City-giant Western ready to shoot for a state title GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 03, 1992|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

Breezy Bishop has compiled quite a resume in her 19 years as Western's basketball coach.

Among her achievements are:

* 12 City-Wide conference championships.

* five Metro Classic titles.

* a 306-28 (.916) career record.

* four undefeated seasons.

There's one honor, however, that has eluded Bishop and the Doves: a state championship.

That could change this season. The city schools' entrance into the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association allows Western to challenge for a state title for the first time.

If the Doves are to win the Class 4A state championship, they would have to unseat two-time defending champion Old Mill.

The Doves are The Baltimore Sun's preseason No. 1 and are nationally ranked by Street & Smith's (No. 8) and USA Today (No. 23).

Bishop, however is hesitant to accept such lofty rankings.

Her primary concern is her team's experience. Three sophomores will start, including All-Metro guard Chanel Wright.

"We do have several questions," Bishop said. "Who will provide leadership? We have capable players, but can they perform as a team?"

If those questions are answered affirmatively, Western will be tough to defeat.

Lake Clifton should provide the Doves with their toughest competition in the City-Wide 4A Division.

Walbrook is the heavy favorite in the City-Wide 3A Division. Like Western, Walbrook has had one of the area's most successful programs, but never has had the opportunity to compete for a state championship until this season.

Howard, which finished second in the tough Howard County League last season, could stand between Walbrook and a trip to the Class 3A state semifinals.

Rivals Western and Walbrook will meet for the only time this season in an inter-division game on Tuesday at the Baltimore Arena as part of the Charm City/Big Apple Challenge.

The Baltimore County 4A-3A League's top three teams from last season -- Dulaney, Catonsville and Woodlawn -- all lost key players to graduation.

Catonsville, however, returns three starters and is the early favorite in the county.

The Comets are looking for their third consecutive Class 3A state semifinal appearance. Lansdowne returns all five starters and could be a team to watch.

Towson looks like the team to beat in the Baltimore County 2A-1A League. The Generals went undefeated during the regular season before losing to Dulaney in the county championship game last season. Loch Raven and Milford Mill should contend.

The Institute of Notre Dame and Mercy, which finished second and third, respectively, in the Catholic League last season, again should challenge favored St. Mary's.

St. Frances, which is beginning its third year with a varsity program, has the potential to go from last in the Catholic League last season to the upper echelon this year.

Bryn Mawr went 10-0 in the Association of Independent Schools A Division during the regular season, then lost to McDonogh in the league's tournament championship game.

Both teams have their marquee players back -- Kisha Ford at Bryn Mawr and Sonia Chase at McDonogh -- and again should be a notch above the other teams in the division.

In the AIS B Division, defending champion Garrison Forest should be challenged by Friends and Park.

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