Uptempo Approach has Harford Tech Boys Basketball Excelling
It's been a special start to the season for the Harford Tech boys basketball team.
The Cobras are 9-0, which is the best start to a season the program has enjoyed in a long time. The streak includes two wins at the famed Governor's Challenge on the Eastern Shore against St. John's Catholic and SEED School of D.C., as well as a 68-60 victory against defending MPSSAA 3A state champion, C. Milton Wright.
Head coach Bill Jones had a feeling his team would be strong this season. The group returned 11 players, including all five starters from last year's team which finished 11-13 and reached the MPSSAA 2A East regional final for the second straight season.
"The core group of this year's team has been together for three years. We only lost one game combined in the summer and fall league," Jones said. "I knew we could be good and challenge for a conference and region championship but because we play in a very tough league, I didn't think we would have so much success this early."
For Harford Tech, a key to the group's success has been playing to its strengths.
The team lacks size, but possesses multiple lightning quick guards on its roster like seniors Darius Dangerfield and Dominic Webb, as well as junior twins Dashawn and Jawaun Lucas.
"This year we are playing at a fast pace and trying to cause havoc all over the floor. We try to make the other team uncomfortable for 32 minutes and force them into turnovers, which leads to easy baskets for us," Jones said. "So far we are averaging 31 forced turnovers per game and scoring 74 points a game, while allowing 57."
In Dangerfield, the Cobras have a go to player that many teams would love to have among their ranks. A three time all conference and county player, Dangerfield is once again playing at a high level, averaging 25 points, four assists and four steals a game. He's also getting it done at the free throw line, converting 80% of his attempts.
The Lucas twins are also off to a strong start as both average seven points, four steals and three assists a game. Webb is contributing seven points a game, while senior forward Jaylen Kelley and junior forward Jordan Bright are providing the team's inside presence. Harford Tech has also been reliant on three sophomore guards to be productive- Jalen Dangerfield, Laday Cooper and Jaquane Hayes.
"The team is taking it one day at a time. They work hard in practice and it shows in games," Jones said. "We talk every day that it can be just as easy to lose nine in a row if they stop working."
Indeed, the Cobras will have to continue to work hard as the team's remaining schedule is very tough.
It starts today when Harford Tech hosts Edgewood, a team that has just one loss. After that game, the team faces Patterson Mill then travels to traditional powerhouse Joppatowne next week. The group will also face Edgewood, Joppatowne and C. Milton Wright another time for a second time later in the season.
Although its a brutal stretch of games, Jones sees it as the ideal way for the Cobras to prepare for where they want their season to go.
"Our goal this year is to finally win the 2A East region championship and make the ride down 95 to College Park for the state final four. We feel the competition we face every game in our league with great players and coaches will prepare us to reach our goal," Jones said. "As a coach, I'm excited to have been a part of the growth our program has shown over the past 10 years, and look forward to continuing the success in the future."
|January 11th, 2017||By: Wick Eisenberg|