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PUBLISHED: March 5, 2024 at 9:49 p.m. | UPDATED: March 8, 2024 at 12:19 p.m.

Meade boys basketball’s third region title in a row had to begin with junior varsity.

Most of the boys grinning with three fingers in the air, passing a plaque won by fending off Old Mill, 56-49, hardly touched the ball the previous two finals. Even those who started Tuesday, like junior Lucaya Baldridge and Jaisean Kenner, filed in behind five seniors, didn’t take on the heaviest burdens like they do now. The Mustangs graduated another four seniors, 90% of their offense.

And yet Meade — which picked four juniors and a freshman to lead them this time — returned to the Class 4A state tournament as naturally as the seasons change. As the fifth seed, it’ll face either Bowie, Walt Whitman or Frederick on the road Friday, depending on the results of Wednesday’s coin flip.

“It’s a credit to our JV program, and what Dave [McNeill] and Tommie [Duvall] have done developing these kids, so when they come up as varsity players, we’re not missing a beat,” Meade coach Mike Glick said. “To accomplish what we did with such a young team, to me, is just really rewarding.”

Glick, a student of the late Morgan Wootten, always preaches to his players to “win the right game.” When Old Mill dropped the Mustangs on their own senior night two weeks ago, 61-55, they reminded themselves which mattered — and which didn’t. They lost the last two games. And, of course, they won the next two. The Mustangs followed the same pattern last year. It journeyed to the state championship game.

“We came to kill,” Baldridge said. “We came 100%. We came to put the work in because they got us last time, and we didn’t want to go out as the team that could have been. We’re going to continue our story — and hopefully that gets us to states.”

Baldridge understood those two previous region titles more than almost anyone in Meade colors Tuesday. His length and skill steered the defense both early, when the Mustangs grappled for footing, and later, when it worked in passionate unison.

He played with his hands up as much as he could, but fouled out anyway midway through the fourth quarter.

“And became the biggest cheerleader I could be,” Baldridge said, smiling. “I already knew my teammates had me. Nothing changed.”

When it flushed up-court, the Mustangs let Old Mill chase them. They knew once they hit the double-bonus, the ball needed to find freshman Keon Scott (17 points), who’d lure unsuspecting Patriots to the whistle.

Meade’s Keon Scott shoots in the third quarter of Tuesday’s regional final against Old Mill. (Paul W. Gillespie/photo)
Meade’s Keon Scott shoots in the third quarter of Tuesday’s regional final against Old Mill. (Paul W. Gillespie/photo)

“He’s our best free-throw shooter. And, we’ve matured as a team. Losing Lucaya hurts, but,” Glick said, “we’re a versatile team. We put Kofi Mensah and James Johnson in on the defensive end, Zamar Jones on the offense. And I just couldn’t be prouder of how they handled it.”

It’s that sort of growth that encourages Glick.

“We feel like we have unfinished business. It doesn’t matter if we’re a young team,” the coach said. “We’ve been there. I just can’t wait to see who we’re gonna play. It’ll be different being on the road for the Elite Eight, but we’re playing our best basketball right now — and we’re bought in.”

As the first quarter clock ticked, region final jitters shook off for Old Mill first, allowing them — led by Brian Poore — to take the first-quarter lead. Two ties followed three early lead changes.

It took just a brief respite at 14-10, enough for the quarter to end, the band to play, and the Mustangs to huddle — and let the games really begin.

“We’re an experienced team. We’ve been here. We played a bad first half against Crofton [last round], and we responded. We’ve responded all year long,” Glick said. “We’ve taken our losses, but we responded.

“We just talked energy — and playing to the next play.”

Meade’s Kofi Mensah, center, is fouled by Old Mill’s Luke Fletcher, left, as he goes for the basket in the fourth quarter. The Meade Mustangs defeated the visiting Old Mill Patriots, 56-49, to win the boys 4A East Basketball Finals. (Paul W. Gillespie/Staff photo)
Meade’s Kofi Mensah, center, is fouled by Old Mill’s Luke Fletcher, left, as he goes to the basket in the fourth quarter. (Paul W. Gillespie/Staff photo)
Meade’s arms and legs clocked overtime; a block was punched, not tapped, an assist hurled, not passed, a basket battled for repeatedly until it sunk. Mustangs did not run full speed across the hardwood to eviscerate Old Mill attempts, so much so that even when coach Greg Smith called timeout on a 6-0 run, it just continued on the other side.

It’s not that Old Mill turned over the ball more — it was doing that before. But now, Meade wasn’t.

By the time senior Luke Fletcher mustered a jumper for the Patriots, Meade teetered on a 10-point lead — which Johnson then secured moments later, 29-18.

Come the third quarter, Old Mill’s Jordan Penn hit two 3-pointers, chipped back. But the Patriots’ movements — kick in the middle, then kick to the perimeter — were more than trackable for Meade.

“Then most of the time, it’d just be a shot,” junior Ashton Turman said. “We stayed off the high post and stayed playing the 3s.”

Scott, one of Meade’s leading scorers by the third quarter, suffered his third foul just after Baldridge did. Old Mill chipped away.

Even when Scott and Baldridge suffered third and fourth fouls, they didn’t protect themselves by riding the bench, and Meade did not relinquish control. Turman and Mensah pushed a double-digit gap again, 43-34.

“That’s just the Meade High way,” Baldridge said. “We never give up.”

Meade used up as much clock as it could, both to drain Old Mill of comeback time and to draw it into fouls.

With so little time to work with, the Patriots — Poore, Jahson Moreau, Penn — cut the lead to 47-41. And Josh Holmes, Kenner, Jones, Mensah and Scott all hit back.

“We have a lot of depth,” Turman said. “Teams can’t go box-and-one on us like we do them because we have so many threats.

“We just chew the clock out. And go four low.”

Meade— 10-21-12-13 — 56

Old Mill — 14-7-13-15 — 49

ME: Scott 17, Turman 11, Mensah 7, Baldridge 6, Kenner 5, Johnson 5, Holmes 3, Jones 2

OM: Poore 16, Penn 8, Moreau 8, Fletcher 5, Halloway 4, Simms 4, Daugherty 4


February 25, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.

The future of Anne Arundel County basketball lies with its talented pool of underclassmen, but few have made such an immediate impact on their teams like Meade freshman Keon Scott. The 6-foot combo guard has quickly earned the respect of his team and of opponents for his dynamic play at the basket and the maturity with which he battles against older county stars.

Scott, the younger brother of Kyree Scott who starred on Meade’s Class 4A state runner-up team last year, averaged 11 points per game for the Mustangs (15-7) in the regular season, as well as four assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.

He recently spoke with The Capital about how his first season is going. Editor’s note: Some questions and answers have been lightly edited for clarity.

So I’m really interested in your dynamic with your older brother. He’s built different than you, he had a different role on the team. What was it like playing with each other growing up?

My brother was always a football player first. He always in the weight room — I need to start going though. I never played football. I’ve been playing basketball since I was 5. Always just wanted to keep doing it. When I was younger, I wanted to be a Steph Curry type.

So the last couple years, you’re watching your Kyree and his teammates putting Meade back on the map, playing in the state finals. What were you thinking about in terms of what your legacy would be when you got here?

I would watch my brother. He would teach me about high school ball, how the speed changes, and I was just thinking about varsity. And this year, I made varsity.

When you heard you made varsity, did it surprise you even a little bit? And what went into the decision to not spend a year developing on JV?

Coach [Mike] Glick and [JV head coach] Dave [McNeill] came out here and talked to me about varsity and I just made the decision to challenge myself.

Are you the type of person typically where if there’s a challenge in front of you, you’re gonna go tackle it?

Yeah. I get it from myself.

So first couple of games there are lots of talented seniors and juniors running around on opposing teams. What did you start to notice when you started stacking up against them?

During AAU season, I play 16U basketball, so it’s not really much of a difference for me. It’s a lot different from AAU in high school though, so I did have to adjust.

How have you seen your personal game start to develop as you’re fitting into the system Meade needs?

Usually I run the two guard in AAU. Now that coach Glick put me at the one guard, my game is coming to me more. I’m handling the ball more, making plays for my team. It’s getting better for me.

What had you hoped your first season would look like, and is it meeting those hopes?

As a freshman, I really thought my season would be mediocre, but it’s going just fine — and now it’s getting good. I didn’t know I’d be starting, which started after the Atholton game [in early December]. [On the team depth chart], I was behind Eric [Brown], and coach Glick asked me if I could take his spot. I said I would.

How do you handle that pressure at 14, of trying to keep Meade competitive against a county that’s insane this year, and have such a big responsibility as a starter?

I’m trying to do what I can to keep Meade alive. I know these last two years, they went to the final four and state championships and I want to keep that legacy going.

Since you’re playing a big role with this team as a freshman you have another three years ahead of you. How do you look ahead and think, ‘I have an opportunity here to help lead and shape this team?’

We’re good this year. We’re even better next year. We have juniors who’ll be even better as seniors: Lucaya [Baldridge], Jaisean [Kenner]. I’ll be a sophomore. It’ll be really good.


PUBLISHED: February 13, 2024 at 11:14 p.m. | UPDATED: February 15, 2024 at 11:44 p.m.

Old Mill boys basketball had a plan for everything Meade wanted to do.

And that’s not something the Patriots could have done in December.

“We knew there’d be runs. We focused on taking the runs and punching back,” Patriots coach Greg Smith said. “Don’t panic. Don’t throw the ball away. We executed. We played well on defense.”

Every time Meade threatened to pull even in the fourth quarter, Old Mill held strong, pulling out a 61-55 road victory.

“We pushed through at the end. Start of the season, with Broadneck, Long Reach, Meade, we weren’t closing out because we weren’t hitting free throws and making rebounds,” senior Jordan Penn said. “Now that we’re getting that, sky’s the limit.”

Penn embodied that spirit within himself. The senior guard struggled in his last game, but he didn’t let his valley stop him from working back toward a peak. During Monday’s practice, Smith told him, “You miss a shot? That shot’s gone.”

Penn listened. His first 3-pointer set the tempo for the game. His second set the tempo for his confidence.

“That’s when I felt good,” Penn said.

Defensively, Meade held Old Mill (9-10) to only eight points, but that was good enough for a four-point lead as the Mustangs’ own net remained too dry. However, a furious entrance from Keon Scott (16 points, five assists), Ashton Truman and others put Meade (15-6) up 14-10 early in the second.

But a lead change did not deter the Patriots in the slightest.

A pair of Jaeden Simms 3-pointers sandwiched around a Penn layup flipped the lead back to Old Mill, and Meade ran dry again.

“I just think we missed shots we’ve made all year long,” Meade coach Mike Glick said. “Going to the basket at point blank, for whatever reason. A lot of it was self-inflicted.”

Unable to fully translate its size to offensive rebounds, most of Meade’s shots littered the ground for Old Mill to scoop up. Only Lucaya Baldridge could manage one, while the Patriots — intermittent as they were — shielded their advantage through the half.

“Early in the season, we were getting beaten by their guards,” Smith said. “We’re realizing that our guards can’t just score, they have to rebound. We might not be very big, but we’re focusing on guards helping the bigs to get those rebounds.”

As the first half’s last seconds counted away, guard Jahson Moreau swerved through a thicket of four Mustangs and broke through the other side, and lifted for a layup as the buzzer blared and Old Mill took a 20-16 lead into the break.

Old Mill didn’t need much to float along in the third. Luke Fletcher stepped up, first with a rocket from the perimeter, then with a quick jumper. And all Meade had to show in response was some free throws. And even then, Meade only finished 15-for-25 at the line.

“It was about minimizing their shot opportunities on one set,” Penn said. “Instead of them getting two, three, four shots, we let them get one. Get the board and get out.”

Meade inched closer, getting within 34-31 on two Zamar Jones foul shots. So long as Meade could limit Old Mill’s offense, score a bit at the foul line and make an occasional layup and, they would keep flashing in the Patriots’ rear view mirror.

“I was proud of how our kids battled back,” Glick said.” They don’t give up.”

But they didn’t stop Penn.

The senior cut through traffic and heads barely turned before he fed Brian Poore for two points. Penn followed with another 3-pointer to make it 43-35.

Old Mill had a fix for everything. Scott hits a 3-pointer? Moreau drops in two. Jones hits a pair of free throws? Moreau drills three points.

The fourth quarter turned into a foul contest as the sides exchanged four makes with Poore hitting to close out the game.

The result wasn’t high-scoring as tradition with Old Mill basketball. But it was in line with this team — gritty, just getting better, and extremely aware it could meet Meade again in the region tournament.

“They’re just now realizing what we went through early is why we can do this now,” Smith said. “We were 1-8. Now, they know it was worth it.”


PUBLISHED: January 26, 2024 at 10:38 p.m. | UPDATED: January 30, 2024 at 1:29 p.m.

The game ended with the ball in the hands Meade freshman Keon Scott which, given how the fourth quarter went, seemed fitting.

When both teams’ defense turned the third quarter into a scoring desert, Glen Burnie got the better of it, transforming what had been a more comfortable Mustang lead into a 10-point margin.

Scott recognized the opportunity before him. If no one sparked a run, his squad could easily let the game slip to the Gophers. The freshman levied the first six Meade points of the fourth to keep the Mustangs afloat before his teammates stepped in, preserving a 58-45 finish on Friday. .

“I could try to take credit for Keon, but he’s a special player,” Meade coach Mike Glick said. “He’s so far beyond his years, basketball-wise. We want his ball in his hands at the end of games.”

With the victory, Meade keeps the top spot in Class 4A East Region I (which it shares with the Gophers, North County and Crofton). That, Glick said, had always been the primary objective for his young team.

“This was the most important game of the season to us because our goal is to host the playoffs. That supersedes counties and everything else,” Glick said. “So I am very proud of how this team handled itself on the road. We just kind of keep getting better.”

Scott led Meade with 14 points, but to lay the laurels on the freshman and ignore the rest of the Mustangs’ efforts on Friday night would be wrong. Under Meade’s triangle-and-two defense, Glen Burnie shooter Greg Pittman became a ghost, disappeared by a double-team which involved Scott. When Gophers Eric Daniels and Davon McLeod stepped into that void, Mustangs like Moses Gakodi flushed in to stop them, too, blocking both from landing a single field goal in the fourth quarter.

“Josh Holmes came off the bench and did a really great job of just monitoring shots, blocking shots, as did Arouna Soumaoro,” Glick said. “We went with a bigger lineup because they were trying to drive the ball at us. We wanted to be a little big longer inside to try to answer those shots.”

Whatever Glen Burnie brought to the post, the Meade bigs batted down. Initially, the Mustangs’ shots equally missed their marks, but the more its defense won, the more offense seemed to draw power from it.

The offense snowballed after Scott’s layup. Zamar Jones hit a 3-pointer and Ashton Thurman deposited two baskets himself en route to an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“Turnovers are gonna put us into a hole, but we missed some easy shots,” Gophers coach Mike Rudd said.

But as Meade looked to extend the lead to a demoralizing range, Daniels cracked the door back open with three points. McLeod took his lead, battling through the black-clad trees under the net to narrow the gap to 23-18.

Which was about as close as Meade felt comfortable with.

Spurred by Jones, the Mustangs offense hit the nets and built a 37-21 halftime lead.

And then, the Mustangs simply stopped scoring.

For three-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter, Meade didn’t land a single shot. Glen Burnie could have taken advantage of that time and at the very least flashed bright headlights in Meade’s rearview. But two points from McLeod in the first minute, and nothing for another three, couldn’t exactly put the Mustangs’ lead in real danger.

“The shots rolled out, but our defense was constant,” Glick said.

Only when Scott ended the scoring drought by draining three points did Glen Burnie reach for its chance. Daniels and Chris Maddox broke down Meade’s defenses time and time again to shave the visitors’ lead down to just 10 by quarter’s end, 44-34.

And by early in the fourth, key Mustangs like Lucaya Baldridge and Jones, cycled off the floor in foul trouble. The Mustangs that replaced them made what could’ve been a tide-turner for Glen Burnie into something nearly unnoticeable.

That’s what separates this year’s team from last year’s. Losing starters to fouls might’ve been disastrous for players on last year’s state runner-up Meade team fit into roles. With most of its seniors not starting, with different figures constantly subbing in, the Mustangs were able to hold Glen Burnie off.

“It just goes to whoever’s hot,” Scott said.

While Scott offensively held Meade’s lead together through the early part of the fourth quarter, the Mustangs defense stamped Glen Burnie’s offense into two mere foul shots so that Meade outscored the hosts 10-2 in the final four minutes.

“We kept chipping away,” Rudd said, “but it’s hard to chase a team uphill all night. It’s frustrating.”

Meade’s Ashton Turman goes for a layup as Glen Burnie’s Tim Shadare guards him in the first quarter. The visiting Meade Mustangs played the Glen Burnie Gophers in boys high school basketball. (Paul W. Gillespie/Staff)
Meade’s Ashton Turman goes for a layup as Glen Burnie’s Tim Shadare guards him in the first quarter. (Paul W. Gillespie/Staff)


PUBLISHED: December 22, 2023 at 10:27 p.m. | UPDATED: December 22, 2023 at 10:30 p.m.

Ashton Truman ran the words through his head as time ticked down and Northeast boys basketball bounced back once again. The 3-pointers the Meade junior had landed, the free throws he’d sunk, none of it stopped the Eagles.

Spurred by guard Cam Albury, Northeast compressed the deficit to a basket or two, much as it did several other times Friday.

But Truman and his Mustangs never let them flip the lead in those moments. When they needed to most, the Mustangs scored.

“Going through my head was: ‘It’s time to score,’” said Truman, who did just that with 24 points. “I felt like I had to have the ball in my hand because I knew I was hot.”

Despite the stress those final seconds caused, Meade preserved a 61-58 lead over Northeast on Friday night at home, handing another expected county front-runner their second loss of the winter and christening a pretty optimistic December for itself.

“We’re a young team that needs to learn how to finish games,” Meade coach Mike Glick said. “We made some inexperienced plays, forced the ball in transition, threw the ball away, giving them second shots, leaving Albury open for shots toward the end. But you know what? To our credit, the kids hung in there down the stretch.”

As much hope as there was for this talented bunch to rebuild last year’s state runner-up swiftly, the proof couldn’t come out of the oven until there was time to bake. From what Glick can see from this 5-1 team — its one loss at the hands of another 5-1 team in South River — things are going exactly as they should.

The strength of Meade on Friday was not only its constant subbing, drawing from a depth it truly did not have — or necessarily need — last year. Northeast coach Roger O’Dea said the scouting reports prepared the Eagles for the revolving door, although admittedly watched his team struggle in moments to figure out who to mark on the fly. Meade’s power was not only in the hot hands, either, although that was most certainly Truman, followed by junior forward Jaisean Kenner (15 points).

“The thing I’m most impressed about is their resiliency to win and their togetherness,” Glick said. “I mean, last game, we’re down to Atholton, who hit 13 3s against us. And they found a way to win. So I’m pleased.”

Northeast both struggled to protect the perimeter and shoot from it. Meade senior Zamar Jones took advantage of this for as long as he could, leading the charge from outside while Kenner swung matters for Meade in the paint.

The Mustangs’ first-half shooting was markedly more effective than Northeast’s as a whole, but its ball control dissolved toward the end of the first quarter and into the second. And while the Eagles could not kickstart their 3-point shooting — and not for a lack of trying — more possessions meant Northeast slashed the 15-8 deficit at the end of the first to 21-20 in the second.

It took nearly losing control to spark fire beneath the Mustangs. Truman salvaged the lead with a timely 3-pointer, before junior Lucaya Baldridge and Truman again sprinted for baskets.

With six seconds left, Albury plucked a long toss, raced into the paint as Mustangs flanked around him, and landed a final shot to make it 28-22 at halftime.

“Once we saw the game on the line, we got the intensity back we wanted,” O’Dea said. “We play that way the whole time, well …

“[Albury’s] got to look for his shot a little earlier in the game, but when you got some really good players, you got to teach them how to jell and find that hot hand. They’ll start to do that.”

Led by Kenner and Truman, the Mustangs made good use of both long and short range, laying down 14 straight points for a 42-30 lead.

To this point, Northeast had not landed a single 3-pointer. Albury corrected that drawn-out deficiency with a pair of them, sandwiched by three layups, knocking the Mustangs lead down to seven and driving Meade now to two timeouts — and then dropped in a few more on the other side of it. Turnovers persisted to dog Meade; its staff pleaded with players to “slow down” just as they’d overthrow a pass.

“It’s a lot of guys getting used to playing varsity basketball, with each other,” Glick said. “A number played on JV together, but in this atmosphere, there’s little things. There’s a couple plays like: Lucaya went to the basket, went too far, not sure he was going to get the pass. Just mistakes that come with not playing with each other.”

Truman, however seemed determined to keep Meade afloat, with six points interjecting Albury’s rampage and pushing the margin back to double-digits, 55-45, with two minutes left.

Glick wasn’t surprised. Truman was Meade’s junior varsity leading scorer. While he did not start to begin this season, he’s earning it now.

“I feel like everybody’s got to realize it’s next man up,” Truman said. “Today, we had talks about how it was going to be: if we get down, next man has to step up, play defense, make shots. Everybody’s gotta be ready.

But offensively, it could not fall so heavily on Albury if the Eagles wanted to win. Shamar Johnson hit two shots, Jadyss Fifer hit one and two foul shots. But still, with basket or free throw, Albury and crew could not overwhelm Meade’s defense in the end.

“Unfortunately, we ran out of time to set a play up,” O’Dea said.