Five Takeaways: MPSAA State Championships

High School
Maryland/D.C.

Posted On: 03/12/18 11:00 AM

COLLEGE PARK, MD — We closed out the 2017-18 High School Basketball Season on Saturday at the Xfinity Center, where Dunbar, Poly, Lake Clifton, and Perry Hall each claimed respective state championship trophies. Here we recap the day with five takeaways.

DEFENSE PROPELS POETS TO 16TH STATE TITLE

Defense is what got Dunbar to Xfinity, and it’s also what helped them claim the 16th state title in school history. The Poets, who haven’t allowed more than 50 points to an opponent since early February, held a very good Fairmont Heights team to just 48 points. Anchored inside by 2020 Jamal West, who was aided on the perimeter by 2018 Dashawn Phillip and 2019 Malik McCormick, Dunbar forced 24 turnovers and held the Hornets to 39% shooting from the field (23% from 3).

ENGINEERS GO BACK-TO-BACK

Milford Mill can be proud of their performance, and they chance a shot to win it at the end, but Poly found a way to get a stop and repeat as 3A Champs. 2020 Justin Lewis, who double-doubled, continues to demonstrate a much improved and more consistent motor. 2018 Demetrius Mims, who was named state player of the year, knocked down 9 0f 10 free throws while adding valuable experience, toughness, and versatility to his team.

LAKERS EDGE BULLDOGS

Joey Adams was absolutely fantastic for North Caroline, but Lake Clifton clamped down when they needed to. The Lakers held the Bulldogs to just 6 fourth quarter points, and recovered from a halftime deficit to win the 2A title. Seniors Ben Carter, Ronald Lucas, and Stephen Parker were among the standouts.

HARDNETT HELPS GATORS REPEAT

With Perry Hall down after 3 quarters, LaQuill Hardnett made it clear that he was not going down without a fight. The Cincinnati commit absolutely took over in the final frame, scoring 13 straight points, and finishing with 31 & 12 as the Gators won 56-52. This was perhaps the most dominant individual performance we’ve seen all season, and it was certainly magnified by the stage.

QUICK TAKES

  • VCU Assistant Coach JD Byers was in to see 2019 Anthony Walker of Perry Hall. The Rams have already offered the emerging junior. Check out what his teammates had to say about him after their win on Saturday.
  • Baltimore area teams swept the state championships in all four divisions, with two team’s winning for the second straight season. Is this the best region in Maryland for high school ball at the moment?