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MEADE BLAZES THROUGH WINTER BREAK ON WIN STREAK
January 10, 2019 Jack Chavez
The Meade Mustangs boys’ basketball team poses with the Route 175 Classic trophy on Dec. 28. The Mustangs won the tournament by beating La Plata, 90-48, and High Point, 64-62. A year after graduating four of five starters, the Meade Mustangs boys’ basketball team is rolling through January on a six-game winning streak. The Mustangs’ season started somewhat slow at 2-2, but since then they’ve averaged 77 points per game over a winning streak that’s included victories over Oakland Mills on Dec. 19 and Glen Burnie on Friday. “We’re getting better and better every single game,” coach Mike Glick said. “I’m really, really proud of our players.”
Against Glen Burnie, Meade High School’s young team had to enter a loud, hostile gym and maintain their composure against an older, more experienced squad. They answered the call with a 74-59 victory that should put the rest of the county on notice. The most noticeable key to the Mustangs’ success has been the duo of seniors Tre Dunn and Mazhi Thames, whom the opposition has struggled to contain during the winning streak. Thames scored 37 points in the contest against Glen Burnie and has averaged nearly 30 points over the last three games.
“I thought he did a phenomenal job in not getting frustrated and finding his teammates, finding the open man,” Glick said after the game. “So I give Thames a hell of a lot of credit.” Senior point guard Mazhi Thames drives to the basket in Meade’s game at Glen Burnie on Friday. The Mustangs beat the Gophers 74-59. Meade also hosted the annual Route 175 Classic on Dec. 27 and 28. After handling La Plata, 90-48, the Mustangs held on for a thrilling 64-62 victory over High Point to take home first place in the four-team tournament. Again, Thames and Dunn had a lot to do with the outcome.
Dunn provided 15 points and 11 rebounds and Thames scored 25 points, as well as coming up with the game-winning steal as time expired. Thames transferred to Meade this school year from Old Mill. He also played for Meade in his freshman year. Dunn said that familiarity with Thames as both a teammate and opponent has helped solidify their chemistry. “We played [Amateur Athletic Union basketball] together and we just got in synch [over the years],” Dunn said. “When he left for Old Mill, I had to play against him and learn some stuff about him. And then when he came back, I had to learn to control the court with him.
… It was just going to be me [guiding our younger teammates], but now I have somebody else to help me out during the game.” Added Thames: “[We’re] like salt and pepper.” Having two seniors among his ranks has gone a long way in helping Glick’s younger talent develop, players like junior Nick Haylock and sophomore TJ Speight.
Mazhi Thames, Meade boys basketball. Boys athlete of the week.
BoysMazhi Thames, Sr., Meade, basketballThames scored 73 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and handed out 13 assists and led the Mustangs to three wins last week. He capped his week with a 30-point, 12-assist, seven-rebound performance in Friday’s win over North County.
“Mazhi is a great teammate and has provided tremendous leadership to such a young and inexperienced team making his teammates better every day,” coach Mike Glick said.
Meade knew what it was dealing with before the clock started. Longtime basketball coach Mike Glick called Old Mill “the team to beat.”But like two teams before them, the Mustangs were unable to be the ones to bring the Patriots down. Led by senior Avion Robinson’s scoring spree, Old Mill kept its winning streak untouched, deftly dropping Meade 73-54.Robinson totaled 36 points – including 13 in the third quarter, a frame that practically ensured the Patriots (3-0) their victory.
It would be a career night for most players. Robinson, though, isn’t most players. When he’d walked on the floor to warm up with his teammates, a T-shirt clouded his jersey. His number, 24, was hardly visible, and yet, when he passed a pair of Meade students, one said, knowingly, “That’s their best player.”“He scored 40 the first night we played,” Old Mill coach Mike Francis said. “The bigger the game, the bigger he plays.”Judging by the final score, it’d appear Old Mill had blown its rivals out. But if basketball were only played two quarters, it would have gone to overtime.
The Mustangs (2-2) screeched from the start on the wheels of senior Tre Dunn, who hit a crowd-pleasing dunk with an ease that made it clear it wouldn’t be his last dunk of the night.Senior Mazhi Thames, opening his own 30-point performance, followed up his teammate with a 3-pointer to put Meade up 5-0. Moments later, Dunn would slam another dunk.Despite the showmanship, though, Old Mill wasn’t rattled, its senior-clad defense already proving difficult for a younger Mustangs squad to handle.
The Patriots lurched to a 15-9 lead at the first timeout, the result of speedy production after rebounds, accurate shot-making and forcing turnovers.“We’re two-time defending county champs, region champs. That stuff doesn’t bother us,” Francis said. “Not the guys who’s been here before.”And it was only the beginning. The Patriots edged Meade after the first, 15-12.Meade’s apex offense arrived at the top of the second quarter. Dunn, naturally, opened the frame with a dunk, followed by a layup from sophomore TJ Speight, which handed the Mustangs the lead. At the same time, Meade had shored up its defense in the paint, holding the hosts to a scoreless, three-minute drought.Given what would happen next, it wouldn’t matter in the game. But Glick has his eyes on January, February. All 32 minutes on Friday could do was build experience for his colts.
Since he was as old as the teens he now coaches, Mike Glick knew his place in life would be along the sidelines of a high school gym.The Meade Mustangs’ new boys’ basketball coach — who will look for his 482nd career win tonight in the Mustangs’ season opener at Oxon Hill — is continuing his mission to maximize his basketball players’ potential and prepare all his Meade students for life after high school.“I always knew I wanted to coach,” Glick said. “In my high school yearbook, it said: ‘Where do you want to see yourself in 20 years?’ And I said, ‘Coaching basketball.’ So I followed my dream.”
Glick is a total Maryland product. He was born and raised in Montgomery County, graduated from the former Robert E. Perry High School in Rockville, and attended St. Mary’s College, where he played basketball and baseball.A guard by trade, Glick joked that he’s dating himself when he mentions that he himself held a lot of St. Mary’s scoring records for a time because the advent of the 3-point line occurred during his junior year.“I was an outside shooter, so when the 3-point line came in, it was awesome,” he said. “I wish I played my whole career with it.”Making A DifferenceAfter spending five years coaching at the college level, Glick took his first high school coaching position in 1993 with St. Vincent Pallotti in Laurel, where he led the Panthers to the WCAC Division II championship in just his second year.In 1999, he began a seven-year stint at nearby Archbishop Spalding, where he racked up two Baltimore Catholic League titles, three MIAA regular-season championships and one MIAA tournament title.Glick has coached multiple players who have gone on to play at the next level and beyond, including former Maryland Terrapins center Will Bowers and current San Antonio Spurs starting small forward Rudy Gay.
But honing the skills of his players is really only a singular aspect of his job, Glick said.“The No. 1 thing for me is to make a difference in people’s lives and to see the players move on and become productive members of society,” he said.“That’s one thing people can expect. We’re going to have good kids, academically inclined, who’ll be productive members of society. And I try to do that as a classroom teacher, too.”The attention that Glick gives to students leads outgoing coach Pete Corriero to believe the program will continue to thrive under his longtime friend and colleague.“Meade’s getting a professional high school coach,” Corriero said.Under Corriero, Meade didn’t just succeed, they dominated.On top of back-to-back 4A state semifinal appearances in 2014-15 and 2015-16 — winning the state title in the first trip — the Mustangs set the Anne Arundel County record for regular season wins with 26 in 2014-15, topping Annapolis High School’s 25-win record set in the 2000-01 season.Military Twist“Meade’s a hard job,” Corriero said. “People might only see the 32 minutes during the game [and not] the 23 hours and 28 minutes that go into [preparing for a game] or the behind-the-scenes stuff. … Learning to do all that effectively — a lot of that I learned from Mike.“They’re getting the real deal, the guy that really showed me how to do it.”
Winning may not be new to Glick, but the added wrinkle of coaching at a school where roughly one in four students has active military parents — and thus could transfer in or out with a moment’s notice — is a new challenge.Glick was immediately impressed by a student who tried out just five days after transferring to Meade from Baton Rouge, La. Immediately, he said, the kid was one of the best players in the gym.“So that’s something that for Coach Glick is a little bit new,” he said.“Usually you know everyone in the school and this young man just transferred in … and has just done a tremendous job. So the transient nature of the school is something for me that’s a little different, but I’m definitely embracing it.”
Glick doesn’t have a storied relationship with the military but said his father was a Korean War veteran. So far, said Glick, he’s been warmly welcomed by the entire community.“Absolutely love the community,” he said.“I have been very, very humbled by the overall support I’ve had. Everyone’s welcomed me with open arms and it’s just been a blessing. I really like it here.“I have tremendous kids, tremendous players and I’m just very happy.”New DivisionGlick spent 12 years coaching in the Maryland 2A division at Gwynn Park in Brandywine and is familiar with the county from his time at Spalding and the local connections he’s made over the years. But coaching in the 4A division will be new territory.Coming into this season, Glick has only gone up against Broadneck and Southern high schools. Southern is the only 2A school in Anne Arundel County.He’s seen the best the state’s public school system has to offer, though, as several of Baltimore City’s vaunted basketball programs play in the 2A division.“I think because of the Baltimore City component, the 2A championship is the hardest state championship to win because Baltimore City is where the best basketball is played,” Glick said.“Not that basketball in Baltimore is better, but what’s better is the public school basketball because not as many of those players go to private schools [as county players do].”The 4A division is still not a cakewalk, and Glick said he’s been impressed with the development of county basketball over the last two decades.“There’s a lot of good youth organizations … and I think the level of coaching is excellent that I’ve seen,” he said.“I don’t think 4A is without a challenge. It’s definitely a challenge. Our goal is to win a state championship at Meade. It’s been done before. Our goal is to do it again.”Four times Glick’s Gwynn Park teams advanced to the 2A state semifinals, but each time they lost to the eventual state champion.After winning division and conference titles in the WCAC, MIAA, Baltimore Catholic League and on the college circuit, a Maryland state championship is the one piece to the puzzle that has remained elusive.“It’s always our goal every season to win a state championship,” Glick said. “It’s extremely hard to do. A lot of things have to fall into place.“It would be tremendous to be able to do that sometime before my career ends. And I would love nothing more than to do it at Meade.”
Meade High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams are set to begin the season with hopes of building on successful campaigns the year before.There will be changes and challenges for each team to meet.On the boys’ side, Mike Glick comes in to take over for outgoing coach Pete Corriero, who took the Mustangs to back-to-back 4A state championship games in 2014 and 2015, winning the first championship in school history the first trip.“[Corriero] came in and won a state championship after they hadn’t won one in over 40 years [of existence],” said Glick, who retained Corriero’s entire coaching staff.“So I’m not trying to come in here and replace everything that’s being done.”Glick himself comes in with an impressive resume.Entering his 26th year as a basketball coach, Glick has overseen successful high school programs at Archbishop Spalding, St. Vincent Pallotti and most recently Gwynn Park, where he coached the last 12 seasons.“Coming into a new program, every season is different, whether you’re at the same school or a different school,” Glick said. “Coming into Meade, we only have one person who played last year.“I’m trying to keep a lot of things that Coach ‘C’ kept in place. But it’s more of a reload-rebuild. We’re going to play with six sophomores and a freshman, so it’s a very young team.”That returning player is senior forward Tre’ Dunn, whom Glick called “without question” the Mustangs’ best player.“A lot of our success will fall upon Tre,” Glick said. “He’s been a great leader to the younger players — highly intelligent kid. There’s no question he’ll play at the next level. I’ve been very impressed with him.”Counting On YouthGlick praised sophomore point guard TJ Speight, who established his place on the team after Corriero brought him up from JV late last season.“I think he’s going to be one of the premier up-and-coming guards in the county,” he said. “I think he’ll kind of burst onto the scene.”Guard Andre Campbell has also turned heads, Glick said. He will be just the third freshman Glick has tapped for a varsity squad in his entire coaching career.Beyond Speight and Campbell, Glick said he has several young guys who have the potential to step up.“Without question, the make-or-break factor [for our season] is getting better every day,” he said. “If we can get better every day and we’re playing our best basketball at the end of the season, we can definitely make a run.”Glick has made his name as a defensive coach. Cornerstones of his system include pressing, trapping and incorporating multiple defenses, he said.But perhaps the biggest shift in strategy will be Glick’s zone schemes.“I probably play a lot more zone than Meade has played in the past,” Glick said. “I’ve always been a zone coach, definitely play variations of zones. That’ll be a little bit different, whereas [Corriero] was more of a man-to-man guy. There will be a lot of zone pressure.”Besides buying into his system, the Mustangs will have to learn quick under Glick, whose philosophy is to “throw them to the wolves,” he said.To that end, Meade has scrimmaged against Baltimore City College and Zadok Magruder High School and will wrap up its preseason against Frederick Douglass (Prince George’s) before the season tips off with a road game against Oxon Hill on Dec. 6.Each of those programs has at least one state championship game appearance since the turn of the century and boasts seven championships between them during that same time frame.“A lot of this is going to show them what it takes, the hard knocks,” Glick said. “Can they get better? Can they get stronger? I really think they can, and if they do, I think you’ll see a lot of the younger players grow up very, very quickly. By the time we get to January and February, we could be playing some good ball.”