Raptors Roll to Maryland Title for the First Time in 24 years; Byrd Named Coach of the Year, Sophomore Vaughan Takes Player of the Year Honor
Just a year ago, the Montgomery College (MC) men’s basketball limped to one of the most disappointing seasons in memory, finishing with just three wins. On Sunday at the Maryland Junior College (MDJUCO) tournament played at Garrett Community College, MC capped an incredible, and unlikely, run to the championship. The third-seeded Raptors defeated Harford Community College in the tournament finale, 82-71, giving the College its first MDJUCO men’s basketball title since 1992.
All three MDJUCO tournament victories (MC beat Hagerstown in the quarterfinals and Baltimore City in the semifinals) came against National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I opponents. Montgomery College is Division III in all sports. Click here for highlights of the championship game. The Raptors improved to 22-7 and play next in the NJCAA DIII Region XX tournament at Anne Arundel Community College, February 18-22.
The 2016 honors kept piling up even after the Raptors cut down the nets. First-year head coach Keith Byrd was named the MDJUCO coach of the year, as voted on by the conference coaches. Byrd, a Montgomery College alumnus, played point guard under legendary Montgomery College-Rockville coach Steve Hobson.
“I am extremely pleased and excited with the direction of our men’s basketball program,” said Montgomery College Athletic Director Derek Carter. “Coach Byrd and his staff have done an outstanding job as they have focused on success in the classroom, in the community, and on the court.”
Sophomore guard D’Angelo Vaughan staked his claim as one of the best players in the state by being named the MDJUCO regular season player of the year. Vaughan, a 6-foot sophomore, averaged 22 points, four rebounds and almost four assists per game this season for the Raptors. Vaughan was also named MDJUCO tournament most valuable player averaging 21.5 points over the weekend.
Freshman Patrick Smith averaged 14.3 points and 17.6 rebounds and was named to the MDJUCO all-tournament team. Smith was also named first-team MDJUCO after averaging 16 points and 16 rebounds in the regular season.
Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 130 areas of study.