Spalding, Severn look strong in realigned MSA B Conference BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 04, 1992|By Steven Kivinski St. Mary's

Spalding

Archbishop Spalding coach Lee Dove is hoping the exposure his team gained on its 10-day tour of Russia last summer will help the Cavaliers in their quest for a Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference championship.

"We had the great fortune of playing a style of basketball over there that is at a much more physical level than ours," said Dove. "That trip has helped the team, and they're already playing together very well."

The Cavaliers, who went 7-17 last year before making a first-round exit in the C conference playoffs, have the size to be competitive, but Dove cites his team's renewed fervor as its biggest attribute.

"I sense a lot more enthusiasm," said Dove. "The guys believe in themselves and there is really a vitality among the players that I haven't seen in the last few years at Spalding."

Brian Mohr, who averaged 10.9 points last season before being sidelined with a broken hand, returns along with 6-foot-5 senior center Rich Reilly and guards Scott Robuck and Doug Little.

Senior Tim Alber is a newcomer to the squad and a "hulking force in the middle," Dove said. His presence, along with that of forward Matt Shaw (6-4) and senior swingmen Jeff Stavely (6-3) and Jeff Paxson, gives Spalding size and experience in the frontcourt.

@ St. Mary's first-year coach Hank Gareis has a simple philosophy.

"Take care of the little things," says Gareis, "and everything else will sort of fall into place."

But, not necessarily first place.

The Saints have a solid nucleus returning from last year's 10-17 contingent and with the help of some key newcomers, they could creep their way into contention in the realigned Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference.

Gareis, who took over for Jim Sheehan, says his team is not blessed with any tremendous height or speed, but has "12 or 13 guys with even ability" who will compete among themselves for playing time.

"These guys are really going at it in practice and they have to if they are going to get any minutes," said Gareis. "They know that they have to work hard if they want to play."

Senior shooting guard Charlie McLoud returns and is in "full swing," Gareis said. McLoud led the Saints with 16.0 points per game last season.

Forwards Mike Craven (6-5) and Mark Kiefer (6-3) saw a lot of playing time last season and will vie for time with James McCutchan (6-1) and junior varsity products Joe Gruendl (6-3) and Justin Kiernan (6-4).

First-year seniors Kevin Reichardt and Matt Tengwall are welcome additions. Reichardt, a standout on St. Mary's lacrosse team, gives the Saints some much-needed quickness, as does Tengwall.

Ed Zelezin (6-3) and Marty Johnson (6-4) will vie for time at center.

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Steven Kivinski

Severn

Severn coach Jim Doyle has his reasons for believing his team can win a championship in the MSA B Conference.

Seniors Brad Fowler, Jamand "Jake" Mack and Chris Pitkin are the obvious. That the defending champions of St. Paul's have moved up to the A Conference is the other.

"St. Paul's is no longer in our league and that helps us somewhat, but it's disappointing to us," said Doyle, acknowledging he will miss the rivalry the Admirals and Crusaders had established.

"We went undefeated [12-0] in the C Conference last year and we return four key starters, so we think we should be there again at the end. Finishing second last season was real tough, and we weren't happy with that."

Standing in the way of the Admirals is a Boys' Latin team with all of its players back, a "big" Spalding team, and a St. Mary's team with a fresh attitude and a new coach.

"I think the league, top to bottom, will be better this season," said Doyle, whose team finished last year at 20-8.

Fowler, Mack and Pitkin combined for 39 points a game last season, and all return stronger and wiser. Fowler, a 6-2 forward, led the Admirals with 15.0 points, followed by Mack (a 6-foot guard) with 14.0, and Pitkin (a 6-4 center) with 10.0.

Senior forward Eric Nelson also returns with 5-10 forward John Vereen, a sophomore.

James Carpenter (a 5-9 junior) is up from the Admirals' junior varsity, where he led his team with 15.0 points.

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Steven Kivinski

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