Last weekend's Dulaney Christmas Tournament marked the return of Dulaney boys basketball coach Glenn Snyder, who had missed all of the preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season while being treated for colon cancer.
Doctors cleared Snyder, 42, to return after the holidays, but he was pressed into action because his assistant, Tony Donia, went to the Bahamas.
"The prognosis is good," said Snyder. "I'm still under chemo [chemotherapy treatment], but it's as good as it can be."
Snyder, who once was basketball coach at Loch Raven and Towson, said that cards and calls from several of his former players have been an inspiration and given him a tremendous lift.
"I heard from kids I had coached 15 years ago," said Snyder, who is in his third year at Dulaney. "It really meant a lot. It makes you fell like the 100 hours you put in every year really mean something."
Co-No. 20 Dulaney (6-1) gave Snyder another lift by winning its Christmas tournament. The Lions beat Loch Raven, 79-63, in the semifinals Friday and beat Fallston, 76-61, in the championship Saturday.
Junior forward Albert Smith had 45 points in the two tournament games.
Co-No. 16 Southern of Anne Arundel (5-1) also won its tournament, beating Wilde Lake, 80-75, in the championship game Saturday night.
Southern senior guard Vince Barnett scored 34. Wilde Lake's Phil Chenier had 21 points.
Southern led, 77-75, with 40 seconds left and Wilde Lake had the ball but Southern's Clayton Pinkney got a steal and a layup to send Southern ahead, 79-75.
Aberdeen third-year boys basketball coach Len Petrey hasn'had a lot to get excited about since replacing Bob McCone in 1988.
McCone led the Eagles to nine straight seasons with 18 or more victories and 10 county titles, but the Eagles have been 9-12 in each of Petrey's first two seasons.
But Saturday night, in the final game of the Baltimore County Holiday Invitational, Aberdeen pulled off one of the weekend's biggest upsets with a come-from-behind, 68-66 victory over Bowie to improve to 3-1.
"I can't ever recall us coming back from that far behind," said Petrey, who served as McCone's assistant for several years. "We looked like we were going to fold early on. As we got closer and closer, our confidence just kept building. This is the most incredible game I've ever been involved in."
In the first half, Aberdeen struggled while Bowie built a 22-point lead late in the second quarter.
"I told the kids at halftime not to get discouraged," said Petrey. "I just told them to stay with the game plan and be patient, and the shots would start to go in."
In the second half, they did.
With 2 minutes, 17 seconds remaining, an Aberdeen jumper tied the game for the first time, at 58. Aberdeen's Demont Blackmon hit two foul shots with 28 seconds left to give his team a 68-66 lead.
Aberdeen's Demetrious Harris missed the front end of a one-and-one with six seconds left. After the miss, the clock failed to start for several seconds, as Bowie drove the length of the court and drew the foul. But Bowie's Mike James missed the front end of the one-and-one, and Aberdeen's comeback was preserved.
Dunbar has moved up to third in The Associated Press' nationatop 25 and to No. 1 in the East Coast region. Dunbar's ranking is the highest for any area team since 1985, when the Poets won a mythical national title.
Whites Creek, Tenn., is No. 1 and Philadelphia's Simon Gratz is No. 2 in the national top 25.
Woodlawn coach Rod Norris took some criticism after Woodlawpulled out of the Wes Unseld Tournament after refusing to play Mount St. Joseph in a Friday night consolation final after losing in overtime in a Friday afternoon semifinal to Broadneck, 53-49.
There were some who felt Norris' decision was sour grapes because of his team's close loss to Broadneck, but Norris said that his players were drained physically and mentally, and that is what prompted his decision.
Norris did confirm that he had been told on Thursday that the consolation game would be the same day as the semifinal and that he had originally agreed to play both games if necessary.
"After the [Broadneck] game, the kids were down," he said. "We weren't trying to duck out of competition. It was a tough game. I played six or seven kids the whole game. I didn't think it would be good mentally or physically for our team to wait around the gym and put back on the same uniforms and go and play."
Mount St. Joseph was awarded third place in the tournament because Woodlawn forfeited, but Norris said his team should not be given a loss because of the circumstances.
Forest Park's Eric Bazmore, the area's second-leading scorer year ago, showed he plans to be among the scoring leaders again, as Forest Park's season got under way in the Wes Unseld Tournament last week.
Forest Park won just one of three games in the tournament, but Bazemore, a senior guard who averaged 27.0 points last season, totaled 104 points in three games, good for a 34.6 average. That ranks second to Annapolis' Dennis Edwards (35.0).