The second annual Charm City Classic, featuring five boys basketball teams ranked in the USA Today Super 25 poll, will be held Friday and Saturday night at Towson Center.
The nationally ranked teams are No. 1 Simon Gratz of Philadelphia, No. 4 St. Anthony's of Jersey City, N.J., No. 6 St. John's Prospect Hall of Frederick, No. 9 Dunbar of Washington, and The Baltimore Sun's top-ranked Dunbar, ranked 10th nationally.
Competition begins with Friday's 7 p.m. game between Simon Gratz, featuring the nation's top player, 6-foot-11 center Rasheed Wallace, and Lake Clifton, ranked No. 2 in The Baltimore Sun.
Dunbar plays St. Anthony's in the 9 p.m. contest. The first game of the evening features No. 9 Towson Catholic and Prospect Hall.
On Saturday at 5 p.m., No. 7 Southern faces Washington's Dunbar before Lake Clifton takes on St. Anthony's at 7, and Dunbar meets Simon Gratz at 9 p.m.
The third annual Eastside Invitational wrestling tournament is Saturday at Mervo, beginning at 10 a.m., with the finals slated for 3 p.m.
The 11-team field consists of the host Mustangs, Northern, City, Lake Clifton, Dunbar, Edmondson, Carver, Douglass, Friends, Forest Park and Patterson.
"This is the first year we'll have a team championship format," said Mervo coach Dwight Warren. "By all means, the competition should be better. We dominated individually last year, but I see a possibility of all of the schools being represented in this year's championships."
A District 9 wrestling tournament tentatively is scheduled for Feb. 12-13, a week before the Maryland Scholastic Association tournament, for the 13 city public schools with wrestling teams.
The tournament at Southwestern will serve as the equivalent of the county or league tournaments in which the majority of the state's programs participate before competing in the regional and state meets.
New football divisions
Next year's divisions and schedules for football for Baltimore public schools and private schools have been determined, said City football coach George Petrides and private schools coordinator Ed Novak.
The private schools' Armstrong A Division consists of five former MSA teams and St. Mary's, formerly of the C Conference. McDonogh, Gilman, Calvert Hall, Loyola, St. Mary's and Mount St. Joseph constitute the A Division.
Cardinal Gibbons, formerly of the MSA A Conference, will compete in the Armstrong B Division with four-time C Conference champion St. Paul's, Boys' Latin, Archbishop Curley, Severn and Archbishop Spalding.
"There was a meeting held and it was kicked around, and St. Mary's opted to come up into the higher conference and Gibbons opted into the B Conference," Novak said. "Everything else is about the same."
Novak said there will be several cross-divisional meetings but few games with private schools against city public schools.
"We'll have a 4A champ, a 3A champ and a 2A champ," said Petrides. "The Poly-City game is scheduled for Nov. 5 or 6, but the place has not been determined."
The seven 4A schools are Edmondson, Lake Clifton, Mervo, Patterson, Southern, Southwestern, and Walbrook.
Carver, City, Douglass, Northern and Poly are the 3A schools, and Dunbar, Forest Park and Northwestern will compete as 2A schools.
Reports that No. 12 Edmondson's boys basketball team had only 13 games scheduled as of last week were untrue, athletic director Joseph Cassidy said yesterday.
Cassidy confirmed that the Redskins' schedule listed only 13 games in late November, but he added Forest Park, Northwestern and Carver before the season started in December.
A team can play fewer than 15 games, but the points gained still would be divided by 15 to determine its playoff average, making it more difficult to qualify against teams with better records and more games.
The city teams competing within the Gamper Conference's 4A/2A/1A or 3A divisions -- each of which comprises seven teams -- play each division opponent twice, totaling 12 games, so "a lot of teams had to add teams to reach the state's [division] of 15," Cassidy said.
"We put in a call to some teams in our region, like Chesapeake [Anne Arundel County] and Glen Burnie, but didn't get a favorable response. Maybe they didn't have room on their schedules," said Cassidy, whose Region IV consists of only Edmondson and Patterson from the city, with the rest of the teams being from Anne Arundel County.
Only 16 of the Redskins' 21 games -- including five tournament contests -- count for points toward the playoffs. Edmondson is 6-4 overall, 4-3 in games that count toward the postseason.