1996 All-Howard County boys basketball

March 15, 1996

The teams

Player of the Year: Irving Conwell, Oakland Mills

Coach of the Year: Jim Hill, Centennial

First team

Name -- School, Year, Position

Tyrone Allmond -- Atholton, Senior, Guard

Irving Conwell -- Oakland Mills, Senior, Guard

Karl Friedheim -- Hammond, Senior, Forward

Carl Jackson -- Wilde Lake, Senior, Center

Matt Laycock -- Centennial, Junior, Center

Nat Watkins -- Atholton, Senior, Forward

Second team

Scott Bross -- Centennial, Junior, Guard

Denny Chapman -- Centennial, Junior, Forward

Robin Davis -- Glenelg, Senior, Forward

Matt Hahn -- Atholton, Senior, Guard

Colin Izzard -- Howard, Junior, Center

Brian Otten -- Centennial, Junior, Forward

Coach of the Year

Jim Hill, Centennial: A year ago, the Eagles were 2-12 in the league and 8-13 overall, but Hill made sure that a group of four sophomores saw a lot of playing time. And that move paid off this season because those players turned the record around, going 11-3 and 18-6. Although upset by Carver in the regional semifinals, Centennial won its second county co-championship in four seasons, after taking 17 years to win its first championship. Hill, 45, has coached the varsity for 12 seasons. This season's team used a motion offense nearly all the time, and the team's quickness allowed it to play man-to-man defense, an option many past teams didn't have. Five of Centennial's six losses were by a total of 15 points. It lost to No. 18 Atholton twice, and to Oakland Mills in league play. It never lost more than two straight games. The defense held opponents below 50 points 10 times.

Player of the Year

Irving Conwell, Oakland Mills, 6-4, senior, guard: Conwell is now a two-time Player of the Year, and some think he is the county's all-time best player. "He's better than Barry Young [Mount Hebron, UNLV]. Overall, Irving is the best player ever in Howard County," said Hammond coach Mike Mongelli, who coached several of the county's all-time greats, including Terry Dozier (South Carolina) and Quinton Burton (Providence). Conwell averaged 25.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 2.5 assists. He shot 60 percent (104-171) at the foul line, 52 percent (174-332) from two-point range and 26.3 percent (30-114) from ,, three-point range. Conwell's ability to improvise set him apart. His high game was a school-record 43 points against Howard, when he shot 13-for-18 from the field and grabbed 15 rebounds. Conwell scored 33 points and had 13 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots in a 67-66 upset of Forestville in the regional quarterfinals. He never scored less than 19 points in league play. He scored 1,088 points in two seasons at Oakland Mills and he scored an additional 540 points during two seasons at Hammond. "I'm happy he's gaining recognition for something he's worked so hard at," Oakland Mills coach Dave Appleby said. "He's very deserving of the award. Hopefully he'll go on to a long career in basketball."

The first team

Tyrone Allmond, Atholton, 5-10, senior, guard: His high-energy, emotional play made him a natural leader. He has a quick first step, great court vision and was one step ahead in making the extra pass. The left-hander played for three straight county championship teams. In 21 games he averaged 15.7 points, 5.1 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals. He shot 50 percent (102-for-197) from two-point range and 37 percent (15-for-41) from three-point range. His high game was 27 points in an overtime loss against Cardinal Gibbons and he also scored 21 against Dunbar. "The most impressive thing about Tyrone is his passion for the game," Atholton coach Jim Albert said. "He brings us up to a higher level and that's what makes him special."

Karl Friedheim, Hammond, 6-5, senior, forward: A year ago Hammond was 3-19. This season the Bears were 16-9. Friedheim led that turnaround by averaging 12.9 points and 9.7 rebounds, both team highs. His high game was 26 points against Howard. '' He had 17 rebounds in a 50-43 regional semifinal loss to Surrattsville. Friedheim could shoot the three-pointer and run the floor well for a big guy. "He maximizes his ability," Hammond coach Mike Mongelli said.

Carl Jackson, Wilde Lake, 6-8, senior, center: A problem with high blood pressure at the beginning of the season prevented Jackson from playing with the dominance he hoped for, but he still averaged 13.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.1 blocked shots per game. He shot 46.3 percent (112-for-242) from the field, and 61.2 percent (52-for-85) from the foul line. He had a triple double against Glenelg and had 11 double doubles. Jackson signed early with Penn State. "He's an exceptional talent who gets triple-teamed and still turns in good performances," Wilde Lake coach Paul Ellis said.

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