this event has been equal parts competition and camaraderie.

“It was fun coming out here and getting to know some of the guys from other schools a little better,” Meade standout Shawn Jones said. “Everybody talks back-and-forth on the court whenever we play games during the season. It’s kind of neat to now be on the same team with guys you went up against over the years.”


Following a three-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 32nd annual Anne Arundel County Senior All-Star Classic will be held Tuesday night at Crofton High. This year’s event, which features 52 of the top seniors in the county, is presented by M.B.G. Refuse, a family-owned and operated solid waste and recycling hauler located in Harmans.

All proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Players participating in the All-Star Classic practiced Sunday at the Boys and Girls Club facility in Annapolis.

St. Mary’s Aidan Harris (24) is eager to show what he can do against the county's best players at Tuesday's Anne Arundel County Senior All-Star Basketball Classic.

Southern coach Will Maynard is coaching the South for the second time and liked what he saw from his squad. St. Mary’s swingman Aidan Harris was swishing perimeter jumpers and creating shots for others. South River wing Trashaun Timmons was playing suffocating defense. Broadneck guard Amare Jefferies was making strong moves to the basket and finishing.

“I love my team. Very athletic, very skilled. I know a lot of these kids from having played against them,” Maynard said. “It’s good to get a chance to coach some of the kids I’ve stayed up late at night trying to figure out how to beat.”

Maynard was impressed by the all-around game of Harris, who led St. Mary’s to the MIAA B Conference championship. He believes the B Conference Player of the Year will surprise public school fans who have never seen him play.

“Aidan is a very talented player. I’m glad he played at a private school and we didn’t have to face him,” Maynard said.

Harris, who will continue his career at St. Francis (Pa.) is looking forward to the challenge. He renewed acquaintances with several South teammates that he got to know on the Amateur Athletic Union circuit.

“We don’t get to go against the public schools very often so it’s a good opportunity to show what I’ve got,” Harris said. “I’m going to go full speed and give my best effort.”


Maynard, who previously coached the South in 2014, said his job is to give every player an opportunity to shine.

“Try to make sure everyone gets even playing time and that everyone gets to play with their teammates for one last time. That’s always a rule of thumb,” he said. “Hopefully, we can get some of these kids a little extra exposure so they can get picked up by a school and play at the next level.”

Timmons is one of three South River players on the roster along with Blake Burrows and Cash Herndon. Maynard has two of his Southern seniors, Tim Day and Joell Simmons, in the game. Arundel, Broadneck and St. Mary’s also have two players apiece.

Meade’s Xavion Roberson and South River’s Cash Herndon will represent their teams one more time Tuesday at the Anne Arundel County Senior All-Star Basketball Classic.

Shortly after the South practice concluded, the North took the court with a flurry of energy and activity. Point guard Xavion Roberson was tossing alley-oop passes to Jones, his Meade teammate. Indian Creek guard Kyndall Crawford showed the skills that made him an All-MIAA B Conference selection. Glen Burnie’s John Mallory flashed the scoring ability that enabled him to average almost 16 points per game.


Northeast coach Roger O’Dea is directing the North for the third time and said the game never fails to entertain. Prior to practice, O’Dea spent a few minutes telling the players to take the game seriously.

“This event is a great chance to showcase the skills of these players. My job as a coach is to put them in the best position to do that,” O’Dea said. “I told them college coaches will be scouting the game so make sure you play solid defense and take good shots. Don’t try to do too much, just do what you’re good at. Make sure you’re doing the little things because that’s what the college coaches are looking at.”

Johnny Farley is a role player for Spalding, which plays in the MIAA A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League. He is considering several Division III schools such as Washington College, Gettysburg and St. Mary’s College of Maryland and will also be playing in the Buffalo Wild Wings Senior All-Star game.

Meanwhile, Joel Lawson will become the first player from Chesapeake Science Point to ever play in the All-Star Classic.

“We definitely have some athleticism, some kids that can play above the rim. We’ll try to get up and down the floor and run some isolation plays to showcase their talent,” O’Dea said.

Meade, which lost to Parkville in the Class 4A state championship game on Saturday night, has three players in the game with Kyree Scott joining Roberson and Jones. Glen Burnie and Northeast also have multiple players on the roster.


Jones, who threw down several thunderous dunks during the North practice, enjoyed spending time with so many former rivals.

“It’s good to get out on the court with other guys from around the county to have some fun and hopefully win a game. It’s a chance for all of us to display our potential against the best players from each school,” said Jones, whose recruitment remains open. “I know there will be college coaches coming and I’m looking forward to displaying my skills in this all-star game.”

Annapolis coach Henry Meiklejohn will make his debut as coach of the South girls squad. He and an assistant directed a crisp practice, installing sideline and baseline out-of-bounds plays along with some basic offensive concepts.

Severna Park, which lost in the state semifinals to Glen Burnie, has three players participating in Hannah Verrault, Lily Spilker and Karli Kirchenheiter. A fourth Falcon, Abby Kavanaugh, was selected but sustained a broken finger during lacrosse practice.

Old Mill will be represented by three seniors that enjoyed tremendous success during their careers, including two-time, first team All-County pick Amani Watts. Amaya Douglas and Nevaeh Brown are the other Patriots on the South roster.

“My main focus is to send the seniors out the right way. I want these players to have fun while being respectful of the game,” Meiklejohn said. “We’ll try to get out and run a bit and use some basic motion plays in the half-court set. We’ve definitely got plenty of talent on this team.”

Crofton's Cora Shafer will get to play one more game on her home floor when Crofton hosts Tuesday's Anne Arundel County Senior All-Star Basketball Classic.

Cora Shafer will represent host Crofton, getting an opportunity to play one last basketball game on her home court. Shafer was among several South players that stayed long after practice was completed to socialize.

“We had a good vibe among everyone out here in practice and we just need to carry that into the game,” she said. “This is kind of like a last goodbye for everyone, one last chance to play in front of the fans.”

Glen Burnie girls basketball will get to take a bow. The Gophers, coming off capturing the Class 4A state championship for the first time in program history, will be well represented. Coach Sam Porter is leading the North girls and has four of his best players participating.

Leading the way is Amourie Porter, the 2021-22 Capital Gazette Player of the Year. Cassidy Wilkerson, Lania Nick and Aichatta Soumaoro also played instrumental roles in leading Glen Burnie to a 23-2 record that culminated with a 43-40 victory over Winston Churchill at the Xfinity Center in College Park.

Sam Porter made sure the players understood it was an honor to be chosen as a countywide all-star.

“These players were selected for this game for a reason. They belong on this big stage. This is a chance to show the whole county what they can do,” Porter said. “We want the girls to just play loose, play their games and have a good time.”


Porter was impressed by how quickly players from severn different schools came together over the course of one practice.

“It’s great to see all these players from different schools around the county interacting and getting along,” he said. “These girls know what each other can do and hopefully they can play to each other’s strengths.”

Amourie Porter, who has earned a scholarship to Cal State Bakersfield, said the key to success on Tuesday night is working together as a team.

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“We know these girls well from having played against them for so long. We’re pretty familiar with what everyone can do,” she said. “We’re going to go out and try to mesh well together like we did today in practice.”

Most all-star games wind up being offensive displays with little or no effort expended on defense. Sam Porter said that will not happen on his watch.

“We’re going to play defense. I told the girls that in order to get shots up we need to have the ball. That starts with playing tough defense on the other end,” he said.


Anne Arundel Senior All-Star Basketball Classic

When: Tuesday, March 14 (girls game at 5:30, boys game at 7:30)

Where: Crofton High

Admission: $5