Hair Connection Goes From Worst To First

Last-place Team Wins Postseason Tournament

April 08, 1992|By Mike Nortrup | Mike Nortrup,Contributing sports writer

HAMPSTEAD — They created postseason tournaments for teams like Hair Connection.

That North Carroll Recreation Council baasketball squad finished last in the third- and fourth-grade boys division during the regular season, winning only two of 12 games.

But those miseries vanished with the beginning of the North Carroll league's annual Dixie Classic postseason tourney last week, where everybody started again at 0-0 and had a chance to set things right.

Hair Connection did just that, winning three straight. It culminated the streak with a 20-18 verdict over No. 1 North in Sunday afternoon's division championship at North Carroll High.

The Gold team (fourth- through sixth-grade girls), Hunt Valley Imports (fifth- through sixth-grade boys), Nick's Pizzaria (seventh- through eighth-grade co-ed) and the Navy team (men) won other Dixie championships.

Underdogs also put on some good showings in those games.

Hair Connection's, though, was special.

"I told them after the game that they were like the Minnesota Twins, last to first," said team coach Steve Johnson.

To reach the finals, Johnson's squad knocked off regular-season champ Lamotte Development, which had already beaten Hair Connection twice this year.

The lead in Sunday's finale against No. 1 North see-sawed until Thomas Quinn's bucket broke an 18-18 tie near the game's end.

"Give them all the credit in the world. I'm proud of the way my kids hung in there after losing their first nine games of the year," Johnson said.

"Finally, everything we worked on so long just started to happen."

Mark Campbell led Hair Connection with 15points.

Third-place regular-season finisher Hunt Valley had a relatively easy championship game win, 44-34, over second-place Doctor Deigert's in the fifth- through sixth-grade boys game.

Eric Bonito's 22 points paced Hunt Valley, which roared to a 14-4 lead after the first quarter and coasted from there.

Deigert's Garrett Sanner ledall scorers with 24 points.

Gold coasted to an easy first-place finish in the fourth- through sixth-grade girls division this year. But Red took it to the brink before falling in a 12-10 overtime tiff.

Jeannie Passano scored Gold's winning basket.

Another first-place regular-season finisher, Pizza Garden, wasn't so lucky in overtime.

It fell, 36-34, to Nick's Pizzaria and a 22-point barrage by RyanAppling in the co-ed title match.

Jeff Oyan had 10 points for Pizza Garden, and Justin Marlbrough added 12 for Nick's.

The men's division, though, saw no surprises as first-place Navy continued its season-long league dominance by trouncing Red, 96-62, in Sunday's titlegame.

Navy coach Troy Warehime, whose teams have now won four consecutive men's division championships, led all scorers with 28 points.

Mike Lynch had 17 for Red.

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