Eleanor Roosevelt’s Cameron Brown leaped for a dunk in the opening minute of the second quarter Saturday night in the Maryland 4A state final against Broadneck. He saw a 6-foot-9 defender go up with him, but Brown never hesitated and flushed the ball through as a referee’s whistle blew and the Raiders’ bench erupted.
The three-point play was the spark No. 5 Eleanor Roosevelt needed, riding the momentum to a 77-48 win and the school’s fourth state championship.
“I saw [teammate Jaamir Butler] got a nice little steal and I just wanted to run the floor and he gave me a nice pass,” Brown said. “After that, I just do what I usually do. Just go to the rim.”
The Raiders (25-3), who trailed by three after one quarter, outscored the Bruins 27-8 in the second — starting with Brown’s dunk — to pull away at Xfinity Center.
No. 12 Broadneck (22-6) led early thanks to five three-pointers by five different players. That approach proved unsustainable for the next three quarters; the Bruins made only two from beyond the arc the rest of the contest. The Raiders, meanwhile, found their range in the second quarter, hitting four three-pointers to turn the game.
Brown displayed a versatile offensive repertoire, attacking the basket with his 6-foot-6 frame and connecting on two three-pointers. The senior, a William & Mary signee, also played stingy defense and was unafraid to crash the boards against towering Broadneck players.
His alley-oop dunk in the third quarter prompted the fans to rise to their feet again.
Brown finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“He is totally unselfish,” Raiders Coach Brendan O’Connell said. “He never forces anything, guards the best player a lot of the time. I can’t say enough.”
His teammates fed off the energy, sharing the ball and making acrobatic shots themselves. Butler and Jahari Simon added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
“At that point in the game, we were just having fun,” said Isaiah Gross, who had 10 points. “Just having fun on the court with my brothers. There’s nothing more you can ask for.”
With 4:56 left in the game, the Raiders emptied the bench. Starters danced their way back to the bench and hugged their coaches and teammates, sensing their first state title since 2016. They posed for pictures as their teammates padded on to the lead.
Jamar Young led the Bruins with 22 points.
“These guys were asking is this the best team we’ve ever had. I told them we’ll talk about that Monday,” O’Connell said. “It’s right up there. You got to give me a day or two to think about that.”