Severn gets another fast start

SIDELINES

December 23, 1992|By PAT O'MALLEY

With the holiday tournaments coming up, let's take a look at what's been happening in high school basketball.

Severn School of the Maryland Scholastic Association Armstrong Conference B Division boasts the best record in the entire metro area at 11-1 and is ranked No. 15 by The Baltimore Sun. The Admirals' only loss was by 64-53 to seventh-ranked Cardinal Gibbons (5-4).

What Severn has done is not surprising considering that coach Jim Doyle had such a solid nucleus, led by Brad Fowler (16.3 points per game) and Jake Mack (14.4). Nothing short of the conference title could be considered a success.

Certainly the Fowler-Mack group has been special to Severn and Doyle in football and basketball (Doyle coaches both), but their record the past three years has been fast start, screeching halt at the end. The law of averages is on their side because they are too talented not to win it all this time.

I don't think anyone is surprised that fourth-ranked Annapolis (3-0), No. 13 Broadneck (3-0), Glen Burnie (4-0) and Meade (3-0) are unbeaten in the Class 4A ranks.

Nor should anyone be surprised that Southern (4-1) and South River (3-2) are off to good starts simply because of key returning players on these Class 2A and 3A teams.

Class 4A Severna Park's 3-1 start is surprising because the Falcons lost several big guns to graduation, including All-County forward Rich Riffle, but not so surprising when you look at their schedule.

The Falcons really haven't played anybody, with their three wins coming over Class 1A schools, Archbishop Spalding by 79-60, Annapolis Area Christian School by 75-50 and Sts. Peter and Paul by 93-59.

Severna Park's loss came in its 4A classification by 58-45 to Northern of Calvert County, but the team is young and inexperienced and recently lost a key senior, Tim Bowerman, with a broken foot.

The Falcons could pad their record when they play host to next week's Bob Pascal Tournament, which includes Class 2A Northeast (1-4) and Class 4A schools, North County (0-6) and Chesapeake (2-1).

Severna Park meets Northeast in the first round, and Chesapeake is pitted against winless North County. This tournament may be the Knights' best chance to end their 32-game losing streak. A win could come for North County in the consolation.

Chesapeake has to rank as the favorite in that holiday event and is one of the surprises this season. The Cougars, 9-13 the past two seasons and without a winning season in their boys basketball history, suffered their only loss at D.C. area powerhouse St. John's (5-1), 91-52. St. John's is ranked seventh by The Washington Post.

Ken Findley, a 6-foot-2 senior, has emerged as one of the top players in the county, averaging 24.3 points in the first three.

Chesapeake's victories have come over St. Mary's (2-5) of the MSA Armstrong Conference B Division by 52-43 and at Mount St. Joseph (3-3) of the Armstrong Conference A Division by 46-45. St. Mary's is no great shakes, but St. Joe is decent.

Arundel (3-2) has been a pleasant surprise but maybe should be 4-1. The Wildcats of coach Gerald Moore, 9-13 a year ago, haven't had a winning season since 1979 and started this year with two losses.

Poly outlasted Arundel, 65-55, but Class 2A Southern with Chatney Howard (37 points) lighting it up, humbled the Cats, 72-59.

Moore's crew has bounced back to take the next three over Hammond by 73-51; North County, 68-47; and Northeast, 65-56. With Rich Abrams averaging 16 points and 17 rebounds, Arundel ranks asa playoff contender in 4A Region IV.

Last year's 4A Region IV champion, Old Mill, is off to a 1-2 start. The Patriots of coach Paul Bunting were blown out by 30 points in each of the first two games by Thomas Johnson of Frederick and Laurel, before ringing up a 67-42 win over Frederick.

Judging by the first few games into the season, preseason forecasts were pretty accurate, with Annapolis, Broadneck, Glen Burnie and Meade emerging as playoff contenders for four of the six berths.

Once the 4A teams get into league play after the holiday tournaments, which do not count toward playoff points, the race for the final two spots should be wild because 12th-ranked Edmondson (2-2) of the MSA Armstrong Conference A Division figures in it.

It's not likely that Annapolis, Broadneck, Glen Burnie and Meade will falter because each is talented, Annapolis with its 10 men deep, Broadneck with its pesky defense and deliberate style, Glen Burnie with its height and Meade with its quickness.

Edmondson is in the region just for this year per the Baltimore public schools' merger with the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association and will move to Region II next year.

The Redskins rank in the second tier of the MSA Gamper Conference, with the likes of Southern (No. 6) and Southwestern (No. 8), behind upper-level teams Dunbar, Lake Clifton and Walbrook (1-2-3, respectively, in the Baltimore Sun Top 20). They should win enough games to grab one of the six berths.

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