Skip to main content

Cam Ward powers Largo to MPSSAA 2A boys basketball state championship

Lions avenge a loss to New Town in last year's 2A state final
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Home is where the heart is for Cam Ward

Since arriving at Largo High in the fall of 2021, Ward has often been asked - directly or indirectly - about leaving. The uber-talented forward has a deep connection to the Prince George’s County, Maryland school, and on Saturday, Ward helped the Lions capture a long-awaited state title.

Largo defeated Carver Vo-Tech, 66-52, in the Class 2A final. The Lions lost to New Town in the 2A final a year ago.

After losing in the Maryland Class 2A state boys basketball final last year, Largo got redemption Saturday. The Lions defeated Carver Vo-Tech, 66-52, for their first championship since 2008.

After losing in the Maryland Class 2A state boys basketball final last year, Largo got redemption Saturday. The Lions defeated Carver Vo-Tech, 66-52, for their first championship since 2008.

“Ever since last year when we were in the same area, in the same time frame and we didn’t have a smile on our face,” said Ward. “The whole summer, the whole preseason, that was our goal…we got to get back here and win.”

With Georgetown University coach Ed Cooley watching, Ward, arguably the top overall Power 5 prospect in Maryland, finished with 29 points, 16 rebounds, six blocked shots and five steals Saturday.

With victory assured in the final seconds of regulation, Ward was overcome with emotion, pulling the top of his jersey over his face. Since he was born, Largo High has been his second home.

His father, Rodney Ward, is the Lions boys coach and has been involved in the program for more than 20 years. His mother, Ayanna Ball-Ward, played basketball at Largo and serves as athletic director and girls basketball coach. Jalen Johnson, who scored 17 points Saturday for Largo, is a cousin.

With several high-level private schools around the DMV region as well as nationally-regarded out-of-state private schools a player of his skill and stature could easily leave for, Cam Ward is comfortable and happy.

“I wanted to see how I could be a community builder,” said Ward. “No one of my caliber has ever stayed at a public school rather than go play for a WCAC (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) school or the prep schools. I decided to stay home and it worked out in the end.”

No fluke for Carver Vo-Tech

George Washington Carver Vocational-Technical High, commonly known as Carver Vo-Tech, was the first Baltimore City outside of City, Dunbar, Edmondson and Lake Clifton to play in a state championship game since 2013.

The Bears (21-6), however, weren’t a Cinderella story. Two seasons ago, the Bears defeated Dunbar, owner of 16 state titles as well as mythical national titles in the 1980s and 1990s. Last year, the Bears reached the North Region I final.

With seven letterwinners back this season, Carver rallied for a victory at then-defending Class 3A state and Baltimore City champ City and pushed eventual city and 1A state champ Edmondson in the season opener. The Bears ended New Town’s reign as 2A champs in the North Region final.

Carver defeated Queen Anne’s in a state quarterfinal match that ended in the third quarter after an altercation that resulted in the suspension of coach Alvin Parker, and most of their reserves, who left the bench area, for its state semifinal game against Middletown.

The Bears defeated Middletown Tuesday to reach their first state championship game. Carver was close with Largo until midway in the third quarter Saturday.

“This is going to sting,” Parker said. “Honestly, no one expected us to be here…We have guys who had to grind. We thought that we should have won.”

Dorrian Sands finished with 13 points and three assists for Carver, and Kalial Colclough added 12 points and three steals.

“Brotherhood is something we pride ourselves on, something that we built. We’ve been together for three years and I felt this year was important for us to get here. Our goal was to get to states,” said Colclough. “We didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but I know for sure we worked really really hard. That’s the culture we want to build, to work hard and bring guys in who’re willing to buy in.”