It was Baltimore’s year to shine in terms of the State High School Basketball Championship. Three out of the four divisional championship tournaments of Maryland high school basketball were captured by teams of the “Charm City” area.
The Dunbar Poets, long known for their rich basketball tradition, earned its 12th state title in school history when they took out Owings Mills, 64-53, in the Class 1A state championship on March 13 at Comcast Center. It was the first championship won under the direction of head coach Cyrus Jones, who took over the legendary program three years ago.
“I'm overwhelmed right now with a lot of joy,” Jones told the local media. “[My players] put in a lot of hard work through the years – listening to me, listening to our coaches – all our sprints, all the running with bricks and not really getting a lot of the attention they deserve. We went through some adversity this year in particular, and we were able to fight through it and come out on top.”
Poets’ reserve guard Lakeem Alston had an outstanding performance, scoring 13 of his 14 total points in the fourth quarter. Dunbar has now finished the season with a 19-5 overall record.
City Knights Win Back-to-Back 2A State Titles
The City College Knights also represented Baltimore at the winner’s podium, beating Gwynn Park of Prince George’s County, 56-45, in the Class 2A state finals on March 13.
City (23-2 overall record) used their size advantage over Gwynn Park, dominating the game in the paint. The Knights started Jordan Latham and Aron Nwankwo, two players that stand at least 6-foot-8 tall, which kept their opponents from scoring easy points at the basket. As a result, Gwynn Park (20-6 overall) finished shooting only 29 percent from the field.
“I wanted to put our size out there,” City head coach Mike Daniel told local reporters. "We wanted to go and work.”?The Knights have now finished the season with on an 11-game winning streak, and also became the first Baltimore City team to claim back-to-back state championships since the Poets won four straight in 2003-06.
Milford Mill Takes 3A State Championship back to Baltimore County
Milford Mill Academy put Baltimore County on the map with an easy 60-46 victory against the Thomas Stone Cougars of Charles County in Saturday’s Class 3A state final. ?Milford Mill senior guard Anthony Goode scored a game-high 13 points, while senior forward Jimmy Hamilton added 10 to help claim the fourth state championship in school history and first since 1994.
“It's exciting. We talked about it all year and we felt like we prepared for it by playing a very tough schedule all year long,” Milford Mill coach Albert Holley told the media. “So I felt like we had seen pretty much as much talent as is out there. So we felt like it had us prepared for this moment and they weren't overwhelmed by it.”