Posted On: 03/12/17 4:41 PM
The Maryland State Finals had a ton of underclassmen that played much older than their age. Baltimore is known for its high school basketball talent, and last night all four games were represented either by Baltimore County or Baltimore City.
Here are the top underclassmen from the State Championship games:
Teon Gardner | Edmonson | 2019
When you spot Gardner in warm ups, you notice right away his length and size at 6-4. Then you watch him play and notice he has solid handles, a quick first step, and a knack for getting to where he wants on the floor. Although his team lost in the 1A State Finals, Gardner was the most dynamic player on the floor. He finished with a game-high 18 points that including converting on four of his seven three-point attempts. He also plays quarterback for the football team, so Gardner has experience leading a team despite his young age. He will be a prospect to watch going forward.
Yearlando Reed | Fairmont Heights | 2018
Reed had a great showing in the 1A State Finals against Edmonson finishing with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor. At 6-5, Reed was easily Hornets’ biggest player, but he made his presence felt from the perimeter by burying three three-pointers. He also had a few athletic finishes near the rim. Reed is a big body who can become a force during his senior campaign next season if he continues to develop his all-around game. Defensively he was a presence as well, blocking three shots.
Demetrius Mims | Poly | 2018
Mims is regarded as a four-star recruit to many scouting websites, and that was on full display as the 3A State Finals tipped off. He got started quickly hitting two pretty mid-range jumpers over his defender. At 6-5 and athletic, Mims can rise over the majority of his match ups whether it be a jumpshot or a finish at the rim in transition. He helped the Engineers capture their first state title in school history by scoring 14 points. Mims will be a main attraction as AAU season looms closer
Marvin Price | Patterson | 2019
You’ll have to get used to hearing Price’s name often as these next two years go by. The 6-5, who currently holds offers from Virginia Tech and Kansas State, can impact a game in a plethora of ways. After scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the 2A State Semifinals, he finished with 12 points in the Finals to help the Clippers claim the 2A crown. 12 points may not jump out of the page, but Century’s entire game plan was to deny him for 32 minutes. Still, Price was able to get the ball and attack the basket to draw fouls and visit the free-throw line 11 times. He can adjust to however the opposition is playing him, and that’s the impressive characteristic about him considering he is only a sophomore.
(Gerard Mungo (left) Marvin Price (right) Photo Credit: Haven Photography)
Gerard Mungo | Patterson | 2019
Mungo is the other half of the dynamic duo for the Clippers. It isn’t often that you see two sophomores lead their team to a 26-3 record and a state title. Not to mention doing so in a tough Baltimore City league. Mungo is a 6-0 point guard who has a knack for scoring in the mid-range and around the basket. Patterson is known for slowing games down tremendously. Mungo has great patience and ability to execute long offensive sets, but if there in an opportunity in transition, he’ll make the defense pay in that regard as well.
Tyler Holley | Perry Hall | 2018
Holley is the type of player every championship team needs. An athletic guy on the wing who can lockdown the opposing team’s main option while also making an impact offensively. He isn’t a guy who is going to break off a play to go get his points, he’ll simply use his athleticism to crash the offensive glass for put backs. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the capability to score off the dribble as well, though. Transition is where Holley is most dangerous. His athleticism and long, 6-4 frame allows him to play above the rim. He doesn’t care if the defender challenging the dunk is 6-8, he’s still going to try and cram one down. In the 4A State Final Holley scored 14 points to help the Gators hoist their first state championship in school history.
Laquill Hardnett | Perry Hall | 2018
Hardnett is garnering plenty of high Division 1 looks. Once you see him play as a 6-8 point forward for Perry Hall, it’s not difficult to see why. He does a nice job of setting the pace for the Gators on when to push and when to hold back and call a set in the half court. There are instances where Hardnett is the ball-handler in pick-and-roll situations. He has shown that he can be extremely effective in those sets as well. Because of his size, he can drive and finish at the basket with ease, but he also uses his size as an advantage to dominate the glass. In the semifinals and finals, he averaged 16.5 boards per game. In the 4A State Final, he had six offensive boards that resulted in points for the Gators.
(Photo Credit: Adam Ayalew)
Anthony Higgs | Perry Hall | 2018
Higgs improved drastically from his sophomore season by extending his shooting range. The 6-8 forward is known for giving the photographers ample opportunities throughout a game to capture one of his poster dunks, but improving on his handles and his range has made him even more of a nightmare for opposing teams. The duo of Hardnett and Higgs give every team problems and that was shown in the State Final game when Hardnett hit Higgs with a pass off of a pick-and-roll that resulted in a one-handed flush. If Higgs can continue to develop his game like he did last summer, the list of high Division 1 teams who are interested in him will turn into offers.
— Capitol Hoops (@CapitolHoops) March 12, 2017