The Western Maryland College men's and women's basketball teams have some important early-season games this weekend.
The women face an especially grueling stretch of five games in eight days beginning tonight.
The women play back-to-back games against Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore at 7 tonight and Gallaudet at home at 7 tomorrow night. On Saturday, Mary Washington visits Gill Physical Education Learning Center at 2 p.m. and Catholic arrives Monday for a 7 p.m. contest.
The Green Terrors hit the road a week from today for the first Middle Atlantic Conference Southwest Section game, visiting Johns Hopkins in Baltimore at 7 p.m.
Notre Dame started the season by dropping a 79-53 verdict to Central College of Iowa Saturday. Gallaudet, meanwhile, returns three starters from a 16-10 team from last year, a team Western Maryland defeated, 75-49.
Mary Washington and Catholic are important regional games for the Terrors. Unlike most of the Pennsylvania schools on the MAC portion of Western Maryland's schedule, both schools are in the South Atlantic region.
The Hopkins game also will have a regional impact, but, more importantly, is an important MAC Southwest game. Hopkins was the coaches' pre-season favorite, but the Blue Jays were thumped by Franklin & Marshall, 78-66, in a section game and lost to Holy Family, an NAIA school from Philadelphia, earlier this season.
Hopkins was, however, ranked in the Top 20 in one NCAA Division III pre-season poll and returns several starters from last year's section runner-up team.
Western Maryland started the season with a 1-1 record after splitting two games in the Lady Spartan Invitational in York, Pa., earlier this month. Debbie Shockley, a transfer student from American University, has been a big boost for the Terrors thus far and was selected to the all-tourney team in York.
The men play Franklin & Marshall at 8 Saturday night in Lancaster, Pa. The Dips were rated the No. 2 Division III team in the country in one pre-season poll. F & M was 24-4 last year and have a 3-0 record heading into tonight's MAC Southwest game with Gettysburg.
Western Maryland is 2-1 heading into tonight's 8 p.m. home game with York after winning the Rotary Tip-Off earlier this month.
In other Western Maryland sports this weekend: * The men's and women's swimming team have a home meet against Goucher College of Towson, Baltimore County, at 2 p.m. Saturday. The WMC men are 1-1 and the women 0-2 heading into tonight's home meet (7) with Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.
* The wrestling team will try to remain undefeated Saturday when it travels to Swarthmore (Pa.) College to battle the Little Quakers and NCAA Division I LaSalle of Philadelphia in a noon tri-meet.