Mythical national title chase makes Charm City stop Poets, Lakers to get shot at Simon Gratz

December 16, 1992|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

The road to high school's mythical national basketball championship probably will be decided in Baltimore this season.

On Jan. 15 and 16, the second annual Charm City Classic, featuring five teams ranked in the USA Today Super 25 poll, will be held at the Towson Center.

The theme, "Defending Your Turf," alludes to the mixer's main attractions, locally top-ranked Dunbar and second-ranked Lake Clifton against the country's No. 1 team, Simon Gratz of Philadelphia, and No. 9 St. Anthony's of New Jersey.

On Friday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m., Lake Clifton will meet Simon Gratz and its 6-foot-11 center Rasheed Wallace, considered to be the top high school player in the nation. At 9 p.m., the Poets, ranked fifth in the USA Today poll, will play St. Anthony's.

It will be a rematch of last year's final game of the Charm City Classic, which the Poets won, 50-49.

The win was the Poets' eighth over a nationally ranked team en route to the national title. The games will be preceded by a matchup of the Baltimore Sun's No. 5 team, Towson Catholic, and St. John's Prospect Hall, ranked 10th nationally.

On Saturday at 5 p.m., Southern, The Baltimore Sun's No. 3 team, will meet Dunbar of Washington, ranked No. 18 nationally, in the preliminary game. Southern wanted to play on both days, but that would put the team over the limit of 22 regular-season games allowed by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.

The Lake Clifton Lakers will play St. Anthony's at 7 p.m., then Dunbar will get a shot at Simon Gratz.

The Poets, who have the country's longest current winning streak at 55, four short of the school record, defeated Simon Gratz at the Johnstown (Pa.) Tournament and the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach (S.C.) last season.

"We're looking at this a little differently this year," said Dunbar coach Pete Pompey at a news conference Monday at the Towson Sheraton. "Last year, everybody was after us when we were No. 1, now we're down to No. 5 and now we are the hunter."

Tickets will be available beginning Dec. 21 at the Towson Center and all Ticketmaster locations. Prices are: $18, $10 and $7.

Stopped by a broken finger

In the Chesapeake wrestling tournament last weekend, runner-up David Inkman (119 pounds, 10-3) might have joined his five teammates on the victory stand, had a broken finger not kept him out of his title bout with Northeast's Mike Kusick.

Inkman's injury, which could keep him out of the lineup for a month, occurred with about a minute left in his 3-1 semifinal upset victory over Frederick's defending 4A-3A state champion Tim Novak.

He braved the injury long enough to hold off Inkman, but the trainer in attendance refused to let him continue toward a championship.

"I'm glad I beat Novak," said Inkman, who left the tournament for Anne Arundel General Hospital, where the finger was splinted before the finals began.

A once-in-a-lifetime game

City basketball player Kelly Franklin had one of those once-in-a-lifetime games last week, single-handedly outscoring Carver in a 78-35 victory.

RTC The senior forward was involved in scoring 66 of the Knights' points, netting 36 on her own with a triple-double.

Franklin (5-foot-11) grabbed 30 rebounds, with 10 assists and 12 steals.

Excellence comes out

Gayle Belz led eighth-ranked Mercy to upset victories over then-No. 8 Bryn Mawr, 49-47, in overtime, and No. 5 Walbrook, 68-52, after the Sharpshooters got off to an 0-2 start in girls basketball.

Against Bryn Mawr, the 5-foot-11 senior center yanked down 14 rebounds and scored 19 points, including the game-winning basket in the second overtime. She followed that performance with an 18-point, 12-rebound effort against Walbrook.

"She probably played her best two games after not playing that well in our first two games," coach Mary Ella Marion said of Belz.

A two-sport terror

McDonogh graduate Brian Antonelli, now a post-graduate student at Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., has been a terror both in football and wrestling.

Two weeks ago, Antonelli, a wiry 158-pounder, finished second in the 10-team Middlesex Invitational at Middlesex Community College in Edison, N.J.

A Maryland Scholastic Association champion as a McDonogh senior, who was ranked fifth in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, Antonelli scored two second-period pins before dropping an 11-3 championship bout decision to his Blair Academy teammate, Marat Vigdorchik,.

On the football field, the Owings Mills native was named to the state's first-team, Prep A All-Star squad for his performance as a linebacker and quarterback at Blair Academy.

As the signal caller, he rolled up over 800 passing yards, going 56-of-84 for 12 touchdowns. He scored the final touchdown of the season from four yards out in a 35-0 victory over Peddie School, leading Blair's squad (9-0) to only its sixth undefeated season in 100 years of football.

State wrestling rankings

Of the 85 wrestlers ranked by the state wrestling association this month, 41 are from the area.

Mount St. Joseph had five wrestlers ranked, with Paul Scott (125 pounds, fourth), Shane McCarthy (145, fifth), Kevin Neville (152, first), Danny DeVivo (160, first) and heavyweight Dave Sunderland (second).

Calvert Hall had three with Gino Amasia (103, fourth), Brendan James (135, fifth) and Shawn King (140, fourth), and Loyola had two with Greg Smith (140, fifth) and Dave Daniecki (189, third).

Others are Dunbar's Bruce Pendles (112, second), Gilman's Gerard Harrison (119, fourth) and St. Paul's Steve Truitt (119, sixth).

In Baltimore County, Owings Mills led the way with Gregg Kessler (135, first) and Grant Johnson (171, first).

Others are Milford Mill's Gary Harris (119, third), Franklin's Jerry Hudson (125, second), Randallstown's Brandon Grodnitzky (130, fourth), Dundalk's Rick Staab (145, third), Randallstown's Johnny Montgomery (152, fourth), Loch Raven's Mike Brammer (152, fifth), Towson's Shawn Kopalchick (152, sixth) and Hereford's Jesse Channell (160, third).

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