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Magruder grad Garland Owens emerges as college basketball prospect

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At Massanutten Military Academy, Garland Owens finishes his classwork between 10 a.m. and noon during the week and heads to the gym. For the Rockville native signed with Boston College, the dedication to repetition necessary to hone an Atlantic Coast Conference-ready jump shot has mirrored the regimented lifestyle at the Woodstock, Va. prep school.

After helping Magruder to the Maryland 4A title as a senior in March, Owens landed on the national recruiting radar with a breakout summer on the AAU circuit and has continued his rise as a major Division I prospect at Massanutten. The 6-foot-5 swingman returns to the area on Saturday with the unbeaten Colonels, playing Mount Zion Prep out of Baltimore as part of the inaugural DMV Tip-Off Classic at Wise.

“This is the best place for me,” Owens said by phone this week. “It’s a military school, so I’m getting the discipline I need. And I’m down here away from all the distractions, so I can focus on me and basketball and getting better.”

The six-game event hosted by local AAU power D.C. Assault highlights a strong weekend schedule of high school hoops in the area. The action at Wise also features both University of Maryland recruits signed for the Class of 2013 in guard Roddy Peters (Suitland) and center Damonte Dodd (Massanutten) and nine local teams, closing with a matchup between No. 4 DeMatha and No. 8 North Point.

At Trinity University, the two-day DMV Elite Holiday Classic will showcase 19 local squads. Villanova commit Josh Hart leads Sidwell Friends against No. 16 Potomac (Md.) and highly regarded junior Dion Wiley on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (Full schedules below.)

For Owens, the homecoming is a chance to showcase his evolving perimeter game. At Magruder, he often played in the post out of necessity, but he began attracting more attention as a recruit as his skills became more well-rounded.

Owens, 18, has demonstrated better shooting range and an ability to guard almost any position on the floor this season, playing on a team that features four other players signed to Division I scholarships. He chose Boston College in October over offers from Seton Hall and UTEP.

Owens began the season in the starting lineup but has moved into a reserve role for the Colonels, who play a schedule consisting of other prep schools, community colleges and junior varsity college squads. He has averaged 12 points and five rebounds per game, playing through a finger injury that will require surgery.

“When he got here from Day 1, any time the gym was open, he was out there,” Massanutten Coach Chad Myers said of Owens. “He needed to get a more consistent jump shot, get more comfortable with the ball in his hands, and he’s put in the time to work on it.”

DMV Tip-Off Classic at Wise High

Saturday’s games

Noon — National Christian vs. Quality Education (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

1:45 p.m. — Massanutten Prep (Woodstock, Va.) vs. Mt. Zion Prep (Baltimore)

3:30 p.m. — St. John’s vs. Suitland

5:15p.m. — Douglass vs. Wise

7:00 p.m. — Riverdale Baptist vs. Princeton Day

8:45 p.m. — DeMatha vs. North Point

DMV Elite Holiday Classic at Trinity University

Saturday’s games

11 a.m. — Riverdale Baptist vs. Christian Faith Center Academy (N.C.)

12:45 p.m. — Southern (Md.) vs. Oxon Hill

2:30 p.m. — Old Mill vs. DuVal

4:15 p.m. — Theodore Roosevelt vs. Good Counsel

6:30 p.m. — Sidwell Friends vs. Potomac (Md.)

8:15 p.m. — C.H. Flowers vs. Edison

Sunday’s games

11 a.m. — Capital City International Prep vs. Takoma Academy

12:45 p.m. — National Christian (Md.) vs. St. Maria Goretti (Md.)

2:30 p.m. — Cesar Chavez vs. Bishop McNamara

4:15 p.m. — Georgetown Prep vs. McKinley Tech

6:30 p.m. — Princeton Day Academy vs. Theodore Roosevelt

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