Boy cagers face challenges as hoop season begins

Seneca Valley came within a game of playing for a Maryland 3A state title last season but the Germantown public school has one of the county’s top returning players in senior guard Brandon Simpson.
A four-year varsity performer, Simpson averaged 13 points per game last season in leading the Screaming Eagles to a 3A state semifinal appearance.
Quince Orchard boasts perhaps the county’s top returning backcourt in seniors Johnny Fierstein and Matt Kelly who combined to average nearly 40 points per game last season.

As a freshman, Wootton guard Kevin Ayissi-Etoh earned fourth team All-Sentinel honors last season and returns for his sophomore campaign at the Rockville public school. He averaged a team-high 15.5 points per game.
Despite the graduation of Sentinel Player of the Year Andrew Kostecka, the Clarksburg Coyotes should contend for a region title with senior guard Ian Krishnan returning to the lineup.
Although Gaithersburg lost talented guard Nendah Tarke who transferred to Bullis, the Trojans figure to make waves with seniors Paris Dyson-Dimes, Sam Stephens and Alex Rojas back in the fold.
Meanwhile, Kennedy senior Jonathan Mustamu returns to the lineup after averaging a team-high 16 points per game last season.
Although Sherwood lost Tyrese Williams to graduation and his kid brother Kamari who transferred to St. Andrew’s, the Warriors should contend for a region title with talented junior Davis Long who won the three-point shootout at the Capital Classic All-Star Game back in April.
Last season, Long averaged nearly 12 points per game in helping lead Sherwood to a 14-9 record during his sophomore campaign at the Sandy Spring public school.
During the summer, Long played with the highly-regarded Team Takeover AAU program against some of the nation’s elite.
“You can’t leave him open because he definitely will hit the shot,” said Darryl Prue, Long’s Team Takeover AAU head coach. “In the tryouts, I don’t think he missed two shots. He impressed me from day one.”
On the private school front, Make sure you keep an eye on Sandy Spring Friends School. The Wildebeests are the reigning Potomac Valley Athletic Conference champions and boast one of the area’s most talented big men in 6-foot-10 Serbia native Milos Apic.
The Division I prospect already holds an offer from American University according to Sandy Spring Friends School head coach Carl Parker, The Sentinel’s 2015-16 Coach of the Year.
As a junior last season, Apic averaged nearly 19 points per game and helped lead the program to its first-ever PVAC championship.
“His mental game is on point right now,” said Parker, who guided Sandy Spring Friends School to a 21-7 overall record last season including a 17-2 mark in the PVAC. “He’s driving his teammates.”
Meanwhile, Bryan Knapp returns to lead Jewish Day in the hunt for a PVAC title. Knapp, who signed to play college basketball in the Ivy League at Cornell, averaged 21 points per game last season while leading the Lions to an 18-1 record.
St. Andrew’s senior forward Anthony Duruji, who signed with Louisiana Tech during the November early signing period, returns to the lineup as does sophomore guard Heru Bligen, a Division I prospect who already hold an offer from Navy, and senior guard Dominic Doyle.
Bullis senior Chyree Walker, a Delaware signee, averaged 15 points per game and helped lead the Bulldogs to a 16-11 record during his junior campaign at the Potomac private school. Vado Morse, a junior point guard, averaged 12 points per game last season and should help the Bulldogs contend for an IAC crown during the 2016-17 campaign.
Georgetown Prep juniors Jared Bynum and Mezie Offurum return to lead the Little Hoyas while Landon boasts one of the IAC’s top returning players in senior Donnell Frayer.

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