After difficult break, Harried led Lake Clifton to another championship season, claims share of VSN’s Boys Basketball Coach of the Year honor





by Derek Toney

In a legendary career, Lake Clifton boys basketball coach Herman Harried had one of his most satisfying experiences in 2021-22. Harried is VSN’s Co-Coach of the Year.

The East Baltimore school won its second straight Class 1A state championship, defeating Baltimore City league rival Edmondson at the University of Maryland. Lake Clifton was the only area boys’ squad to win a state public championship. 

The Lakers, who won the 1A title in 2019, returned in 2020, but the state semifinal and final rounds were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There were no athletics in Baltimore City in the 2020-21 school year. 

Harried, who struggled with the separation from basketball, stayed connected with his players through virtual platforms.

“I think that carried over into the season because we didn’t stay away from each other,” said Harried, also known as “Tree” for his lanky 6-foot-7 frame. 

With one player, Kijuan Hargett, left from the 2019-20 roster, Lake Clifton had its entire city title-winning junior varsity team of 2020, on varsity this season. 

Herman Harried holds up the Class 1A state championship trophy after Lake Clifton’s victory over Edmondson at the University of Maryland last month. Harried guided the Baltimore City school to its seventh state title (sixth under Harried) after not having a season in 2020-21.

The Lakers lost their second game of the season to eventual District champ Wilson. The Harford Road school did not lose again, winning their first city championship since 2015.

Playing a tough and grinding style, a trademark of Harried teams, Lake Clifton (21-1) was undefeated in the area’s toughest public school league. The Lakers defeated Edmondson three times.

“To return from COVID, dealing with COVID…we were lucky no one got sick,” said Harried, who won his sixth state title (second most all-time in state history). “To play with COVID on top of dealing with your competitors, that’s a whole lot to deal with. This (state championship) may be at the top because of the circumstances.”

Harried said longtime assistant Stephen Hill, who suffered a stroke last year, was a source of inspiration. Hill was on the sidelines for most of the Laker games this past season.

Joseph Daughton, David Harris, Kevin McDuffie and Jamal Wilkins were Harried’s other assistants. 

A member of the iconic Dunbar powerhouse teams of the 1980s, Harried, who won his fifth city title this past season, is the only coach to win a state title in all four classifications. He’s 486-134 in 26 seasons (25 full) at Lake Clifton.