Barr steadies Oakland Mills' title run Key for Scorpions in county race

February 07, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Chad Barr of Oakland Mills is a team-oriented basketball player who leads by example, plays good defense and can shoot the lights out.

That's a coach's dream any time, but especially during one of the most torrid basketball races in county history.

Oakland Mills, with no returning starters, is trying to win its sixth straight county championship.

"Chad is a real steady type of player who gives our team stability," Scorpions coach Dave Appleby said. "He's conscientious, keeps his composure and has worked hard to get where he is."

Barr averages 12.8 points, but is capable of carrying the scoring load if his team needs him. He scored 23 in a victory against Hammond, and 22 and 18, respectively, in losses to Thomas Johnson and Watkins Mills.

He shoots best when coming off screens, or from the corners and baselines against zone defenses. A coach once even gave him the nickname "Baseline."

Barr lacks the natural fluidity of teammate Michael Hill, the Scorpions' top scorer. But Barr's steady mechanics fit well into Oakland Mills' motion offense.

Because the Scorpions have several players with offensive ability, Barr probably doesn't get as many shots as a player of his shooting ability might like.

"I usually get the first pass in our motion offense and if I took a shot every time, even if I hit half of them, the rest of the team wouldn't want to keep running up and down the court," Barr said.

Often he doesn't touch the ball again before it is shot.

The senior admits he thought he'd be scoring more often this season.

"But if we're winning, there's nothing wrong with that," Barr said. "I'd rather not score and win than score 30 and lose. Last season, we had too many players who just cared about their own stats."

Barr didn't start as a junior, but averaged six points as sixth man. He came off the bench when the Scorpions needed a scoring lift and he owned the baseline. He started against Chesapeake in the regional playoffs and scored 18.

Barr averaged 18 points for the junior varsity his sophomore season despite chronic ankle injuries.

Barr credits Oakland Mills' unsung bench for much of the team's success this season.

"Our bench is much deeper than people think, and it really pushes the starting team in practice," Barr said. "This is a quiet team, but the players root for one another."

This season, he's gotten the call to guard some of the county's top scoring threats and has produced successful efforts.

He guarded the county's third-leading scorer, Damian Biggs (16.8) of Centennial and Biggs scored just four points before fouling out in the fourth quarter. And he guarded the county's top scorer, Jason Beall (21.7) of Glenelg. Beall scored only 13 points.

Barr enjoys playing Oakland Mills' man-for-man style of defense. The Scorpions often press and create turnovers they convert into layups.

When Oakland Mills' guards front their opponents on the press, Barr's job is to look for the lob pass. He intercepted three lobs against Glenelg.

Not many high school players can say they once played on a team coached by Washington Bullets coach Wes Unseld. Barr can.

Unseld coached Barr's seventh-grade basketball team at Trinity School in Ilchester in Howard County. Barr was a teammate of Unseld's son, Wes Jr., for three years at Trinity.

Barr, whose main sport is basketball, works at it year round. Last summer he averaged 17 points for the Oakland Mills team that played in the Kennedy League. Oakland Mills made the league playoffs for the first time since 1989.

Barr hopes history repeats itself. In 1989-90, the Scorpions were state high school champions.

He attended summer basketball camp at the University of Delaware with other team members.

"We played our best ball of the summer at Delaware," Barr said. "We were much more aggressive than we are playing now."

Barr also teamed with Hammond's Kris Jefferson and Scorpions teammate George Robinson to win a summer three-on-three contest at Western Maryland.

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