Every Basketball Team Has Its Star To Wish On

Many Standouts In Wildand Wacky Season

All-county Boys

March 20, 1991|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff writer

In a season filled with upsets and near-upsets, every team had at least one star.

And all county high schools placed at least one player on The Howard County Sun's 1991 All-County Boys Basketball Team.

Regional champions Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake each produced twofirst-team players.

Hammond's Kyle Jefferson was Player of the Year for leading his team to another strong season.

Oakland Mills' Dave Appleby rebuilt the Scorpions into another county and regional champion to repeat as Coach of the Year.

From the first to the last tip-off, this season produced plenty of the unusual and the remarkable.

The remarkable all started early when Hammond coach Jack Burke showed up for opening practice having lost 116 pounds on a liquid diet. Opposing teams were doing double-takes on Burke's first swing through the league -- that's how much his appearance had changed.

Mostcounty teams stumbled to a slow start.

Highly touted in preseason, Oakland Mills promptly lost its opener to Loyola, 61-59. In other early-season games, Newport Prep beat Wilde Lake, 79-78, and Bel Air nipped Atholton, 59-58.

It looked like it would be an especially long season for most county teams. And by the time the pre-league season ended, only two schools, Centennial and Howard, had winning records.

Mount Hebron enjoyed a lot of excitement as the league season began, however. The Vikings, with former coach Chuck Monninger returning after a three-year retirement from coaching, won their first five league games, including huge upset victories over Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake.

But the Vikings finally faltered during a 70-60 loss to Hammond, and the team lost six of nine to finish fourth.

Oakland Mills, a strong favorite to win its fourth straight league title, stumbled to a 3-2 record after five league games.

And Wilde Lake, the other highly touted team in preseason, stumbled to a 2-2 record before righting its course by knocking off Oakland Mills, 79-72.

When Wilde Lake beat Oakland Mills again later in the season, it left fans wondering when the Scorpions last had dropped two league games in oneseason to the same team.

The Hammond Bears, a second-place finisher the three previous years and expected to contend again, also started slowly with a shocking 49-45 league-opening loss to Atholton. The Raiders were touted as a sure second-division club.

The Bears alsowere stunned by a 78-74 overtime loss to Howard in the fourth game of the league season.

Howard was involved in two of the strangest, most one-sided scores of the season. First the Lions beat Wilde Lake by an eye-opening 85-51 margin during the 'Cats' 11-of-13 games winning streak. Then the Lions lost to Centennial by an equally stunning margin, 91-70.

It was hard to figure out Howard. The Lions beat Hammond and Wilde Lake and lost once by just one point to Oakland Mills but finished the league season at 6-8.

Oakland Mills struggled even when winning. The Scorpions scored a pair of two-point wins over Atholton, a one-point win over Howard and a two-point win over last-place Glenelg.

These were remarkable games for the losing underdog teams, but also frustrating.

The powers that be eventually got theiracts together and staged a thrilling stretch race that ended with Oakland Mills 11-3 and Wilde Lake and Hammond both at 10-4.

Unusual plays abounded all season. Who present will forget the night Oakland Mills' Carruthers Gant tried a jam only to have the ball fly about 6 feet straight up and then fall down through the hoop?

Who could forget the shot Wilde Lake's 5-foot-5 point guard, David Friedman, madein the regional championship game against Hammond? Friedman was free-falling backward through space after getting fouled, when he launched a wild shot that bounced off the backboard and went in.

Here's abrief look at the players who stood above the crowd and earned a spot on The Howard County Sun's All-County squad:

First Team

Joe Guyton (Wilde Lake): This senior guard remained cool under pressure and was a major player in Wilde Lake's second-place county finish and regional Class 2A title.

He could protect the ball, pass it inside,shoot from outside and penetrate. He was a heady player who made histeammates better players.

Guyton, who will attend the University of Delaware on a football scholarship, started slowly, missing a lot of basketball practice time due to the late-running football season.

But once he got his basketball act together he was awesome, and the 'Cats suddenly clicked into high gear, winning 10 of their last 12 league games.

Guyton scored 437 points for a 17.5 average. He scored 20 points or more in a game 10 times, and only once wasn't in double figures. The last six games of the league season he averaged 21.5 points.

He led the 'Cats in scoring with 22 and 23 points in both wins over league champion Oakland Mills and scored 22 in a crucial upset of Overlea in the regional playoffs.


Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.