Atholton boys face telling week

February 03, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Is Atholton ready to climb into the boys basketball race, or was Friday's 54-47 upset of Wilde Lake a fluke?

That question will be answered this week, as the Raiders face Oakland Mills today and Hammond on Friday.

Atholton (5-9, 2-4) has won two of its past three games, including a 57-46 victory over Howard. The Raiders also played Hammond and Mount Hebron close in other games.

The Raiders are only two games behind league leaders Glenelg, Oakland Mills and Centennial.

Atholton started the season as an inexperienced team with no returning starters.

It has been hampered by injuries to three key players: senior center Tony Kilgore (sprained ankle), junior forward Tom Gough (broken nose) and junior swing man Tony Stewart (broken wrist during the football season).

"We're still making youthful mistakes, but are playing better," Atholton coach Jim Albert said. "We played well against Wilde Lake, getting an early lead and then winning at the end after Wilde Lake had rallied."

Sophomore point guard Brian Benden leads the team in scoring with a 12.3 average.

The Raiders still have a shot at making the regional playoffs for the 11th time during Albert's 13-year coaching reign. They are seventh and need to catch Carver for the sixth and final playoff spot.

Here are the latest Class 3A, Region II standings:

1. Walbrook (14-1) 6.40; 2. Southwestern (11-3) 5.50; 3. Centennial (9-3) 4.83; 4. Southern (Balt.) (10-5) 4.66; 5. Douglass (9-5) 4.28; 6. Carver (6-5) 3.72; 7. Atholton (5-7) 2.66; 8. South Carroll (5-8) 2.61; 9. Howard (5-7) 2.58; 10. Northern (2-11) 1.07; 11. Northwestern (1-13) 0.50.

Unbeaten junior Raiders

Atholton's boys basketball junior varsity is having a banner season under first-year coach Ed Hinkle, who starred at Atholton in 1970.

The junior Raiders (12-0) face one of their toughest games today against Oakland Mills.

And they'll have to play without sophomore guard Ryan Reese (12.5 scoring average), who sprained his ankle last weekend.

The Raiders have four players averaging in double figures, including sophomore Damian Kapcala (15.5 points), sophomore Varian Harvey (10.5 points) and freshman Tyrone Allmond (14.0 points).

Hinkle says Allmond may be the best junior-varsity player in the league.

Allmond also averages 6.0 assists and 9.0 steals.

Freshman Nat Watkins is the team's fifth starter. Freshman Matt Hahn and sophomore Chad Patterson come off the bench and play a lot. Patterson averages 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals.

The Raiders rallied from 14 down in the first quarter to beat Wilde Lake on Friday by four points.

A 1-3-1 half-court trap was the key to beating the Wildecats.

"We take a lot of pride in our defense," Hinkle said.

Expanded playoffs?

Proposals to expand the regional baseball and soccer playoffs from four to six teams have passed state association committees on the sports and are to be discussed by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association executive committee, which meets today.

Atholton soccer coach Reg Hahne wrote the soccer proposal, and Atholton athletic director Don Van Deusen wrote the one for baseball.

"The expansion would give decent teams that play tough schedules a chance at the playoffs," Hahne said.

He mentioned Howard High's boys soccer team as one that should have made the playoffs last fall but didn't because it plays in a tough league.

Another plus for expansion is that smaller schools would have an easier time scheduling larger schools.

Atholton, which will drop from 3A to 2A starting next fall, is struggling to fill its 12-game schedule.

"Larger schools don't want to play us because of the point system," Hahne said.

A win against a 4A school is worth eight points, but a win against a 1A school is worth only five. Kennedy (3A) and Meade (4A) dropped Atholton from their soccer schedules for next fall.

Top basketball scorers

The county's top scorers in boys basketball are:

1. Jason Beall, Glenelg, 21.4; 2. Javier Michaux, Howard, 18.0; 3. Michael Hill, Oakland Mills, 17.8; 4. Scott Cline, Glenelg, 17.1; 5. Damian Biggs, Centennial, 16.8; 6. Deon Wingfield, Wilde Lake, 15.3; 7. Seth Willingham, Wilde Lake, 14.8; 8. Taronn Evans, Wilde Lake, 14.5; 9. Kris Jefferson, Hammond, 13.7; 10. Chad Barr, Oakland Mills, 12.8; 11. (tie) Brian Benden, Atholton, and Kurtis Jestes, Mount Hebron, 12.3.

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