If It's Anybody But Old Mill In State Hoops, Who Cares?


March 12, 1992|By PAT O'MALLEY

Don't blame the Prophet for last week's horrendous outing in the science of prognosticating, and don't believe that stuff from the media that the Michelangelo virus did not strike.

The Michelangelo bug may not have hit a lot of systems, but it sure got into the Prophet's,resulting in a 1-5 slate predicting the high school hoops playoffs. The pitiful effort left the Prophet at an overall 130-70 (65 percent)for the year.

The only correct pick for the rage of a sage came in the boys 4A region semifinal at Meade.

Meade was a two-point pick over SevernaPark, and won, 70-67, in overtime. However, Meade did not play and lose to Annapolis in the Region IV final. Old Mill (or maybe it was that bug) messed that up.

Old Mill upset Annapolis, which had been aone-point favorite, 71-66, then won its first region title, 81-73, in double overtime over Meade.

The flu didn't stop there, as it fouled the Prophet's transmission in the 3A Region IV semis. South Riverwas favored by one over Potomac in the semifinal, and picked to win its first region title by two points.

South River lost to eventualregion champion Potomac, 75-71, and it was two more losses for the sage.

Finally, in the girls 4A Region IV final, Broadneck was tabbed to pull off the "Upset of the Season" by a point over defending state champion Old Mill. The Patriots won, but the Prophet's screen was so scrambled that he couldn't make out the score.

He was able to confirm the Old Mill victory after driving by the gym and hearing Patriot fans yelling, "We want O'Malley, we want O'Malley!"

Take it easy, kids. It's not O'Malley's fault. Blame that guy in the weird turban and cape.

With the bug definitely outta here, the Prophet feelssafe with this week's final four picks to close out the hoops season.

Boys basketball

State 4A semifinals at Cole Field House, University of Maryland, tonight

No. 4 seed Old Mill (16-9) vs. No. 1 Paint Branch (22-2), 9 p.m.: This pick might surprise you, since the Montgomery County team is ranked No. 9 by the Washington Post with itsgaudy record, and Old Mill is nowhere in sight in that Top 25.

Yes, the Prophet likes Old Mill to stun the Panthers, but the Patriots will get blown out by No. 2 seed High Point (21-3) in the state finalSaturday night.

Paint Branch has an excellent team and a DivisionI-caliber player in 6-foot-2 senior point guard Riley Inge, but not much height.

The Prophet loves the way the Patriots match up with the Panthers and has a sneaky suspicion that unheralded Austin Johnson (6-2 center) and Terrell Eldridge (6-2) are going to have career games on the boards.

With everything else even, Old Mill's inside people could be the difference if Coach Paul Bunting slows it down a bit, not to mention the fact that this team is riding an emotional wave.

Something else that could be an omen in Old Mill's favor is thatCoach Bunting played in high school at Cole three years with Springbrook of Montgomery County. In 1972, Bunting's sophomore year and his first at Springbrook, the team won the state 4A title.

This is Bunting's first trip as a coach, so why not? Old Mill by one over Paint Branch.

No. 2 High Point (21-3) vs. No. 3 Crossland (19-4), 7 p.m.: Look for the Eagles, ranked No. 3 by the Washington Post to fly by No. 4-ranked Crossland and into the final. The Prophet feels High Point has the best balance and talent of any team in the final four, with an outstanding forward in Kenny Avent. High Point by three over Crossland.

State 4A championship game, 8 p.m. Saturday at Cole Field House: High Point by eight or more over Old Mill. If not Old Mill, High Point by three over Paint Branch, but the state champion definitely will be High Point.

Girls basketball

State 4A state semifinals at Catonsville Community College, today

No. 1 Old Mill (23-1) vs. No. 4 Gaithersburg (20-5), 5 p.m.: Old Mill has been on a mission to repeat as state champion, and the Prophet sees no reason why it won't. Everything else up to this point, county and region, was academic.

Now the Stacy Himes-led Patriots are totally focused and ready to put a lid on another banner season.

The Pats' opponent from Montgomery County is not to be taken lightly after its 44-42 upset of theWashington Post's seventh-ranked Springbrook (22-2) in the Region I final.

Gaithersburg is a very good team as its record indicates along with its No. 13 ranking in the Washington Post Top 25, but Old Mill is ranked No. 4 in the same poll and No. 1 by The Sun.

The rankings are accurate. Old Mill is so deep that individual stars don't get showcased maybe the way they should. Problem is, it's a galaxy of stars. Old Mill by three over Gaithersburg.

No. 2 Bowie (20-4) vs. No. 3 Laurel (18-4), 3 p.m.: Bowie is ranked No. 15 by the WashingtonPost while Laurel is No. 17, and the two teams are about that even.

This could be a high-scoring game with Bowie's Becky Greenfield averaging 18 points a game and Laurel's Nicole Mamula leading the D.C. metro area with 25.4 points a game.

In their region finals, the two bombed away. Mamula, a 5-foot-8 guard, had 31 points in a 60-39 romp over The Sun's No. 18 Woodlawn (18-6) of Baltimore County.

Greenfield scored 26 in a 69-48 romp over Largo (20-3) of Prince George's in the Region III final. The high-scoring Bulldog should score enoughto offset whatever Mamula does, and Bowie has the edge in reboundingwith 5-10 senior Amy Ford. Bowie by four over Laurel

State 4A championship, 3 p.m. Saturday at Catonsville Community College: Old Millby two over Bowie. If it's anybody else but Old Mill, who cares?

The Prophet to date

Right.. .. .. .. ..Wrong.. .. .. .. ..Pct.

130.. .. .. .. .. ..70.. .. .. .. .. .650

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