It was only last season that Seneca Valley’s Quentin Twyman’s teammates would call him “Big Country.” They said the then-240-pound junior looked like he “grew up in the country, and eating corn muffins all my life,” he said.
But now a couple inches taller, and 30 pounds lighter, the 6-foot-6 senior goes by “Big Smoove.” And in the fourth quarter Friday’s 3A West region final against Tuscarora, as he pulled down a pivotal offensive board and converted a pair of clutch free throws, he showed why he was worthy of the new nickname.
Twyman scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed eight boards, none bigger than his board off Triston Price’s missed free throw in the final seconds of the Screaming Eagles’ 61-59 victory.
After collecting the rebound, Twyman drew a foul and converted both free throws to make it a two-possession game with 14.1 seconds remaining. Moments later, the celebration was on, as No. 18 Seneca Valley (21-4) held up the trophy and cut down the net in front of its home crowd in Germantown.
The victory extends what’s been a roller coaster high school career for Twyman. As a freshman three years ago — then 5-8 and 195 pounds — he was cut from the junior varsity team. He played with the same aggression then and preferred playing inside, but lacked the size and skills to do so successfully.
But Twyman gradually grew into his body, adding a few inches and dropping a few pounds each year. Joining the football team — where he played center before switching to tight end and defensive end — improved his conditioning, and helped him become a better rebounder.
Twyman made the junior varsity team as a sophomore and was called up to varsity that season. Last winter, he helped the Screaming Eagles reach the region final and this winter they’ve taken the next step, riding a 12-game winning streak to a region title.
“Looking back, telling my freshman self that I’d be a leader on the team, leading my team to states, I would’ve laughed in my face,” Twyman said. “It definitely feels good being a senior and ending my high school career at Xfinity.”
Seneca Valley plays Stephen Decatur Thursday at the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center, where it will appear in its first state semifinal since 2006 and seeking its first state championship in school history.
“Last year it was pretty amazing just to get to the region final. This year to win it was pretty surreal,” said second-year Coach Brian Humphrey, who previously led the Damascus JV team and also played for the Swarmin’ Hornets. “Fourteen years chasing the dream. It was nice to accomplish that.”