A big "Q" on crowd control and a batch on atmosphere tip off today's session of questions without answers. Your answers or comments are always welcome on the 24-Hour Sportsline (410) 647-2499.
* If asked which county high school best handles basketball crowd control, would you be hard-pressed to choose between Broadneck and Glen Burnie?
While crowd-control problems at high school basketball games occur all over the country, do you realize how fortunate Anne Arundel has been over the past decade thanks to the efforts of athletic directors, administrators, the Anne Arundel County police and adult volunteers?
At Broadneck, assistant AD Tim McMullen, principal Lawrence Knight and staff have done a wonderful job since the Cape St. Claire school opened in 1982. There is no standing under the baskets by spectators, and unruly fans are quickly dealt with.
Before a game at Glen Burnie starts, Max "the Golden Gopher" Powers bellows over the PA system, "everyone is to be seated."
The Baltimore City fireman is Glen Burnie's veteran volunteer PA announcer for football and basketball. He lays down the law, and believe me, everyone obeys.
Before Tuesday's 4A Region IV showdown between the Gophers and Meade, Powers told the packed house, "No one is allowed to stand unless they are members of the Glen Burnie faculty, Anne Arundel County police or have a note from Mother Theresa."
The order was followed except for one guy whom Max didn't notice standing in a far corner near the entrance. It was Sen. Michael Wagner, who surely must have had a note from Mother Theresa.
Do you agree with me that on a scale of 1 to 10, that Glen Burnie and Broadneck both get a 10 for crowd control?
* While on the subject of high school volunteers who help give a professional atmosphere to high school basketball, how about Tom Stevens of Meade and Cathy Samaras of Annapolis?
Stevens is the timekeeper/announcer at Mustangs games and editor of the boys and girls programs. The dad of Meade senior guard Tommy Stevens, he does an excellent job writing a summary of previous games and previewing that night's contest.
If only we could understand Stevens when he gets on the microphone; we have a hunch that he's pretty good at that as well.
"We need a new PA system bad, but can't afford it right now," said Meade athletic director Ralph Beachley. "Tom puts in a lot of time for us and it's great for the kids."
Have you heard Samaras (the lacrosse fanatic) on the Panthers' mike? She's excellent, not too loud, clear and on top of things.
* Best job around the county singing the national anthem? Hands down, it's Broadneck senior Laura Holoski. Do you agree?
Best job playing the national anthem? The Annapolis High pep band.
* Now if only we can straighten out the tardy starting times of the boys basketball games. Tuesday's Meade at Glen Burnie game was slated to start at 7 p.m. and didn't begin until almost 7:30 because of another marathon girls doubleheader (JV and varsity) before the boys varsity.
The girls officials continue to blow the peas out of their whistles, and the never-ending parade to the foul line sends the first two games to overtime.
Did you know that hope could be in sight?
County athletic directors met with the girls basketball officials last week to discuss their concerns, and Annapolis athletic director Fred Stauffer said, "It was a constructive meeting and I think things will improve."
Glen Burnie AD Terry Bogle said, "We asked them to let up on blowing the whistle so much."
* Of course not all the complaints are aimed at the girls hoop officials.
How about this remark from Chesapeake boys coach Tom Kraning (on the 24-hour Sportsline) after his Cougars (6-11) dropped a 61-51 game to Old Mill (7-7) on Tuesday?
"They [refs] did a number on us. We couldn't buy a call, and I guess that's because of our record," said Kraning after his team was 4-for-8 at the foul line and the home team was 19-for-25.
* How's this for the last laugh?
Annapolis and Broadneck wanted to play a home-and-home series and agreed to play the second game last Wednesday. So that the athletes wouldn't have to play back-to-back days, South River agreed to move its originally scheduled Tuesday game with Broadneck to Monday.
It's well-known that there is no love lost between Annapolis coach John Brady and Severna Park's Wayne Mook. With that in mind, you know the answer to Brady's request to play host to Severna Park (5-11) last Monday instead of Tuesday. No.
"The extra day of practice [Monday] really helped Wayne out because had he agreed to play Monday, we might have scored 100 points," said Brady on the 24-hour Sportsline after his Panthers (11-6) blew out the Falcons, 96-58, Tuesday night.
Of course, Mook may think he contributed to the Panthers' 62-58 loss to Broadneck (10-7) on Wednesday night.