With a 6-1 slate, the Prophet ushered in the new year with the a plomb of Dick Clark and ran his overall record to predicting high school sports to 94-35, a percentage of .729.
Only Glen Burnie's upset championship in the girls Cap City Classic spoiled the Prophet's perfect record, which included a bonus pick. It was the bonus pick, in fact, that the rage of a sage missed. Prophet Pat called for Poly of Baltimore to rip Glen Burnie by 10 points or more and go on to win the tournament.
The regular pick was that South River would defeat Annapolis by six points and advance to the final against Poly. South River did beat Annapolis, 38-29, but lost the final not to Poly, but to Glen Burnie, 47-42. Glen Burnie upset favored Poly, 46-42.
The Panthers' boys team took their version of the Cap City over Poly, 74-56. The Prophet had called for Annapolis to wipe out City College of Baltimore inthe opening round by 16 points or more and then go on to win its own tournament.
Coach John Brady's bunch blew out City, 108-74, and won the Cap City. The Fighting Panthers were one of three boys teams to win holiday tournaments as predicted by the Prophet.
Meade wasthe Prophet's pick in its own Christmas extravaganza, and the Stangs came through by first nipping Old Mill, 71-68, just as the sage saidit would. The game did "go right down to the wire, with the Mustangspulling it out by a point or more."
In the other Meade tournament game, the Prophet called for Edgewood of Harford County to take Glen Burnie by four points or more, and the visitors easily covered, 71-60. As predicted by the Prophet, Edgewood then lost its first game ofthe season to Meade in the final.
Northeast and Chesapeake were tabbed by the sage to meet in the final of the Bob Pascal Tournament at Chesapeake, with Northeast taking it. And that was exactly the scenario.
Severna Park was a two-point Prophet underdog to Northeast, and the Eagles prevailed, 83-72, while Chesapeake (a three-point favorite) outlasted Pallotti of Laurel, 61-53.
Northeast took the championship, 52-50, over much-improved Chesapeake.
So, with the new year off to such a great start, the Prophet is more than anxious to get to this week's card. The card, though, is no piece of cake, with at least five hot games, including the "Game of the Year."
Broadneck at Annapolis, 7:30 p.m. Friday, "Game of the Year"
The Prophet finds it rather amazing that Broadneck (8-1) has come along so fast. Early in the season, Broadneck looked to be a coupleof months away from being ready to offer the defending state 4A champs serious opposition.
With only one returning starter in superb senior point guard Johnny Williams, the inexperienced Bruins didn't look like they would be ready, even by Coach Ken Kazmarek's own admission, until their second meeting with Annapolis (8-0) in late January.
Well, forget that. The Bruins are on the rampage after taking the Wes Unseld Tournament at Catonsville Community College for a fourthstraight year, but the question is, even though they have exceeded expectations, can they beat Annapolis?
The Prophet doesn't think so.
Williams is arguably the county's best point guard, so Gerard Hyman of Annapolis will have something to prove. The Prophet believes Hyman will go out and establish himself as equal to Williams.
Look for an outstanding game from both, along with junior Jeff Vincent of Broadneck and Delmore Howard of Annapolis. Also, the Prophet looked into his crystal ball and saw a few long-range bombs from Panther junior Rob Wooster.
But with all that aside, there is one big difference in the two teams. His number is 45, his name is Dennis Edwards. This guy is without a doubt the quickest cat along the baseline the Prophet has seen in 20 years.
At times, Edwards is unstoppable, as his 35 points a game average attests. If this guy gets hot early, it will be a long, long night for the Bruins. Even the long arms of Boris Beck won't make any difference when Edwards starts driving and gliding.
You can't block shots if you can't get the paws up in time. Edwards is sometimes quicker than a speeding bullet. The more the Prophet watches this guy, the more he sees that guy in the NBA who hangs up there forever and calls himself Michael.
It's going to beAir Dennis show time tomorrow night.
Annapolis plus 10 over Broadneck.
Southern at Northeast, 7:30 p.m. tomorrow
Here is the Class 2Aversion of "Game of the Year," because these two teams are expected to be region finalists.
These are two excellent teams with excellent coaches in Tom Albright of Southern and the Eagles' Johnny Barbour. Northeast (6-2) has the home advantage in this first encounter between the two, but Southern (7-1) has the big gun.
The Prophet doesn't believe that Steve Strauss, Gene Pleyo and company will overcomethe all-around spectacular play of Vince Barnett. Barnett also has afine cast around him and if his mates follow the leader, the Dawgs will go home a winner.
Southern plus 1 over Northeast.