With Cline, it's showtime Glenelg guard stands out with air of authority

January 31, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Glenelg's Scott Cline has as many skills with which to beat an opponent as any basketball player in the county. And he's a key reason the Gladiators are enjoying one of their best seasons ever.

Most noticeable is his acrobatic shooting ability.

The Glenelg senior has a knack for sinking the impossible, off-balance, hand-in-your face shots that most coaches discourage their players from taking.

His coach, Terry Coleman, doesn't mind. "Scott has a presence in the air," Coleman said.

Cline averages 17.9 points, is 68-for-131 from two-point range ans 13-for-42 from beyond the three-point line.

Cline's uncanny knack for making layups -- a crucial facet in Glenelg's up-tempo style -- also sets him apart.

He's frequently on the front end of Glenelg fast breaks. And his speed and shifty moves toward the hoop frustrate opponents who try to foul him. He can score on reverse layups with either hand.

This ability to go to the basket has led him to the foul line 49 times in 13 games -- twice as often as any other player on his team.

His ball-handling skills also are special. He sees the floor well and enjoys making no-look passes that freeze opponents and send Glenelg fans into frenzy.

"He's probably the best ball-handler I've ever coached," said Coleman, a 12-year coaching veteran. "He handles the ball especially well in traffic and could be our point guard if we didn't have Jamie Brinker."

Cline, a shooting guard, averages three assists.

Cline's defense also excites Gladiators fans. He averages five steals and has had as many as 10 in one game.

"A lot of those come from our pressure-trapping style," Cline said.

He's not just a skilled player, however. Cline is the type of competitor who hates to lose and the kind of leader every team needs.

"If the game comes down to one last shot, Scott not only will want to take the shot, but he'll tell me he wants to," Coleman said.

Indeed, Cline, who has played all but a couple minutes per game this season, thinks his strengths as a player are his intensity and aggressiveness.

"I don't know where the aggressiveness comes from," he said. "But I've been playing basketball all my life."

He moved to the county from Atlanta in the ninth grade, and was part of Glenelg's championship junior-varsity team two years ago that went 18-1.

He played three years of varsity soccer and was The Baltimore Sun's first-team All-County pick last fall, when the Gladiators won the state Class 2A championship and produced the school's first winning season.

He's also a fine tennis player and was voted most valuable player last spring by his teammates.

Add to those athletic talents a 3.7 grade-point average and Cline obviously has a lot going for him.

The basketball season started slowly for him. He missed the first 10 days of practice because of soccer playoffs. And his shot and timing were off in the early days of the season.

But he hit a peak Jan. 22 during a 69-67 overtime loss to five-time defending county champion Oakland Mills.

He was 9-for-11 from the floor and scored a season-high 25 points. He also had six steals and three assists.

Oakland Mills coach Dave Appleby was impressed.

"He earned our respect because he didn't get an open shot. He proved to me he's a good player because we're a good defensive team. All he needs is to get a little stronger," Appleby said.

Cline (5 feet 11 and 160 pounds) has a slight build.

"He fools everyone because he doesn't look like an athlete," Coleman said.

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