In the moments just before I fell asleep on Saturday night after getting back to my hotel room after the thrilling Big East final between West Virginia and Georgetown, my son let me know that Springbrook had won the 4A State Championship final over Old Mill earlier in the evening. Given the hour and timing, the best I could come up with was “wow.” A day and a half later I can come up with something better; how about, “WOW.”
Consider first the odds on winning a third straight Maryland State championship at the 4A level: put it this way: the last three-peat occurred in 1971! Consider too, that in addition to the difficulty of a three-peat to start the year, Springbrook had a monster target on their back, courtesy of two back-to-back undefeated seasons. Beating Springbrook would’ve been the highlight of any team’s season, even if they did not win another game. Now for the big one: Coach Tom Crowell did not return one single starter from either last year’s or the previous year’s teams. The only player who garnered significant playing time last year was senior Deshaunt Walker. Crowell had to find a way to blend Walker with transfer Demetric Austin and Miles Jackson, while keeping senior Sanmi Ogunjobi and first year starter (and All-Met running back) Devon Pestano, in what was going to be a strong mix of talent. Crowell, my All-Bastow Coach of the Year, blended all his players perfectly, and in the end it was enough to bring home the third State Championship banner.
Looking through the box score of the game, was I surprised that Austin led the way? Absolutely not, which is why he was my All-Bastow First Team forward. Springbrook was deep, talented, well coached, and driven all year long. They are a deserving champion and deserve all the kudos coming their way. In fact, tomorrow night on the http://gameday all access coach’s show , I will give our guest, Tom Crowell, a personal acknowledgement. Tune in, as it should be a very good segment.
On Sunday afternoon I found out Seneca Valley, behind the remarkable play of both Kelsey Wolfe and Audrey Cunningham, came from all the way down (19 points in the third quarter) to win the 3A State Championship and finish the season at 27-0. Double WOW!! As I said late last month, although Wolfe is the indispensible player on the team, she has an excellent supporting cast, led primarily by Cunningham and center Kiana Murphy. What a performance by that team, which showed great resilience all season long.
I also found out that Arundel defeated Gaithersburg’s Lady Trojans in what appeared to be a tremendous game. Although clearly not the outcome anticipated by Coach McDaniel and his team, do not worry about them: they will be back next year and perhaps for another two years to come, as they have exceptional, and young, talent.
So with the season truly complete, here is the last Bastow Best Ten, which includes some names to watch for next year, or, if you can’t wait that long, this summer in the various leagues playing in and around the county.
- Springbrook: Congratulations to the 4A State Champions. Next Year: Enerio Jones, Devon Pestano, Demetric Austin
- Blake: A tremendous season just two games short of a championship. Next Year: Ryan Frazier, Brandon Headley, Matthew McGugan
- Richard Montgomery: Nobody else beat Springbrook, but RM gave them as good a game as anyone. Next Year: A difficult challenge to find replacements for so many starters.
- Quince Orchard: A magnificent season with a crushing ending. Next Year: Ben Kelly, Andre Gaines, Joey Portnoy
- Whitman: A great run by Chris Lund and his squad. Next Year: Michael Flack, Daniel Voight
- Paint Branch: Coach Hardy did a magnificent job this year. Next Year: Devin Gallman, Jeff Keane, Earvin Anumgba
- Wootton: The future of the program looks like it is in good hands. Next Year: Ryan Trafton, James Wallerstedt
- Poolesville: Loss of four-year starters Baker and McFall will be hard to replace.
- Magruder: Coach Dan Harwood started many underclassmen, and next year they will get another chance. Next Year: Joe Emerusabe, Jake Epps, Nick Griffin
- Kennedy: With Angelo Adon graduation, others will need to step up next season.
Of course, there are any numbers of other players to follow into next season, and I will start to chronicle them as the summer league season begins in June.
Tomorrow: Bastow Best-Five Girls