Howard High boys basketball coach Kevin Broadus hopes that lightning will strike twice.
The Lions' football team hadn't won a county title since 1975 until this fall.
The Lions' basketball team also hasn't won a county title since 1975.
Most coaches think that Howard has a shot at winning this year's championship, including Broadus.
"We hope to be in the hunt," Broadus said.
The Lions return two starters and five players from a team that went 9-13 overall and 6-8 in the league last season.
Javier Michaux, who averaged 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds last season, is the best-known returnee. The 6-foot-4 senior swing man has worked a lot on his ball-handling skills.
The other returning starter is Aaron Graf, a 6-4 senior swing man who averaged 6.0 points. He can handle the ball, shoot and drive, and along with Michaux is expected to be a team leader.
Jevon Michaux, Javier's brother, also returns and will start. He's a 5-11 senior swing man with a good shot who can handle the ball.
Returnee Kevin Daniels, a 5-10 senior point guard, is a good passer and adept at finding the open man.
And returnee Brian Bush, a 6-0 senior swing man, can rebound with his strong jumping ability and go one-on-one.
Corey Curtis, a 6-0 junior swing man up from JV, will start. He handles the ball well and is strong.
"We'll need his rebounding," Broadus said.
The fifth starter will be DaLawn Parrish, the all-county quarterback in football. Parrish is a 5-11 junior guard who didn't play last season. He can handle the ball, penetrate and shoot and is extremely quick.
Another newcomer is football player Carlton Fox, a 5-11 senior swing man who can handle the ball, shoot outside and is a good leaper.
Monte Carter, a cousin of Parrish's, is a transfer from Annapolis High. He's a 5-11 junior who can play either guard position.
Five other players are up from JV: 6-0 sophomore forward Mike Green, a jumper with good speed; 5-11 junior guard John Forrest, a good outside shooter; 5-11 junior swing man Pat Thatch, a good outside shooter who can also drive; Rashid Schafer, a 5-10 junior point guard who likes to drive; and Earl Joyce, a 5-10 junior guard and strong outside shooter.
Broadus expects to play a man-to-man defense that presses and traps, and his team will run much more than last season.
"We're smaller this season, and we still need to work on our rebounding," Broadus said.