Player of the Year: Sam Young
It was arguably the play that defined Friendly’s season. In the state Class 3A title game, Chopticon forward Jonathan Pease picked up a loose ball near mid-court and headed to the basket where Friendly center Sam Young was waiting. Pease, who will play next year at Towson University, went up for a dunk. He never made it. Young sent Pease and the ball back down onto the floor at the Comcast Center, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
‘‘He’s incredible, especially when he’s ready to play,” Friendly coach Gerald Moore said of Young, the Star/Gazette Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year. ‘‘He’s still young and we have a lot of things to work on.”
Young, a 6-foot-5 junior, was the eye of the Patriots’ hurricane that swept to the Fort Washington school’s first state championship since 1998. He averaged 16.5 points, 12.9 rebounds and 4.9 blocks for Friendly, which finished No. 2 behind nationally-ranked Montrose Christian in the state AP poll.
Young’s amazing block in the state title game capped off a brilliant Final Four weekend. In two games, Young tallied 50 points, 23 rebounds and seven blocks as Friendly defeated Blake and Chopticon. He had 27 points on 11-of-13 shooting in the finals.
Though he didn’t start playing basketball until his freshman year, Young’s quickness around the basket and leaping ability has made him one of the hottest commodities in the county for college recruiters next season. He had a season-high 29 points against Douglass and Fairmont Heights.
Coach of the Year: Gerald Moore
Gerald Moore and his Patriots’ squad said all season they would win the state 3A championship, and they lived up to the hype. The Fort Washington school posted a 25-1 mark, including three victories over county rival Gwynn Park and triumphs over Riverdale Baptist, National Christian and longtime Philadelphia power Simon Gratz.
Moore won his 200th career game in January against Douglass as the Patriots stormed through the county 3A/2A/1A league before having to a forfeit a game late in the season. As the No. 2 seed in the East Region, Friendly won at Gwynn Park and held off Anne Arundel County’s Annapolis, a team that had ended the Patriots’ previous three seasons, in the region finals.
In their first state Final Four appearance since the 1998 state championship season, Friendly defeated Blake of Montgomery County and St. Mary’s Chopticon, to finish its title mission. In six seasons, Moore has compiled a 113-35 record at Friendly.
Steve Harley, Crossland, Jr. — After coming from the defunct Tech World school in the District, Harley showed his worth in the tough county 4A league. The 6-foot guard averaged a county-best 28.9 points for the Temple Hills school, including a season-best 38 against Fairmont Heights. He had eight 30-plus point outings, including 35 against eventual state 4A champ Oxon Hill. Harley also averaged 8.3 assists.
Trevan Jackson, Friendly, Sr. — A key component of Friendly’s championship run, Jackson averaged 17.6 points, 6.7 assists and 5.8 rebounds. The 6-foot-1 guard totaled 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists in two games at the state Final Four, including 18 points and six rebounds in the title game victory against Chopticon. Selected to play in the Jordan Capital Classic regional game next month, Jackson had a season-best 30 points against Forestville.
Ian McCollough, Flowers, Sr. — McCullough held down the middle for the Jaguars, who placed fourth in their second varsity season in the county 4A. The 6-foot-4 McCullough averaged a team-high 17.9 points and 12 rebounds as Flowers’ season ended in the 4A South Region semifinals against eventual state champ Oxon Hill. He had a season-high 30 points against Herndon (Va.) as the Jaguars won the Bookjammin Holiday Tournament in northern Virginia.
John Vaughn, Laurel, Jr. — Vaughn was at the top of an impressive list of talented county underclassmen this winter. A 6-foot-3 guard, he averaged 20.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists for the Spartans, who finished 8-12 after losing to Flowers in the 4A South Region quarterfinals. He had five 30-plus point outings including a season-high 44 against Bowie. Vaughn has already garnered scholarship offers from St. Joseph’s and Drexel.
Demario Anderson, Oxon Hill, Sr. — Anderson was perhaps the best athlete on a Clipper team that used its collective athleticism to gain a state championship. Playing with a team that was very balanced in scoring, Anderson only averaged 11.7 points. He also pulled down 6.5 rebounds and dished 2 assists per game. Anderson announced before the start of the season that he will attend Central Connecticut University this fall.
Chris Pugh, Oxon Hill, Sr. — To a Clipper team that brought a frenetic and confusing pace often to games with its defense, Pugh was like a muffler to the team’s engine. Rarely out of control with his play, Pugh brought consistency and a sense of smoothness to the Clipper attack. Pugh averaged 9.1 points to go along with an impressive 7 assists and 4.5 rebounds. More impressive was Pugh’s defensive intensity and control as the guard would often step into opponent’s passing lanes to force turnovers and generate easy points.
Sean Jennings, Suitland, Sr. — Suitland was a solid pick to perhaps win the 4A South Region prior to the start of the season and Jennings carried his own load but, unfortunately, it was not enough for the team to make the state Final Four. Jennings averaged 13.7 points along with 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Jennings was one of only three Rams’ players to average double-figure scoring for the season.
Edwin Davis, Gwynn Park, Sr. — In his final season with the Yellow Jackets, Davis proved to be the emotional and offensive leader for the Brandywine school. He scored 450 points in 22 games before an injury prevented him from playing in the 3A East Region quarterfinal against Friendly. Davis scored at least 20 points in 12 games and had at least 30 points in four of them, including a season-high 35 against Central in January.
Sheray Thomas, Riverdale Baptist, Sr. — The 6-foot-7 center proved to be a tremendous player for the Crusaders throughout their 19-9 season. Although the Crusaders traveled to various tournaments and played arguably the toughest schedule in the county, Thomas averaged 21.5 points, 11 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game for coach Lou Wilson. Before the season, Thomas had signed to play next season for the University of Kentucky.
Franklin Banks, Flowers; Chris Campbell, Roosevelt; Daniel Conway, Largo; Steve Danley, DeMatha; Curtis Donald, Pallotti; Marc Duncan, Flowers; Jeff Green, Northwestern; Chris Henderson, Central; Chris Howard, Friendly; Dashawn Johnson, Bladensburg; Tyran Lawson, McNamara; Wes Otis, Suitland; Orlando Wright, Riverdale Baptist