As point guards go, so do top teams Their defense better than their offense


January 20, 1993|By BILL FREE

Just what is the state of high school basketball in Carroll County? Fair at best.

The top two teams in the county -- the Westminster boys and the North Carroll girls -- will go only as far as their point guards can take them.

Owls point guard Matt Brightful and Panthers point guard Ashlee Douglas are both exceptional defensive players but have been inconsistent on offense.

Brightful still is learning how to distribute the basketball and harness his quickness. At times, he has played well enough to make Westminster competitive with the likes of powerful Montgomery Blair.

But two days later, the Owls lost to Frederick on the road.

Defensively, Brightful is a force because of his quick hands.

Douglas is a superb athlete who looks great against average teams, but she can be forced into turnovers by good teams that throw different defenses at her.

Douglas' skills can reign as long as there is no defensive trickery. Those skills and hard work make her a threat on defense.

Brightful and Douglas also need to score more.

For Brightful, it's important especially when 6-foot-7 center Russell DeMont goes into a scoring funk.

Westminster coach Dave Byers said recently that DeMont was in so bad a slump that "he might not even score if everybody else left the gym."

DeMont broke loose early in the season for 28 points against Howard in a 74-43 victory, and he had 15 Friday against Linganore.

The perfect scenario for Westminster would be to have Brightful and DeMont on their offensive games to help out Todd Dorsey, who is always around 15 points.

For North Carroll, Douglas needs to contribute from the outside to take pressure off Michele Jeffery, who is being double- and triple-teamed inside.

Jeffery almost always finds a way to score 18 and get 12 rebounds, no matter how opponents are defending her.

Jenny Baker has come on strong offensively for the Panthers in the past couple of weeks, providing unexpected scoring. Baker had 12 in a good win over Damascus last Friday.

If Douglas could pick up her offense and Baker continues on a roll, North Carroll might fulfill its dream of a trip to the state 2A final four.

Elsewhere on the basketball scene, there hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about.

On the girls side, Westminster has struggled, South Carroll has been inconsistent and Francis Scott Key has been a little disappointing.

Liberty could make a late-season run if coach Tom DeLise can figure out a way to keep opponents from hounding all-around star Amy Wolff.

On the boys side, it's been a pretty long year for everybody except Westminster.

Liberty was just starting to show signs of being competitive before forward Josh Gursky went down with a neck injury and point guard Ross Yastrzemsky missed a stretch of games with a bad foot and the flu.

North Carroll had a run of three victories in late December but has been unable to win in January against the tougher part of its schedule.

Francis Scott Key has not progressed much after an early-season victory over North Carroll.

And South Carroll seems to be overwhelmed by teams on its level.

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