April 24, 2018

2017 MSA public school boys’ basketball awards


The 10 best players across Class 4A and 3A, not including 4A and 3A Players of the Year

G Michael Speight, Wise / Sr.

Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

Fueled a high-octane offense with a team-high 18.4 points per game. Centered the Pumas to a 21-0 start before losing in the state semifinals. The stocky 6-foot-2 guard also averaged five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Remains uncommitted with offers including USC and Towson. 

G Christian Jones, Annapolis / Jr.

Photo by Reggie Hildred.

Led Annapolis to its second region title in four years and 27th state tournament appearance in school history. The 6-foot-1 guard put himself on the map with a stat-sheet-stuffing campaign, averaging 18.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.4 assists and four steals a game. Has an offer from High Point.

G Obe Noel, Tuscarora / Sr.

Photo by Reggie Hildred.

Potent scorer at 22.4 points per game torched defenses on a nightly basis with NBA-range and slashing ability. Hit 61 3-pointers in 25 games. Led Tuscarora to its second straight 3A West Section I title. Also averaged 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals a game. Has an offer from Washington Adventist (Division II).

G/F Brandon Simpson, Seneca Valley / Sr.

Brandon Simpson (3) fights Tuscarora’s Kyle Lepkowski for a rebound during the 3A West region title game at Seneca Valley High School. Photo by Reggie Hildred.

High-energy, 6-foot-3 forward was the heartbeat of Seneca Valley’s storied three-year run, which included back-to-back region titles and three straight section titles. Capped senior campaign averaging 18.2 points and 7.2 rebounds, both team-highs. Put up 26 points and 13 rebounds in the semifinals. Will continue basketball career at Emmanuel College in Georgia (Division II).

W Myles Douglas, Aberdeen / Sr.

Paul VI transfer returned home to finish sixth in the state in scoring at 22.8 points per game. The 6-foot-8 wing shot 42 percent from deep and averaged 9.1 rebounds, three assists, three steals and 1.8 blocks per game. Drilled buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer at the Governor’s Challenge. Set to play college ball at Central Florida (Division I).

F La’Quill Hardnett, Perry Hall / Jr.

Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

The versatile 6-foot-9 forward, who averaged 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists, keyed Perry Hall to its first state title and a 26-2 record. Led the Gators in rebounds, assists and blocks (2.0 a game). Averaged 12.5 points, 16.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 blocks at the state tournament. Holds many Division I offers, including Rhode Island, Rice and Towson. 

F Darron Barnes, Wise / Sr.

Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

The 6-foot-6 forward served as a bedrock in the frontcourt at 14 points, 12 rebounds and five assists per game, accenting a Wise squad that dominated the perimeter. Played a large hand in the Pumas’ 21-0 start before they fell in the state semifinals. Will do a prep year at Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia. 

F Daniel Oladapo, Bladensburg / Jr.

Photo by Kyle McFadden/MSA.

Oladapo was a double-double machine, averaging 21 points and 13 rebounds a game to get the Mustangs (19 wins) back to relevance in a competitive Prince George’s County. The 6-foot-6 forward scored in double-figures in 21 of 22 games. Put up 30 points and 22 points on January 31 against Suitland. Receiving Division I interest.

F Johnny Fierstein, Quince Orchard / Sr.

Quince Orchard’s Johnny Fierstein racked up 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists during the Cougars’ upset of No. 1 Wise on Thursday. Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

Fierstein, who consistently picked apart opponents with his high basketball IQ, navigated Quince Orchard (24-3) to its first region title since 1991 and first state title appearance since 2000. The 6-foot-4 forward averaged 14 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks per game. Put up 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the epic 55-52 upset of nationally ranked Wise in the semifinals. Set to play college ball at Salisbury (Division III). 

 F Keve Aluma, Decatur / Sr.

Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

At 18 points on 67 percent shooting and 12 rebounds per game, the Wofford-bound, 6-foot-8 forward led Stephen Decatur to one of the most dominant regular seasons in recent history. Under Aluma’s leadership, the Seahawks (25-2) won all 20 conference games by an average of 25.3 points, cruised to a second straight Bayside title and back-to-back state tournament appearances. 


 The 10 best players across Class 2A and 1A, not including 2A and 1A Players of the Year


G Zach Tucker, Century / Sr.

Photo by Reggie Hildred.

Crafty scorer who averaged 24.1 points led an under-the-radar Century (23-3) team to the 2A title game and Carroll County championship with an unblemished intra-county mark (12-0). Dropped 34 points in the 70-61 semifinal win over Central. Committed to Lebanon Valley (Division III).

G Darius Dangerfield, Harford Tech / Sr.

Photo by Kyle McFadden/MSA.

The 5-foot-8 lead guard and Harford County scoring king at 1,800 career points powered the Cobras to their first state tournament appearance in school history. Dangerfield averaged 23.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.7 steals.

G Justin Faison, Gwynn Park / Sr.

Fiery 5-foot-9 lead guard finished in the state’s top five in points per game at 23.6. Scored at least 14 points in all 22 games this season and recorded three double-doubles. Also averaged 4.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds. Season-high was 38 points. Will play college ball at Elizabeth City in North Carolina (Division II).

G Trent Dixon, Central / Sr.

Dixon played a large hand in Central’s second region title in four years, averaging 17 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals per game. Had a season-high 30 points on January 3 against Fairmont Heights.

G She’Mar Turner, Kent County / Sr.

The 5-foot-7 guard averaged 22 points, four assists and three steals a game in Kent County’s state tournament run. Shot 72 percent from the floor and 66 percent from deep. Eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau as a senior. 

G Tyrone Matthews, Pocomoke / Sr.

Matthews averaged a team-high 21 points a game and charged the Warriors past top-seeded Snow Hill in the 1A playoff race. Also averaged four rebounds and five assists. Won the 1A state title as a junior. 

G Montrell Horsey, Joppatowne / Jr.

Productive 6-foot-1 guard averaged 20.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.5 steals for Joppatowne, who totaled 19 wins this season. Dropped a season-high 30 points.

G Darren Lucas-White, Fairmont Heights / Jr.

Led the upstart Hornets to their first state title since 1981 at 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals per game. Registered 15 points, eight rebounds and four steals in the state title game.  

F Zion Cousins, Douglass-PG / Sr.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged a double-double — 11.9 points, 10 rebounds — in Douglass’ runner-up finish in Prince George’s County play. Will play college ball at Howard (Division I).

F Tysean Hanna, Boonsboro / Sr.

Hanna averaged 17.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks for Boonsboro as a senior. Will play at Washington Academy (North Carolina) in the fall.

About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
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1 Comment on 2017 MSA public school boys’ basketball awards

  1. Excellent article. But Perry’s 2015-16 Season wasn’t underwhelming, Poly went 13-0 in the city league while playing everyone twice and went on to win the schools first city championship. They were upset in the playoffs.

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