With at least a share of the county championship locked up, Manchester Valley boys basketball had no room to take the final stretch of its regular season lightly. Coach Chris Wunder wanted to make sure his team stayed sharp and on top of things, proving to themselves and others that they were ready for some of the state’s toughest competition in the upcoming playoffs.
Brendan Luddy sure was ready, out scoring an entire Baltimore County team by himself.
The senior’s 20 points led the way for the Mavericks as they took their talents on the road Monday night, defeating Hereford, 60-19.
“It was an all-around team win,” Luddy said. “We kept the ball moving and let our defense set the tone.”
Luddy, one of four Mavericks to reach double figures scoring, was knocking down shots from all over the court. Manchester Valley (13-7) kept the ball moving, always looking for the best shot every trip down the floor.
“I was very happy with how unselfish we were with the ball,” Wunder said. “There were a lot of good passes that got guys some good looks and we were able to knock them down.”
While outscoring an entire basketball team by himself may not be expected from Luddy every game, he did what was expected from him and more as a senior caption of the county’s top team.
“He’s able to be our floor leader,” Wunder said. “He scores when needed, makes the right passes and he’s there to defend and rebound.”
With Luddy leading the charge, the Mavericks defense may have been even more impressive, only allowing Hereford (6-14) to score four points the entire second half. Knowing the challenge senior Brady George presented, the Mavericks came prepared.
The tandem of Jacob Adame and Braylen Williams challenged George every time Hereford’s 6-foot-3 senior caught the ball. When he was able to get the ball inside, help defense from Will Cuneo, Grant Miller and Carter Strohman made the difference as the guards poked the ball out with ease throughout the game.
“I was real proud of our guys coming out with intensity on the defensive end,” Wunder said. “We knew we would have our hands full inside.”
The effort couldn’t have come at a better time for the Manchester Valley, who has struggled at times when playing outside of Carroll County. After dropping their first three nonconference showdowns, the Mavericks have now won their last three, each win proving to themselves how good of a team they can be.
“To come in and play like this is huge,” Luddy said. “We want to show that we can play anyone and that we can dominate anyone.”
With at least a share of the county title locked up, the Mavericks look to earn another coveted prize as they look at two more out-of-county opponents to close out the year: the top seed in Class 3A West Region I.
The Mavericks entered the week tied for the top spot with North Hagerstown. Getting the No. 1 ranking for the regional playoffs would be a sign that not only can they play with anyone, they can beat anyone, and anyone that wants to beat them would have to come to Manchester and give it their best shot.
“This was a good step for us coming out here and making a statement,” Wunder said. “We still have a lot to play for.”
Manchester Valley 60, Hereford 19
MV- Brendan Luddy (20), Carter Strohman (14), Colton Enderle (11), Will Cuneo (11), Braylen Williams (4)
H- Jack Kinsey (5), Brady George (4), Konrad Yocham (3), Tanner Diehl (2), Jett Steller (2) Kries Metz (2), Sam Nicholson (1)