A first-year starter, the 6-foot-4 forward hit for 14 of his career-high 22 points in the second half of the senior night victory and had the student section chanting his name after drilling a three-pointer with 5 minutes 31 seconds left in the game.
Coleman, who averages 8.1 points per game, doesn’t have the name recognition of teammates Epps and Nick Griffin, who both played key roles on last season’s run to the Maryland 4A title. But he presents a tough matchup on the offensive end with his speed and shooting range for his size and will be important as the Colonels prepare for another playoff run.
Coleman said he plans to play at a Division III school next year, and Coach Dan Harwood listed Catholic and York (Pa.) among the schools that are in the mix. The Cardinals had an assistant coach in attendance on Tuesday night.
“It’s good for Brian to really have a good game because he’s certainly capable of it,” said Harwood, who believes Coleman has not yet finished growing. “A lot of times Nick and J.J. and Justin [Witmer] get a lot of the attention. Tonight I was happy for Brian because he played really well.”
As the tallest player in Magruder’s regular rotation, Coleman will be presented with some tough matchups if the team is going to land a repeat title.
Although the forward often gives up inches and pounds in the post, he’s done a solid job on the boards this season. On Tuesday, he recorded five rebounds, while the 6-foot-3 Witmer grabbed a team-best 10.
On the other end, Coleman has proven a good fit in Harwood’s system, stepping out to hit a pair of three-pointers in Tuesday’s victory. He also scored several times in transition, beating his man down the floor for easy buckets.
“I just like to go out there and hustle after every play,” Coleman said. “I try to play every game the same and work hard.”
Against Paint Branch, those qualities helped Coleman shine on a banner night for the eight-man senior class.