Fallston basketball learns winning isn't everything 9-8 Cougars are having more fun sharing the load

February 07, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Rob Myers finds himself in an unusual situation for Fallston's basketball team this winter. A senior and the squad's tallest player at 6 feet 6, his statistics are down from last year, but he's having more fun.

It's a feeling that has been contagious, and although the Cougars' record is 9-8, there are other figures that better support the team's positive attitude.

Last year, for 24 games (11-13), only three players averaged more than five points and the team averaged 61. This season, the team average is about the same, but seven players average more than five points.

"My role has decreased in terms of scoring and rebounding," Myers said, "but we're better as a team because our scoring is spread out more. Besides, I'm not concerned with numbers and I'm enjoying the game more."

As a junior starter, he averaged 10.8 points and 7.6 rebounds, and this season it's seven in each category, splitting time between starting and coming off the bench.

Being in position to have a 6-6 regular come off the bench highlights another area where this team is better than its recent predecessors.

"I think we're quicker, have more speed, and more depth," said 6-4 junior Dave Adam, who averages a team-high 11 points to go with seven rebounds. "I thought the lack of depth hurt us when we lost in the playoffs last year."

One aspect of Fallston's mental attitude is its ability to bounce back from a loss. Aside from successive losses in a Christmas tournament, every loss has been followed by a win. There were some classic letdowns, too, such as losing to Bel Air after beating Aberdeen, and a recent loss to a hot-shooting North Harford team.

Last Tuesday, the Cougars came back from the North Harford defeat to hold off Bel Air, 49-48.

One team drawback is its lack of an outside scoring threat. "Everybody knows us -- it's no secret," said coach Robin Hood. "They know we like to go inside, so they pack their defenses to stop us."

Although the team has five players 6-4 and taller, a height advantage often is negated by a player getting the ball inside and having the initial reaction of bringing it down, where he can get tied up by a smaller opponent.

A lack of ball-handling skills among the guards is noticeable, because Hood often uses 6-4 sophomore Kernan Kelly to bring the ball up court. Kelly sees it as an advantage.

"It gives me more ball control, makes me more responsible. I enjoy it," he said.

"At the same time, we have to know our limitations. Sometimes dTC we try to do too much and it doesn't work. Still, I believe I'm a better player than last year and my confidence is growing.

"We're a young team, we're emotional, and we tend to lose our cool, but I think we are definitely more dedicated to winning than last year."

Although a height advantage is a plus for this team, the big men are complemented by Nick Johnson, an acrobatic 6-3 junior forward who leads the team in rebounding with a 9.6 average, and first-year varsity guards Mark Torba, a senior, and Brad Thomas, a junior.

"We haven't had a player with Nick's athleticism. That really helps," said Kelly. "And, when teams do pack it in on us, Mark and Brad have stepped up. Against North Harford, Mark kept us in it with three three's in one stretch."

Such is the parity in the county league that even after losing to Joppatowne by three points Friday night, Fallston could win its next three games before finishing with current league leaders Edgewood and Aberdeen. The Cougars beat Aberdeen at home, but winning at Aberdeen may be another matter.

Winning the county title would be nice, but it's getting to the Class 1A regionals that is really important for Hood and this team.

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