The first installment of the Top 100. Next week, #26-60.
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100 ‘93 Walbrook (19-4) Coach Gus Herrington > MSA Gamper 3/2A Champion, City League Runner-Up, #4 in the Sun – The Warriors posted the second most wins in a season in their program’s history, their best since going 20-4 in 1986. The Warriors won the MSA Gamper Conference 3A-2A Division, with a pair of wins over 17-win Southwestern, and a split 21-win Southern. The Warriors lost to Lake Clifton, 77-63, in the City League title game. In addition to the 79-69 and 66-63 victories over Southwestern, and 66-58 win over Southern, the Warriors also topped Towson Catholic, 67-61. The Warriors were eliminated in the regional final with Southern, as the Bulldogs ran away with a 80-65 victory. The Warriors finished ranked #4 in the Sun, behind Dunbar, Lake Clifton and Southern, who were 1, 2, and 3, respectively, and ahead of Southwestern, who finished at #6, giving the City League five of the six top ranked teams. Andre Rafus, a 6’7 senior, averaged 13.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, while junior Tony Parker led the Warriors in scoring, averaging 15.1 points per game. Travone Broadway, a 6’4 sophomore, added 12.8 points per game. Notes; This was the eighth time in nine years the Warriors finished ranked among the top 8 teams in the area; The 1993 season is just one of four seasons that places four city teams among the top 100 list, joining ‘09, ‘14, and ‘18.
99 ‘98 Southern (19-4) Coach Meredith Smith > #3 in the Sun – The Bulldogs went 19-2 between their first game and their last game, after losing to McNamara, 49-48, in the opener, and losing to #2 Mervo, 57-49, in the regional seminal. In between, the Bulldogs notched wins over Lincoln from New York City (68-53), then #4 Lake Clifton by 24, city champion Douglass, DCIAA champ Anacostia, and the Mustangs, 66-55, in their regular season meeting. In the regular season win over Mervo, Charles Scott scored 23 points and registered 9 assists, while Emil Curry added 13 points and 14 rebounds. In the win over Lincoln, Melvin Scott, a freshman, and Charles’ little brother, scored 20 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 8 assists, and had 4 steals. Curry recorded a double-double, with 23 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulldogs whalloped Walbrook, 90-50, in the regional quarterfinal, with the younger Scott scoring 20 points and dealing out 7 assists. Senior Charles Scott was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 16.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and an area leading 10.2 assists per game. Joining Scott on the All-Met First Team was the 6’2 Curry, after the senior averaged 18.4 points and 15.8 rebounds per game. The younger Scott averaged 16.9 points, and more than five rebounds and five assists per game, while 6’6 junior Isaiah Johnson averaged 14.7 points and 12 rebounds per game. Notes; The Bulldogs finished among the top 10 in the Sun’s final rankings for the 13th time in 14 years, and among the top 5 for the 10th time in 12 years.
98 ‘99 Lake Clifton (21-5) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > 4A State Champions, #4 in the Sun – The Lakers won the 4A state title, edging Michael Sweetney and Oxon Hill, 50-48, snapping the Clippers 22 game win streak. Junior Teoine Carroll’s buzzer-beating tip-in capped off a Lakers 6-0 run to close the game. Sweetney blocked junior Brandon Haughton’s shot, before Carroll’s follow. Haughton’s blocked shot at the other end gave the Lakers possession with 20 seconds to play in a tie game. Carroll scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, while Haughton also snatched 14 boards. The Lakers topped Sherwood, 61-49, in the state semifinal. Dale Byrd led four Lakers in double figures, with 13 points. Haughton added 12 points, while Carroll and Kenny Purnell both scored 11 points. In the regional final, ‘Lake’ got past Southern, 53-41, ending the Dawgs 15 game unbeaten run, with Carroll scoring 19 points. Carroll, a junior, was named to the All-Met Second Team. In addition to Carroll, the 6’7 Haughton, Purnell and Byrd, Andre Mouzon and 6’4 senior Jarvis Wiggins played roles in the Lakers success. Notes; This was the fifth time in six years (‘94-99) that a Baltimore City school won the 4A title, and the second for the Lakers, won won the state championship in the largest classification in ‘95. In the last 20 seasons since (‘00-19, no champion in ‘20), the ‘06 Walbrook team is the only Baltimore City team to win a 4A state title. Southern won 4A titles in ‘94 and ‘96, ‘Lake’ in ‘95 and ‘99, and Southwestern went unbeaten in ‘97, capturing the 4A state championship; Eleven days before winning the state championship, former Lakers great Shawnta ‘Nut’ Rogers of George Washington was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.
97 ‘18 Lake Clifton (22-5) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > 2A State Champions, #10 in the Sun – Coach Herman Harried and the Lakers notched their fifth state championship, pulling out a 63-55 win over North Caroline in the championship game, with senior Ronald Lucas leading the way, scoring 14 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and blocking three shots. Fellow seniors Steven Parker and Benjamin Carter both scored 15 points. The Lakers held off Oakdale, 68-61, in the state semifinal, with sophomore Michael Gray scoring 22 points, and Parker adding 19. The Lakers 51-43 win over New Town in the regional final was the Titans legendary coach Mike Daniels’ last game. Gray led the way with 18 points. The Lakers were the only public school city team to beat 3A state champion, then #1 Poly (38-34). Gray led the Lakers with 13 points, and 6’3 junior Armon Harried added 12. Lucas was named to the All-Met Second Team. Lucas and the Lakers were bolstered by another handful of players, including Gray, Harried, and a trio of seniors – Parker, Carter, and Chauncey Smith. Notes; 2018 was the third time Baltimore City saw three of its teams win a state championship, with Poly winning 3A, the Lakers taking 2A, and Dunbar grabbing the 1A crown. The Lakers were also a part of the trio of Baltimore City teams to win it all in ‘09 (City College, Digital Harbor) and ‘12 (Patterson, Dunbar). Poly, Patterson, and the Lakers, would team together to do it a fourth time a year later, in ‘19.
96 ‘16 Poly (20-4) Coach Sam Brand > City Champions, #7 in the Sun – The Engineers won their first city league championship in school history, routing Dunbar, 64-43, in the title game. The Engineers went 13-0 versus city league competition, with just two opponents coming within single digits of the city champs. The Engineers won at Lake Clifton for the first time in the program’s history, 78-66. In the regular season finale, the Engineers trailed the Poets by 12 points, before 6’6 junior De’Vondre Perry scored 16 of his 33 points in the final stanza that led to a 54-44 win. The Engineers posted a 58-46 win over eventual 2A state champion New Town (24-2), 58-46, at the Governors Challenge. The Titans finished #1 in the Sun’s final poll. The Engineers were ranked #1 in the Baltimore area before getting shocked by Woodlawn in the regional final, 78-66. Perry, a junior, was named to the All-Met First Team, after averaging 20.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. Sophomore Demetrius Mims averaged 14.3 points per game. Point guard Christian Chong-Qui and 6’8 post Jordan Jones were the senior leaders for the Engineers. Notes; While it took more than 40 years for the Engineers to win the city title, they’d do it again two year later in ‘18, and two years after that, in ‘20; This was the first season in the program’s history that the Engineers finished among the Sun’s top 10 ranked teams in its final poll, finishing 7th. They’d follow that with a #4 ranking in ‘17, #3 in ‘18, and a #2 ranking in both ‘19 and ‘20.
95 ‘20 City College (22-3) Coach Omar Strong > #6 in the Sun – The Knights won 22 games, second to only the undefeated, nationally ranked ‘14 Knights edition in school history. Two of the Knights three losses came to their arch rival, three-time defending state champion, Poly, the second coming in the regional final. Otherwise, these Knights went 22-1, with wins over MIAA Black Division champion Gilman, #7 Edmondson by 19, Mervo, and a pair over 18-5 Woodlawn, including a 75-58 victory over the Warriors in the regional semifinal. The 2020 season marked just the fourth time in fifty years the Knights won at least 20 games in a season. The Knights only other loss was to #5 Lake Clifton, 49-44, after leading by 6 after three quarters. The Knights were led by senior guard Dominick Carrington and 6’1 junior guard Ahmad Harrison, who transferred in from Gerstell Academy. Carrington was named to the All-Met First Team, after averaging 22.8 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals per game. In the regular season loss to Poly, Carrington scored 25 points. Notes; Knights coach Omar Strong was a two-rime All-Met at Douglass in ‘07 and ‘08, and finished his Ducks career scoring more than 1,400 points; Harrison transferred to National Christian Academy for his senior season.
94 ‘01 Lake Clifton (20-5) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > 4A Semifinalists, #2 in the Sun – The Lakers finished ranked #2 in the Sun, falling short of winning their second state title in three years, losing to Eleanor Roosevelt, featuring Eddie Basden and Delonte West, in the 4A state semifinals, 64-50. ‘Lake’ avenged a loss to 21-win Walbrook in the regional final, posting a 77-50 rout of the Warriors, with 6’0 senior Aaron Cook scoring 18 points. The Lakers beat 19-win Southern for a second time in the regional semifinal, 82-79, in overtime, after surviving the city champion Bulldogs, 63-61, in overtime, in their regular season meeting. In the regional final, Cook scored 25 points, and senior point guard Antonio Regis scored 24. In the regular season tilt, Cook followed a Tavon Nelson half court heave with :00.2 remaining for the game-winner. The Lakers scored a pair of wins over DC public school powers, Dunbar and Spingarn. Cook was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 18.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Regis was named to the All-Met Second Team, registering 13 points and 7.5 assists per game. Nelson, a 6’5 sophomore center, averaged 10 points and 18 rebounds per game. Notes; Cook played four years at the University of Harford (CT), and finished his Hawks career scoring 1,600 points, grabbing 395 rebounds, dishing out 212 assists, and registering 174 steals. As a senior, Cook averaged 16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.
93 ‘14 Lake Clifton (21-4) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > City League Runner-Up, Regional Finalist, #7 in the Sun – The Lakers lost the city championship game to undefeated, nationally ranked City College, 48-42. Played before 2,000 spectators at Morgan State, the Lakers led early in the fourth quarter, before the Knights went on a pair 7-0 runs and pulled out the victory. The Lakers edged 20-win Edmondson, 43-42, in their regular season meeting, before losing to the #4 Red Storm, 55-49, in the 4A North regional final. Senior guard Stephon Brown scored 20 points in the loss. All but four of the Lakers victories were won by double-digits. The Lakers topped 21-win #5 Patterson, 70-64, 17-win Dundalk, 70-42, and knocked off JFK of New York City, 80-41, in the Mayors Academy Invitational. All four of the Lakers losses came to state champions – twice to the #1, 3A state champion Knights, 2A state champion Potomac, and the Red Storm, the 1A state champions. Brown was named to the All-Met Second Team. Junior post Joshua Parks was emerging as one of the top posts in the city. Notes; Thirty years earlier, in 1984, Lakers coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried was a First Team All-Met for Dunbar. The Poets finished at #2 in the country, behind DeMatha. The Stags had beat the Poets, 76-73.
92 ‘20 Lake Clifton (20-5) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > City League Runner-Up, 2A State Semifinalist, #5 in the Sun – The Lakers quest for their seventh state championship came to abrupt halt due to Covid 19, after topping 20-win Thomas Stone, 69-68, in the regional final. The Lakers were looking for their third straight state title, and Coach Herman Harried’s sixth. The Lakers lost to the MPSSAA’s top team, Poly, twice, including the city title game (61-44). The Lakers registered victories over 22-win City College (69-64), and 21-win Oxon Hill (73-72), the former to clinch a spot in the city title game, and the latter versus the eventual PG County champions in the Mayors Academy Invitational. Three of the Lakers five losses were to teams from out of the area – Rock Creek Christian, Sanford DE, and Albany NY. The Lakers were led by two-time All-Met guard Michael Gray, who averaged 18.2 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. Gray had won back-to-back state titles with the Lakers in ‘18 and ‘19, and was looking for his third. Zack Blackwell, a senior transfer from Patterson, and who won a state title with the Clippers in 2019, bolstered the Lakers firepower. Notes; The Lakers were making their 12th ‘Final 4’ appearance. Only Dunbar (20) has made more trips to College Park since the Baltimore City tams joined the MPSSAA in 1993; Coach Harried may very well be just one season away from becoming the winningest coach in Baltimore City public school history, as he marches toward Dunbar’s William ‘Sugar’ Cain’s mark of 466 wins. Harried, in 23 seasons, boasts a 449-120 career record.
91 ‘60 Dunbar (18-1) Coach William ‘Sugar’ Cain > MSA A Champions, #1 in the area – The Poets won their third conference title in the league’s fourth year, after winning in its inaugural season in ‘57, and their second league title in ‘59. The Poets edged #2 Loyola, 66-64, to clinch the Division I title, avenging their only loss, then swept Douglass in the MSA A Conference best-of-three championship series. The Poets took the opener, 58-43. In the series clinching Game 2 43-26 win, Charley Leach poured in 25 points. In the division clinching victory over the Dons, Rudy Peterson, the Poets 6’5 junior, scored 24 points, and Leach tallied 20. Leach was named to the All-State team, after averaging 20.8 points per game. Senior Bill Tinkler averaged 10.8 rebounds per game. Notes; The Poets also featured a member of the City League’s all-time All-Nickname team – Cal ‘Schoolyard’ Kenon.
90 ‘03 Lake Clifton (20-5) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > City Champion, 4A State Semifinalist, #4 in the Sun – The Lakers won their first City League title since 1995, when Tavon Nelson scored on a full court pass for the game-winning basket in a 52-49 win over defending state champ Douglass. The Lakers dropped a pair of games at the Mayors Academy Invitational, to #2 Randallstown (59-46) and Martin Luther King of Philadelphia (71-58), but rebounded to win the 4A North regional final, with another buzzer-beating win, when Paris Carter’s half-court heave beat the horn to eliminate Mervo, 46-45. In a rematch of the 1999 state title game four years earlier, when the Lakers won on a buzzer-beater versus Mike Sweetney and Oxon Hill, the Lakers and Clippers met in the state semifinal. The Clippers ran out to a 12-0 lead to start the game, and never looked back. Nelson, the 6’7 senior, was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 11.9 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots per game. Carter, a 6’4 junior, was named to the All-Met Second Team. Notes; The Lakers won both the city title game and regional final in the final second; The Lakers were ranked among the top 5 in the Sun’s final poll for the 19th time in 29 years.
89 ‘14 Edmondson (20-5) Coach Darnell Dantzler > 2A State Champions, #4 in the Sun – The Red Storm won their second state championship in as many years, the first two in school history. The 20 win season was also the second 20 win season in school history, a year after recording 22 victories. The Red Storm avenged one of their four losses to area teams, when they got past 21-win Lake Clifton in the regional final, 55-49, closing on a 15-5 run. The Red Storm defeated DCIAA champ Theodore Roosevelt, 65-61, 4A defending state champ Eleanor Roosevelt, 46-40., and then #5 Poly, 73-61. All four of the Red Storm’s local losses came to teams that finished among the top 10 in the area (the other – Cape Henlopen DE) – #1 City College, #5 Patterson, #7 Lake Clifton, and #10 New Town. The Red Storm stopped Central in the state semifinal, 51-46, as 6’5 junior Robert McClain scored 16 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, and 6’7 junior Kani Coles added 11 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. The Red Storm held off a late rally by Allegany in the state final, watching a 11 point lead shrink to three in the final four minutes, before escaping with a 54-51 title game win. Josh Garrett, a 6’8 senior, paced the Storm with 15 points. Notes; Edmondson became the fifth Baltimore City school to win back-to-back state championships, joining Dunbar (multiple times), Southern (‘93-94), City College (‘09-10), and Digital Harbor (‘09-10).
88 ‘07 Douglass (22-2) Coach Rodney Coffield > Regional Finalist, #8 in the Sun – The Ducks raced out to a 20-0 record, before losing their regular season finale with Lake Clifton, which gave the Lakers the division title, based on the head-to-head tie breaker. The Ducks fell to #3 Randallstown in the regional final, marking the third year in a row they lost to a Baltimore County team in the regional final, after winning the state title in 2004 (and ‘02). The Ducks lost to the Rams in the 2005 (and ‘03) regional final, then lost to Milford Mill in the same round a year later. Like the 2003 Ducks, who started 18-0, the Ducks had to replace all five starters from their ‘06 team, so their 20-0 start was unexpected, if not exceptional. The Ducks registered wins over Dunbar, Walbrook, and Theodore Roosevelt DC. Omar Strong, a 5’9 junior, was selected to the All-Met First Team, after averaging 19.8 and 4.3 assists per game. James Walker averaged 14 points per game, while 6’6 senior William Martin averaged 10 rebounds and three blocked shots per game. Notes; Strong played his final two years of college ball at Texas Southern, and the 5’9 guard was named SWAC Player of the Year in ‘13, his senior season, averaging 17 points per game. In his two years in Houston, String scored 965 points, and drained 222 three-pointers, at an admirable 37.6% clip.
87 ‘03 Douglass (21-3) Coach Rodney Coffield > City League Runner-Up, Regional Finalist, #7 in the Sun – Sespite losing all five starters from their defending state championship team, the ‘03 Ducks raced out to a 18-0 record, extending their win streak to a program record 46 games, before losing to eventual state champion Dunbar, 70-57, in front of 2,000 spectators at Morgan State. The Ducks trailed by just three with less than four minutes to go, before the Poets pulled away. The Ducks posted wins over three-time defending DCIAA champion Spingarn DC and Coolidge DC in the regular season, in addition to wins over city foes – #4 Lake Clifton, Southern and then #4 Mervo. Jermaine Bolden, a 5’7 junior, poured in 37 points in the season opening win over Spingarn, in which the Ducks came back from a 17 point deficit. The Ducks lost a heartbreaker in the City League championship, when Lake Clifton completed a full-court pass for the game-winning layup with seconds to go. The Ducks dismantled Dulaney in the regional semifinals by 31, 85-54. That set up a regional final matchup of the Ducks, who had won 49 of their last 51 games, and Randallstown, who had won 56 of their last 58 games. Randallstown held off the Ducks, 73-70, as Devine Morris’ potential game-tying three-point attempt bounced off the rim with two seconds to go, and the 22-1 Rams ran out the clock. Like the season opener, the Ducks had to fight their way back from a 17 point deficit. Bolden scored 21 points in the loss. Bolden was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 17.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. Notes; Bolden played his junior and senior seasons of college ball at Morgan State, and was the starting point guard for the Bears ‘09 MEAC championship team that won 23 games and advanced to the NCAA tournament, losing to Oklahoma in the first round. Bolden averaged 9 points and 4.9 assists per game in his senior season, leading the Bears in minutes played.
86 ‘14 Patterson (21-5) Coach Henry Martin > 3A State Semifinalist, #5 in the Sun – The Clippers posted a 20 win season for a third time in four years, but fell short of winning their second state title in three years after losing to eventual state champion Potomac, 70-65, in the state semifinal. The Clippers registered quality victories over Eleanor Roosevelt, Perry Hall, McKinley Tech, eventual state champion Edmondson by 23, and a 73-63 win over 22 win Randallstown in the regional final, after a heartbreaking 70-69 loss to the Rams in the regular season. In the regional final win, a game in which they trailed 17-8, four Clippers scored in double-digits, with Kwynten Brooks scoring 17 points, junior Dereck Oliver adding 16, and Rysheed Corbin and Dawan Bass scoring 14 and 12 points, respectively, to lead the comeback run. In the state final, the Clippers were tied with the Wolverines early in the fourth quarter, before the PG County runner-up pulled away. The Clippers shot 1-18 beyond the arc. Bass scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Corbin tallied 16 points. Notes; After going 40 years (‘71-10) without a top 10 ranking in the Sun’s final final rankings, the ‘14 Clippers notched the program’s third top ranking in four years – #2 in ‘11 and ‘12, and #5 in ‘14.
85 ‘11 Dunbar (22-5) Coach Cyrus Jones > 1A State Champion, #4 in the Sun – The Poets won their 13th state championship, their second in two years, dominating their competition in the Final Four, posting a 76-50 rout of Owings Mills in the semifinal, then putting away Williamsport, 64-43, in the 1A state final. In the final, 6’5 senior Devante Wallace scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Aaron Parham scored 15 points and hauled in 10 rebounds. In the semifinal, Wallace led the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while the Poets shot 60% from the field, including 45.5% from beyond the arc. Wallace scored 30 points in the Poets 85-61 win over 20-win Surrattsville in the regional final. The Poets also registered a 54-45 win over Lake Clifton, and a 52-38 win over 19-win Randallstown. The Poets suffered four point losses to both defending 3A state champ City College, and #8 Edmondson, and suffered a 80-67 loss to 25-2 #2 Patterson, the city champs. Wallace was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 17.5 points and 5 rebounds per game. Junior Evan Singletary averaged 12.3 points and 3.5 assists per game, while senior Iakeem Alston averaged 12.1 points per game. Notes; Wallace would go on to play at High Point University NC, where he’d start for the Panthers in his final two seasons. The 6’5 Wallace averaged 12.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in his final year, nailing 88.9% of his free throws.
84 ‘04 Southern (21-4) Coach Mike Wise > City League Runner-Up, Regional Finalist, #9 in the Sun – The Bulldogs ran off 15 straight wins to start the season, but after knocking off defending state champion Dunbar, 57-49, in their regular season meeting, the #3 Poets pulled out a pair of last-second victories over the Dawgs in both the City League championship game, then two weeks later in the regional final. The Bulldogs split a pair of games with eventual state champion #4 Douglass (23-5), winning 75-65 in a holiday tournament, then falling 56-55 in their league matchup. The Bulldogs were led by senior guard Jerrell Green, who was named to the All-Met Second Team, after averaging 19.3 points per game. This was the last season for Southern, which would turn into Digital Harbor. Senior Desean Williams, and juniors Reggie Holmes and Nicholas Woodard, were key contributors for the league’s runner-up. Notes; Holmes would go on to play at Morgan State, becoming the Bears all-time leading scorer, with 2,049 points. In his senior season, Holmes averaged 21.4 points per game and was named the MEAC Player of the Year, as well as to the All-American Honorable Mention team. Holmes led the Bears to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearance in ‘09 and ‘19.
83 ‘09 City College (21-6) Coach Mike Daniel > 3A State Champion, #6 in the Sun – Coach Mike Daniel brought the magic he created at Towson Catholic to the ‘Castle on the Hill’ in his fourth season at the helm for the Knights, in a year when the city league won state championships in three of the four classifications. After leading the Owls to four BCL titles and eight BCL championship games, Daniel led the Knights to their first state championship in school history. The Knights topped Douglass of PG County in the state final, 55-42, using a 14-3 run in the last 4:41 to close out the historic win. Senior forward Adam Johnson led the Knights with 16 points, while freshman Charles Tapper supplied 12 rebounds, 11 in the first half. In the state semifinal, the Knights raced out to a 27-7 lead over Century, and cruised to a 53-38 win. The Knights took out Edmondson in the regional final, 59-47. The Knights posted regular season wins over 18-win Gwynn Park (54-36) and 17-win Dunbar (76-67). Among their six losses, was a three point loss to Milford Mill, a two point loss to eventual state champion Digital Harbor, and three single-digit losses to regional private powers – DeMatha (64-57), 26-5 Riverdale Baptist (70-64) and Veritas VA (57-55). Johnson, the Knights 6’5 forward, was named to the All-Met First Team, after averaging 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Notes; The Knights #6 ranking in the Sun’s ‘09 final rankings was the program’s highest ranking in the final poll in 36 years, since the ‘73 Black Knights finished #2, behind the legendary ‘73 Dunbar Poets team; The freshman Tapper would go on to accept a football scholarship from the University of Oklahoma, where he’d start at defensive end for three years. Tapper was named All-Big 12 First Team in ‘15 for the #5 Sooners, and named to the second team in ‘13, when the Sooners finished 6th. Tapper was drafted by Dallas in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and would play one season with Cowboys, before injuries cut his career short.
82 ‘05 Southwestern (22-4) Coach Terry Leverett > Regional Finalist, #6 in the Sun – The Sabres went 22-2 versus everyone not named Walbrook, but 0-2 against the eventual 4A state champion Warriors. The Sabres beat defending state champ Douglass, 69-65, and handed eventual 3A state champion Randallstown its only loss of the season at the Mayors Academy, 61-49. Jamal Barney, the Sabres 6’3 star guard, scored 31 points in the win over the Rams, including 16 in the decisive third quarter. After going through 16-win Parkville in the regional quarterfinal, the Sabres routed 7-time state champion Thomas Johnson, 75-51, in the regional semifinal. That set up a second showdown with 23-2 Walbrook in the 4A North regional final. In the city title game, the Sabres saw a 24-24 halftime tie turn into a 12 point deficit after scoring just one point in the third quarter. The regional final was almost a mirror image of the league final. A hard fought, tough-bucket first half saw the game turn in the third quarter, as the top ranked Warriors outscored the Sabres 23-7 in the third stanza, taking a 19-18 halftime lead to a 42-25 margin after three quarters, and deem the result all but academic. Barney led the area in scoring, averaging 24.7 points per game, and was named to the All-Met First Team. Barney added 5.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. Jarwand Rhuebottom, a 6’4 junior, was named to the All-Met Second Team. Notes; The Sabres 22 wins are the second most in any season in the program’s history, behind only the ‘97, 27-0 Sabres edition.
81 ‘15 Lake Clifton (25-3) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > City Champion, 1A State Finalist, #8 in the Sun – The Lakers won their first city title since their undefeated state champion season in 2009. The Lakers took the rubber match with Patterson, 58-52, after splitting their two meetings in the regular season, with Joshua Parks scoring 19 points and Derrick Green adding 18. The Lakers dropped DCIAA runner-up Coolidge, 60-54, at the Mayors Academy, beat 3A semifinalist Milford Mill by 25, and edged defending state champion Edmondson, 51-48. The Lakers squeaked by the Red Storm, 39-37, in the regional final, then got past Allegany, 58-51, in the state semifinal. The Lakers lost to #6 New Town in the state championship, 55-51, their first defeat in the state championship game, after winning in each of their title game appearances. Green scored 18 points, and Parks scored 11 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, before fouling out. Green, Rashad Hawkins, Kai Thompson, and Gary Jefferson, all played the entire game for the Lakers. Parks was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 12 points and 12 rebounds per game. Notes; This was the first city title for the Lakers since ‘09, when they finished 28-0; The Lakers, who were making their fifth state title game appearance, lost for the first time in the championship game.
80 ‘13 Edmondson (22-5) Coach Darnell Dantzler > 2A State Champion, City League Runner-Up, #5 in the Sun – The Red Storm advanced to the second City League championship game in its program’s history, before suffering one of its two heartbreaking overtime losses to eventual state champion Dunbar, 74-73. However, the Red Storm went on to win their first state championship in school history. After losing in the regional final in each of the last four years, the Red Storm blew through Randallstown, 73-63, in the regional final. In each of the previous four years, the Baltimore City representative from the 2A North won the state title. The Red Storm would make five in a row, but needed everything they had to survive their pair of Final Four games in College Park. In the state semifinal, the Red Storm pulled out a 60-56 double-overtime thriller over Oakdale, before holding off 25-2 Wicomico, 56-54, in the championship game, when Darius Walker drove the lane and hit a bank shot at the buzzer to win it. The Red Storm won a pair of tough games in the regular season, one versus defending state champion Lake Clifton, and another versus #8 City College, while all five losses came in overtime, or by three points. In addition to the overtime losses to top ranked Dunbar, the Red Storm lost on a last second shot to #3 Milford Mill at the Mayors Academy, and were dealt a pair of three point losses by Wilson DC and Poly. Walker was named to the All-Met First Team, after averaging 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. Myreek Fowlkes, a 6’4 senior transfer from state champion Patterson, and Isiah Tripp, were key contributors, as were seniors Darrius Hubbard and JaQuan Smith. Notes; The Red Storm’s #5 ranking was the program’s highest ranking in the program’s history in 40 years, when the then Indians also finished #5.
79 ‘19 Lake Clifton (24-4) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > 2A State Champion, #6 in the Sun – The Lakers won their sixth state championship in the school’s history, and their second in as many seasons. The Lakers dominated Southern of Garrett County in the state championship, 64-46, after surviving Douglass of PG County in the state semifinal. Ramon Harried, Coach ‘Tree’s’ son, scored 35 points in the final, and junior Michael Gray added 23. In the semifinal, the Lakers held off Douglass, after the Eagles took their first lead since the second quarter with 40 seconds to play. Harried scored 27 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and four steals, while Gray supplied 21 points and 8 rebounds. Two of the Lakers four losses were to fellow state champions #2 Poly and #1 Patterson, 21-win Dulaney (68-65) and 20-win #5 Edmondson (73-67). The Lakers posted a 40 point win over DCIAA runner-up Theodore Roosevelt at the Mayors Academy. The 24 wins were the third most in the Lakers program’s storied history, trailing only the nationally ranked ‘95 team, and the undefeated ‘09 team. The 6’4 Harried was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 24 points, 8 rebounds, and three assists per game. Gray was named to the All-Met Second Team. Notes; The younger Harried started in 31 games at Canisius as a freshman in ‘19-20, averaging 6.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game; The Lakers sixth state titles are the second most in the MPSSAA since the Baltimore City league joined the association in 1993. Dunbar has won 16. Randallstown (5) is the only other school to win at least five state championships during that time; Coach Harried became just the sixth coach to win five state championships, joining Frederick’s Tom Dickman, who won 7, Fairmont Heights’ Ken Freeman and Gwynn Park’s Larry Gandee, who both won 6, and Dunbar’s Eric ‘Smiley’ Lee and Cyrus Jones, who won five each for their alma mater.
78 ‘19 Edmondson (22-4) Coach Darnell Dantzler > City League Runner-Up, Regional Finalist, #5 in the Sun – The Red Storm went 22-0 outside their games with state champions, #1 Patterson and #2 Poly, including five wins over teams that won at least 18 games, and three over two of the other top 5 public school teams in the area – Lake Clifton and New Town. The Red Storm knocked off eventual state champion Lake Clifton to clinch the division title, before falling to Patterson for a second time in the City League title game, 60-52. The Red Storm knocked off 21-win Gerstell Academy at the Hoops Festival and Oxon Hill at the Mayors Academy Invitational, and lost to two-time defending state champion Poly by one, 49-48. The Red Storm got past 20-win New Town, 71-60, before losing to eventual 2A state champion Patterson for a third time, 58-49, in the regional final. Coach Darnell Dantler’s Red Storm were led by a trio of seniors – Marcus Hocker, Daniel Frink, and Tre’Shawn Lewis. Hocker, who scored 19 points in the city title game loss to Patterson, was named to the All-Met Second Team. Notes; The Red Storm matched a program record with 22 wins; The Red Storm finished among the top 8 in the area for the 6th time in 10 years.
77 ‘98 Mervo (20-5) Coach Woody Williams > 4A State Semifinalist, #2 in the Sun – The Mustangs put together their best season in the school’s history, finishing with the #2 ranking in the Baltimore area, advancing to the ‘Final Four’ for the first time, and winning 20 games in a season for the very first time. The Mustangs finished second in the Baltimore City East Division to eventual state champion #1 Dunbar, but held seven quality wins, with a pair of victories over both Lake Clifton and Douglass, a pair over decisive wins at the Mayors Academy Invitational over then #2 Randallstown (64-47) and 4A defending 4A state champ Southwestern (65-41), and a split over #3 Southern, including their 57-49 win over the Bulldogs in a battle of two of the top three teams in the area in the regional semifinal. The Mustangs had trailed by three with less than five minutes remaining. The Bulldogs had edged Lake Clifton in the regional quarterfinal, 71-70, and followed the win over Southern with a 86-73 win over Patterson in the regional final, with Damien Jenifer pouring in 33 points. The Mustangs led Oxon Hill, 67-57 with less than five minutes to go in the state semifinal, before bowing to the Clippers, 73-70. Marcus Hatten, a 6’1 junior who teamed with Jenifer to form one of the best backcourts in the area, was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 22.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 9.4 assists, and 8.2 steals per game. Jenifer, the 5’11 senior, joined Hatten on the All-Met First Team, averaging 22.0 points, 10.1 assists, and 7.9 steals per game. Notes; Hatten followed former Dunbar star Bootsy Thornton’s college route, from Tallahassee Community College to St Johns NY. Hatten averaged 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.3 steals per game as a junior, and 22.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.9 steals per game as a senior. Hatten, a two-time All-Big East selection, was named MVP of the NIT in ‘03. Hatten played 16 years overseas, and was the Israeli League’s leading scorer in ‘07. Jenifer played four seasons at Loyola MD, finishing with 854 career points, 369 career assists, and 169 career steals; Not only was the Mustangs #2 ranking the highest in the Mustangs program’s history, it was the first time it had ever finished among the top 10.
76 ‘06 Walbrook (21-5) Coach Kevin Bridgers > City Champion, Regional Finalist, #3 in the Sun – After more than thirty years of Dunbar and Lake Clifton all but dominating league play and league titles, Walbrook became the first program to win back-to-back City League titles, other than the Poets and Lakers. The Warriors went through league play unbeaten, and their only four regular season losses were to out-of-state foes, including the top team in the country, Oak Hill, and Prep Charter PA, in a 58-55 loss. Along the way, the Warriors registered wins over a trio of top 15 teams in their division – Dunbar, Mervo, and Douglass, by 13, 27, and 28 points, respectively. In the opener, the Warriors held off #4 Southwestern, 72-68, as 6’5 senior Rodney Spruill poured in 43 points, including the Warriors last 10 points, and grabbed 14 rebounds. The Warriors met the Sabres in the City League championship, and crushed the Sabres, 55-34, with Spruill scoring 22 points and hauling in 11 rebounds. In the regional final, the Warriors were stunned by Mervo, 54-48, after blasting the Mustangs by 27 points in the regular season. Still, the Warriors finished ranked #3 in the Sun’s final poll, ahead of 23-win #4 Southwestern, state champion, 21-win #8 Dunbar, 21-win #10 Mervo, and Douglass. Spruill was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 22.1 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks per game. Junior point guard Marc Davis was named to the All-City Second Team. Brandon Spruill, Eric Pitts, and Kevin Johnson, were all key contributors for the Warriors; Spruill scored 22 points in the 100-50 loss to Oak Hill, who featured Ty Lawson, Michael Beasley, Nolan Smith, Jeff Allen, and Anthony Wright, at the Mountain Coal Classic in Raleigh, North Carolina.
75 ‘57 Dunbar (19-0) Coach William ‘Sugar’ Cain > Undefeated MSA A Champion, #1 team in the area – The Poets won the MSA A title in their very first year in the conference, which now combined the local private school powers and the predominately White schools in the city, with the three predominately Black schools in the city. The Poets clinched the division crown with a 56-53 win over MSA A defending champion Southern. The Poets led 46-32 after three quarters, before the Bulldogs tightened the margin in the fourth quarter. In the conference’s best-of-three championship series, the Poets pulled out a 48-45 victory over Loyola at the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins. In the second game, at Morgan State, the Poets came back from three points down with three minutes remaining, to take a 66-62 series clinching win. Joe Pulliam, the Poets star, left to a standing ovation after scoring 19 points, and leading the Poets in their comeback win. Junior Cliff Johnson, also scored 19 points for the Poets. Pulliam was named to the All-Met First Team, after averaging 16.3 points per game. Sammy Ruff, who averaged 11.3 points per game, was named to the All-Met Second Team. Charlie Moore, one of several Poets players to graduate in early February, averaged 16 points per game, while Johnson, the 6’0 junior, averaged 13.8 points per game. Notes; Dunbar, Douglass, and Carver joined the MSA for the ‘56-57 season, after having to play each other, and otherwise travel to DC and Virginia to find games, before desegregation.
74 ‘89 Southern (18-4) Coach Meredith Smith > City League Runner-Up, MSA A Semifinalist, #3 in the Sun – Coach Meredith Smith’s Bulldogs were one of three juggernauts in the city in 1989, sharing the limelight with national powers, Dunbar and Lake Clifton. The Bulldogs split their two regular season matchups with the top ranked Poets, winning 80-75 in double overtime, after getting routed in the first meeting early on, 77-48. The Dawgs topped the Lakers, 69-62, in their league meeting, then knocked them off in the Public Schools semifinal, propelling them to a third meeting with the Poets in the city title game. The Bulldogs also registered an impressive 73-55 victory over 18-win Cardinal Gibbons. In the city championship tilt with the Poets, the then #1 Bulldogs trailed 52-45, before the Dawgs 6’4 star Craig Tyson scored 8 straight points to give the Dawgs a 53-52 lead. Then, with five seconds to play, Poets freshman Donte Bright’s followed Dietrich Williams miss that proved to be the game-winner. The Dawgs couldn’t get the ball to Tyson, who scored 29 points in the loss. The Bulldogs faced Lake Clifton in the MSA A semifinal, after beating the Lakers twice. The Bulldogs led by 7, 62-55, with just over a minute to go in the third quarter, before the Lakers went on a 13-4 run over the next eight minutes, and held on for a 70-68 win. Dunbar finished #2, Southern, #2, and Lake Clifton, #3. The Bulldogs led by Tyson, and supported by 6’9 Adam Johnson, 6’6 sophomore John Salley, and sophomore David Cason, among others, didn’t capture a title in ‘89, but did do what no other team had in the 70s or 80s, beat both Dunbar and Lake Clifton in the regular season, with the pair of victories coming in the same week. Tyson was named to the All-Met First Team, leading the area in scoring, at 26.2 points per game. Notes; Tyson, Johnson, and Cason, would team together at Southern Idaho Junior College, leading the Golden Eagles to a 34-4 record and a 3rd place finish at the National JuCo Championship Final Four. Tyson was named to the JuCo All-American team. Tyson would transfer to Arkansas, his sixth school, but never play for the Razorbacks.
73 ‘00 Southern (20-6) Coach Meredith Smith > City Champion, 4A State Semifinalist, #2 in the Sun – The Bulldogs won the City League championship, routing Dunbar, 77-55, in the Poets home court, with junior Darshaun Luckey scoring 29 points, and junior Melvin Scott scoring 25. The Bulldogs posted a handful of quality wins during the regular season, winning at #7 Douglass by 15, topping the eventual 2A state champion, Gwynn Park, 65-62, and nationally recognized Newport Prep, 56-50, at the Mayors Academy Invitational. Scott poured in 30 points in the win over Gwynn Park. In the regional final, Luckey scored 30 points, and Scott scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, and the Dawgs got past Douglass a second time, 85-75. That set up a showdown with Oxon Hill in the state semifinal, a Clippers program that had lost the last two state title games on last-second shots. The Clippers opened up a two point halftime lead in the third quarter, behind their senior Michael Sweetney, who scored 15 second half points in the 55-44 win. Scott was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 24.9 points, 8 rebounds, and 5.2 assists, as was the 6’3 Luckey, who averaged 18.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Scott was named Baltimore City Player of the Year, and fellow junior Luckey joined him in the All-City First Team. Keyon Johnson, another junior, was named to the All-Met Second Team, averaging 14 points and 11.2 assists per game. Notes; Scott played four years for the North Carolina Tar Heels, playing in 129 games, starting 59, scoring 873 career points. The Tar Heels won the national championship in Scott’s senior season in ‘05.
72 ‘06 Southwestern (23-4) Coach Terry Leverett > City League Runner-Up, 4A State Semifinalist, #4 in the Sun – The Sabres 23 wins in ‘06 rank as the second most in the program’s history, second only to its undefeated ‘97 edition. The Sabres advanced to the City League championship for the first time since ‘97, and advanced to the ‘Final Four’ for the first time since that 27-0 magical season. The Sabres held wins over #8 Dunbar, and Imhotep PA and PG runner-up Gwynn Park (20-4) at the Mayors Academy Invitational. After losing to #3 Walbrook for a second time in the city title game, 55-34, the Sabres got past Springbrook (18-7), 79-69, and Woodlawn (19-6), 56-49, in the regional, to punch a ticket to College Park. Jamal Barney and Jarwand Rhuebottom both scored 30 points in the win over Springbrook. In the state semifinal versus PG County champion Eleanor Roosevelt, the Sabres led 11-9 after the first quarter, before the Raiders dominated the rest of the way, handing their northern foes a 70-44 loss. Still, the Sabres finished ranked #4 in the Sun’s final poll, their second highest designation in the program’s history, second only to 97’s #1 ranked Sabres. Barney, a 6’3 two-time All-Met who finished his Sabres career with 1,821 points, led the area in scoring, tallying 26.8 points per contest, adding 5.2 rebounds and 6 assists per game. Rhuebottom, a 6’4 senior, averaged 17 points per game, and an area-leading 15 rebounds per contest. Wayne Dorsey, a 6’8 senior, averaged 14 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocked shots per game. Notes; After a year at Providence, Barney transferred to Loyola MD, where he’d lead the Greyhounds in scoring in his sophomore year, averaging 18.1 points per game. Barney led the Hounds in scoring in his junior season as well, and finished with 1,059 points in his three seasons at Loyola; The Sabres topped their ‘05 edition for the second most wins in the program’s history.
71 ‘89 Lake Clifton (18-5) Coach Charlie Moore > MSA A Runner-Up, #2 in the Sun – The Lakers advanced to the MSA A championship game after edging City League runner-up Southern in the conference semifinals, 70-68, with 6’8 junior Ronnie Lucas leading the way with 20 points, and 6’3 senior Ben Harlee adding 14. The Bulldogs entered the game as the top ranked team in the Baltimore area. The Lakers faced Dunbar in the MSA A title game, a Poets team they had defeated, 74-67, before a sold out crowd of 4,100 at the Coppin Center, earlier. The Poets won the rematch in the MSA A final, 77-65, before 5,371 at the Baltimore Arena, ending the Lakers season. Lucas scored 20 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, and Harlee matched the team-high 20 points. The Lakers recorded a pair of wins over 22-win Calvert Hall. ‘Lake’ finished ranked #2 in the Baltimore area, ahead of #3 Southern, and behind the #1 Poets. Lucas and Harlee were both named to the All-Met First Team, with the former, a 6’8 junior, averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds per game, and the latter, a 6’3 senior, averaging 22.3 points and 5.3 assists per game. Notes; Harlee went to Northeastern, following the footsteps of Dunbar’s Reggie Lewis and Derrick Lewis, and Lake Clifton’s Kevin McDuffie and Melvin Bartee, who began the Cecil Kirk to Northeastern (coached by Jim Calhoun then) pipeline. Harlee finished his Huskies career with 1,190 points, ranking among the team’s top three scorers in each of his last three seasons. Lucas would play his final two years of college ball at Kansas State, for Dana Altman; The Lakers finished among the top 10 in the Sun’s final rankings for the 13th time in 15 years, and among the top 5 for the 10th time in 15 years.
70 ‘04 Douglass (23-5) Coach Rodney Coffield > 2A State Champion, #4 in the Sun – Two years after winning their first state championship, Coach Rodney Coffield’s Douglass Ducks did it again, winning a 66-65 double overtime thriller over Gwynn Park, a Yellowjackets team that handed the Ducks a loss in December. Troy Smith converted a game-winning ‘and 1’ with 3.8 seconds to play, with the free throw proving to be the winning margin. Smith finished with 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and hit 12 of his 14 free throws. Smith scored 25 points after intermission. The Ducks pounded Franklin, 120-60, in the regional semifinals, then stood off Randallstown, 60-55, in the regional final, after blowing the Rams out, 77-45, in January. In the state semifinal, 6’6 senior Tre Love scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a 72-58 victory over Linganore. Then, the double overtime heroics in the final. The Ducks had several players lead the effort throughout the season, but two-time All-Met guard Jermaine Bolden was the catalyst, and averaged 17.6 points and 4.2 assists per game. Smith, who produced the 30/10 game in the state final, was named to the All-Met Second Team. Love, the 6’6 post, averaged 17 points and 11.5 rebounds at the ‘Final 4’. Junior Anthony Baglin led the way with 21 points in the regional final win over Randallstown. Earlier in the season, Darryl Clarke scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in an overtime win over then #1 Southern, punctuating the performance with the game-winning bucket. Notes; The Ducks finished among the top 10 in the Sun’s final rankings for the fifth year in a row, after going 15 years without making the cut.
69 ‘09 Digital Harbor (23-5) Coach Johnny Grimes > City Runner-Up, 1A State Champion, #5 in the Sun – The upstart Rams won their first state championship in the program’s fourth season, breezing through a pair of games in College Park, finding the road much easier to navigate than their city league slate had been. Digital took over the home of the old Southern High, once home to a proud Bulldogs program, who made five ‘Final 4’ appearances in their 12 seasons in the MPSSAA, winning three state championships. The Rams advanced to the City League championship, before getting routed by undefeated #1 Lake Clifton, 69-30. In their regular season meeting, the Rams gave the Lakers one of their toughest tests of the year, before falling, 67-61. The Rams avenged a loss to Dunbar in the regional final, dispatching the Poets, 79-70, with George Jackson scoring 20 points, Davon Usher scoring 19, and George’s brother Justin scoring 18. The Rams rolled out to a 34-10 halftime lead over Allegany, before cruising on their way to the final, 64-45. George Jackson scored 16 points, and dished out 9 assists. In the state final versus Pocomoke, the Rams shot 52.6% (30-57) from the field, putting away the Warriors, 75-60, with Usher finishing with 21 points and 6 assists. The Rams 23 wins were a program record, and first 20-win season in the program’s history. George Jackson was named to the All-Met First Team, after averaging 19.7 points and 6.9 assists per game. Usher was named to the All-City team, averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds per game. Justin Jackson averaged 14.8 points and 3.2 assists per game. George Jackson led Lincoln University to the ECAC championship in his senior season, and was named the tournament MVP. His brother Justin was also a member of the conference champion Lions. Usher, a 6’6 guard, averaged 18.8 points and 6.1 rebounds at Mississippi Valley State as a junior, and 19.1 points and 6.1 rebounds at Delaware as a senior. Usher scored 20 points for the 25-win Blue Hens in their first round loss to Michigan State in the NCAA tournament.
68 ‘73 City College (16-2) Coach Gene Parker > MSA A Runner-Up, #2 in the Sun – The Black Knights came closer to ruining the Dunbar Poets magical 1973 season than the nationally top 5 ranked DeMatha Stags with Adrian Dantley did, and did so twice. In the first matchup, the Black Knights held a five point lead late in the third quarter, before the Knights All-Met forward Ronald Smith obtained his fourth foul. The Poets took the lead early in the fourth quarter, and when it ended, secured their 27th straight win, with a 89-77 victory. In the second matchup, in the MSA A championship, the Black Knights and Poets went back and forth in the first quarter, with the score tied eight times, before Duke Richardson spurred a Poets run in the second quarter, and the defending MSA A champions held a five point lead at intermission. The Black Knights fought until the end, cutting their deficit to two, 70-68, with 3:29 to play, before Skip Wise hit two buckets, and the Knights couldn’t get closer than four, ending with an 81-76 loss. The Black Knights split two games with #5 Edmondson, both four point games, before the Indians had to forfeit their win for using an ineligible player. The Black Knights finished ranked #2 in the Sun’s final poll. Smith was named to the All-Met First Team, after averaging 12.3 points and 18.3 rebounds per game. Junior guard Gerald Watson was named to the All-Met Second Team, finishing with a 16.5 points per game scoring average, while senior 6’5 post Pat McKinley was named to the All-Met Third Team. Brian Matthews was also a key contributor for the Black Knights. Notes; Smith would go on to the University of Baltimore (along with the Black Knights ‘72 All-Met George Pinchback), helping lead the Bees to a 24-4 record in ‘76. Both McKinley and Matthews would star at Towson, leading the Tigers to a 27-3 record and the DII ‘Elite 8’ in ‘77. McKinley and Matthews finished as the Tigers all-time top two scorers, registering 1,832 and 1,665, respectively. They now rank second and fourth, as former Walbrook star Devon Boyd ranks first, with 2,000 points, and former Dunbar Poets star ‘Scooter’ Alexander ranks third, with 1,778 points. McKinley still ranks as the Tigers all-time rebounds and assists leader, with 1,421 and 438, respectively. Matthews is the Tigers all-time steals leader, with 269, and ranks second behind McKinley in rebounds, with 1,062.
67 ‘86 Walbrook (20-4) Coach Gus Herrington > MSA A Runner-Up, #2 in the Sun – The ‘86 Warriors were the first in their program’s history to win 20 games, and finished with the highest final ranking of any season up until that point, at #2. The Warriors 68-57 upset win over then #1 Dunbar was the first loss the Poets had suffered to a local team in five years, since 1981, when they lost to Calvert Hall in a 94-91 triple overtime classic. The Warriors topped Lake Clifton three times in the ‘85-86 season, including the MSA A semifinals, before the Warriors bowed to the Poets in their rubber match in the final. Kevin McDaniels, a 6’2 senior, was named to the All-Met First Team, averaging 21.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 9.7 assists, and 3.2 steals per game. McDaniels registered three straight triple-doubles in wins over Calvert Hall, Northern, and Forest Park. Senior Andre Boyd was named to the All-Met Third Team, while his younger brother, Devon, a sophomore, was emerging as a star in the making. The Warriors were 15-1 and held the #1 ranking, before falling to the Poets in the second meeting between the two in the regular season. The Warriors finished ranked #2 in the Sun’s final poll. Notes; McDaniels played his final two years of college basketball at South Alabama, where he averaged 11.4 points as a junior, before leading the Jaguars in scoring his senior season, averaging 13.4 points per game, and adding 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest. Boyd played four years at Robert Morris, scoring 1,204 career points. Boyd scored 17 points in the Colonials opening round loss to Kansas in the 1990 NCAA tournament.
66 ‘10 Edmondson (19-3) Coach Darnell Dantzler > City Champion, Regional Finalist, #6 in the Sun – The 2010 Red Storm won their first city championship in the school’s history, edging defending state champion Lake Clifton in overtime, 58-56, overcoming 45 points by the Lakers Josh Selby. Junior Kavon Pyatt scored 14 points, including scoring the game-winner. The Red Storm posted regular season victories over defending state champion Digital Harbor (67-64), Baltimore County runner-up Randallstown (85-68), and Patterson (80-77). Edmondson squeaked by Digital Harbor a second time, in the regional semifinal, 66-62, with Jerry Lovelocke leading the way with 17 points. The Red Storm had to face #1 City College in the regional final, in a rematch of the Knights 71-68 victory in league play. The second meeting went to the wire again, with the Red Storm falling just short of the eventual state champions, after Ranair Pratcher’s potential go-ahead attempt was deflected, and two tip-ins went awry, and the Knights pulled it out, 59-58. Stanton Kidd and Pratcher each scored 14 points, while Ranair’s brother Rodney, added 13. Kidd, a 6’7 senior, was named to the All-Met team, averaging 19 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocked shots per game. Notes; Kidd played his first two years of college ball at South Plains Junior College TX, helping lead the Texans to a 36-0 record and the national championship. Kidd averaged 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for North Carolina Central as a junior, and 11.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 40.2% from beyond the arc, for Colorado State, his senior season.
65 ‘08 Lake Clifton (25-2) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > City Champion, 3A State Semifinalist, #5 in the Sun – The 2008 Lakers rolled through league play, going undefeated, and won its seventh City League championship, knocking off Douglass a second time, 53-42, in the title game. The Lakers headed into the playoffs at 22-1, riding a 19 game win streak. The Lakers suffered its only regular season loss to Friendship Collegiate, who finished 33-7, in a 57-56 heartbreaker. The Lakers avenged that loss with a 50-46 win over the Knights three weeks later. From there, the Lakers rolled, with wins over the 19-win Ducks, Dunbar, 18-win Mervo, Walbrook, 19-win City College, and 31-win Riverdale Baptist. The Lakers romped Milford Mill, 73-56, in the regional semifinal, then topped Mervo a second time in the regional final, 70-58, with Antoine Allen scoring 19 points. The Lakers were making their fifth ‘Final 4’ appearance, but first in five years, taking on Howard County champion, Long Reach, who had won the 3A state title in 2006. The Lakers led by 10, 47-37, heading into the fourth quarter, before the Lightning outscored the city champs, 25-12, in the final stanza. The Lakers had possession in a tie game with less than ten seconds to go, before the Lightning’s Steve Bell stole an inbound pass and found teammate Deon Queen for the game-winner. Still, the Lakers 25 wins stand as the third most in its program’s history, behind the ‘09 edition, that went 28-0, and ‘87, when the ‘Lake’ went 27-1. Allen was named to the All-Met team, averaging 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and two steals per game. Gilmore, the junior floor leader, averaged 14 points, 8 assists, and four steals per game. Senior Daniel Horton averaged 11 points and 12 rebounds per game, while 6’8 junior Cleveland Melvin averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds per game. Notes; The Lakers 25 wins were the second most (‘87 – 27 wins) ever in a season for the program, and it was just the third time (‘87, ‘95) the Lakers went unbeaten versus city competition since 1976; Melvin went on to play four years at DePaul, and in 2020, still ranks 7th on the Blue Demons all-time scoring list, with 1,792 points, and fourth all-time in blocked shots, with 131. Melvin was named the Big East Freshman of the Year in 2011, then averaged 17.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore, 16.6 and 6.8 as a junior, and 16.7 and 6.4 as a senior, when he was named to the All-Big East Second Team.
64 ‘03 Dunbar (26-2) Coach Eric ‘Smiley’ Lee > 1A State Champion, #1 in the Sun – The Poets won their 8th state championship in their 11th year in the MPSSAA, dismantling Pocomoke, 72-55, in the state title game, breaking open a 42-42 tie, with a 30-13 run over the final ten minutes to put away the Warriors. The Warriors had stunned the Poets in the state title game a year earlier, and carried a 38 game win streak until the Poets returned the favor. Senior guard Maurice Barksdale scored 23 points, 10 coming in the decisive fourth quarter. The Poets had little trouble in the playoffs, routing Havre de Grace, 83-45, in the regional final, after staking a 32-13 halftime lead, then pummeled Poolesville in the state semifinal, 84-52, using a 20-3 run in the third quarter to put the Montgomery County foes away. Barksdale led the Poets with 21 points, while senior Herman Hayes tallied 20 points. Earlier in the season, the Poets snapped Douglass’ 46 game win streak, with a 70-57 win before 2,100 at Morgan State. At the Mayors Academy Invitational at Coppin State, the Poets knocked off #2 Randallstown, 77-64, but not before seeing a 17 point lead turn into a two point deficit. Barksdale scored 24 points. Barksdale was named the Baltimore area Player of the Year, after averaging 20.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game. Hayes was named to the All-City team, averaging 17 points per game. Notes; The Poets 26 wins were the most won in a season by the program since winning their third national championship in 1992; Barksdale played his final two years of college at the University of Louisiana, and Herman Hayes played football at Morgan State.
63 ‘12 Lake Clifton (24-3) Coach Herman ‘Tree’ Harried > 2A State Champion, #4 in the Sun – The Lakers advanced to their 7th ‘Final 4’ in their 20th season in the MPSSAA, before going on to win their fourth state championship, topping PG 3/2/1A champ Largo, 70-64, in the title game. The 2012 season was the second time in four years that the Baltimore City League produced three state champions, with Patterson winning 3A, the Lakers taking 2A, and Dunbar claiming the 1A state title. Two of the Lakers three losses came to Patterson (56-52) and Dunbar (60-56), both by 4 points. The Lakers notched regular season wins over 21-3, #6 Milford Mill (55-46), #7 Edmondson (60-50), and #9 City College (75-61). The Lakers handled the Red Storm again in the regional final, 72-53, with seniors Aaron Parks and Lionel Green leading the way, scoring 25 and 20 points, respectively. In the state semifinal, the Lakers played the ‘slow-down’ game with Carroll County champion South Carroll, but the 21-win Cavaliers proved to be stubborn. After three quarters, the Lakers held a paltry 26-22 lead, before breaking it open in the fourth, taking a 46-34 win. In the state final versus Largo, the Lakers clamped down on the Lions early, limiting the Lions just six field goals in the first half, and took a 32-17 lead into intermission. The Lakers opened up a 17 point lead, 58-41, late in the third quarter, before the Lions went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to single-digits. The Lakers, despite missing 13 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter, hung on for a 70-64 victory. The Lakers had made 14 of 17 from the charity stripe in the first three quarters, before going haywire in the fourth. Still, the Lakers shot 56% from the field, while limiting the Lions to 34% shooting. Parks scored 22 points (8-12 FG) and grabbed 14 rebounds, while senior James Boone added 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, and 6’6 senior Rodney Hawkins supplied 12 points and 7 rebounds. Parks, the 6’2 senior, was named to the All-Met First Team, after the leader averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds per game for the well balanced Lakers. Notes; Parks went to play four years at Cal State- Northridge for Reggie Theus, and finished his career scoring 1,100 points for the Matadors.
62 ‘12 Patterson (21-7) Coach Henry Martin > 3A State Champion, #2 in the Sun – A year after seeing a two point lead with two minutes remaining in the 4A state final evaporate, Aquille Carr and Patterson grabbed their first state championship in its program’s history, winning the 3A title with a 86-75 victory over 25-2 Thomas Stone. Carr poured in 28 points, and Devin Hebron exploded for 24 second half points. Forward Shakia Brown provided 18 points and 10 rebounds. Stone led 43-34 at halftime, before Hebron went on a tear, scoring 17 points in the third quarter. Down 64-61 in the fourth quarter, Carr returned with four fouls and ignited a 25-11 run over the last six minutes to grab the state crown. The Clippers routed Tuscarora, 70-46, in the state semifinal, after surviving Milford Mill in the regional final, 75-72, led by Carr’s 31 points. The Clippers lost to fellow state champion Dunbar twice, including a 65-61 loss in the city title game. While the Clippers suffered four losses to nationally recognized teams – Lincoln NY, Gonzaga DC, St Benedict’s NJ, and Math Civic & Sciences PA, they had a handful of high quality wins, including a pair at the Mayors Academy Invitational over St Frances (79-72) and Largo (81-69), and wins over 26-win Pierce CA (86-75) and 30-win, DCIAA champion Coolidge (100-76). Carr, a junior, was named the Sun’s Player of the Year for a second year in a row, averaging 24 points, 5 assists, and three steals per game. Carr, who scored a season-high 47 points in a win over Poly, finished his junior season with 1,990 career points. Notes; Carr, a pop culture icon known as ‘The Crimestopper’, would go on to play at Providence Day for his senior season, but never play a minute of college ball. Nonetheless, very few players (Skip ‘Honeydip’ Wise and ‘Muggsy’ Bogues) ever captured the attention of fans, or brought the electricity to a gym or arena, like the way Carr did.
61 ‘93 Lake Clifton (18-5) Coach Charlie Moore > MSA Gamper Division Champ, Regional Finalist, #3 in the Sun – The Lakers won their first MSA A title since 1989, topping #4 Walbrook, 77-63, with senior Kevin Norris scoring 25 points and dishing out 10 assists, and junior Shawnta ‘Nut’ Rogers netting 22 points and dealing out 10 assists. The Lakers split a pair of games with #1 Dunbar, winning the first, 73-65, then losing the second, 64-47. The Lakers win over the Poets snapped the defending national champions 36 game win streak versus Baltimore area competition. Rogers scored 19 points in the win, while Norris added 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. The Lakers won the tie-breaker with the Poets by percentage points in win percentage versus league members – 16-1 v 11-1, for a bid to face the Warriors. The Lakers clinched the division with a 96-84 win over Edmondson, and again were led by their star guards, with Norris scoring 30 points and tallying 12 assists, and Rogers scoring 25 points and supplying 6 assists. The Lakers also posted a 103-87 victory over Walbrook at the Function in the Junction, registered a 89-69 win over #6 Southwestern, recorded a 90-59 win over St Frances, and notched a 24 point win over Edmondson. The Lakers scored 111 and 136 points in their two meetings with Patterson, 107 and 114 in their two meetings with City College, and 122 in a win over Mervo. The Lakers averaged scoring 91.2 points per game. Aside from the loss to Dunbar, the Lakers lost to three nationally ranked teams, including #1 Simon Gratz PA, #4 St Anthony’s NJ, and Archbishop Molloy NY, in overtime. The Lakers headed into their first MPSSAA tournament having won 12 of their last 13 games, before taking out Mervo in the regional quarterfinals. That win set up a regional semifinal showdown with 4A defending state champ High Point. The Lakers held a 47-39 lead at intermission, and pushed it to 53-43 early in the third, before the Eagles went on a 10-0 run to tie it at 53. The game was tied through three quarters, before the Eagles scored 33 points in the final stanza for a convincing 96-75 win. The Lakers were doomed by foul trouble and poor shooting. All five Lakers starters were carrying four fouls early in the fourth quarter, and the MSA A champs shot 4-19 from the field in the fourth quarter. Still, the Lakers won their first MSA A title since 1989, and beat Dunbar for the first time since that same year, snapping an 8 game losing streak to the Poets. Rogers and Norris were named to the All-Met First Team, with Rogers averaging 18 points and 7.7 assists per game, and Norris averaging 15.8 points and 6.6 assists per game. Joining the star guards on the All-Met First Team was Reggie Frazier, who averaged 15.3 points per game, while 6’7 junior Terrance Payne was selected to the All-Met Second Team. Notes; Norris would go on to start for four years at the University of Miami, and sits second on the Hurricanes all-time assist list, with 493, and ranks atop their all-time steals list, with 208. Norris would team with former Southern star Johnny Helmsley to form the Hurricanes backcourt, and lead the ‘Canes’ to a NCAA tournament bid in ‘98. Norris is currently an Assistant Coach at Central Florida, under Johnny Dawkins. In 2013, Norris was an assistant to Andy Enfield at Florida Gulf Coast, when ‘Dunk City’ became the first 15 seed to advance to the ‘Sweet Sixteen’.
HS Sports Analyst
Willie, a native of Chicago, and now a resident of Columbia for 40 years, is an educator at Homewood Center in Howard County, after spending 12 years as a real estate agent, following 10 years of running a small men’s retail company. Willie has contributed to Max Preps, Digital Sports, and Varsity Sports Network. Willie has produced MPSSAA top 25 rankings for both football and basketball for 15 years, across various platforms. From a large ‘sports family’, Willie’s brother Mike led Reservoir High to the 3A basketball state title game in 2018, while his nephew Anthony serves as the Indianapolis Colts College Scouting Coordinator.