Can Lions roar back into boys contention?

February 18, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Howard (7-10, 4-5) has an ideal opportunity this week to climb back into the wide-open county boys basketball race, as teams scramble through the final two weeks.

Good played collegiately for the University of Cincinnati.

Expanded playoffs?

Ned Sparks, executive secretary of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, won't rule out the possibility of expanding the regional playoffs from four to six teams, as has been requested by Atholton soccer coach Reg Hahne and Atholton baseball coach Don Van Deusen.

But he says there are powerful arguments against expansion, the chief of which is money.

The MPSSAA executive committee has decided that expansion will not take place in just the two sports that requested it, but must include all sports, Sparks said.

The cost of the extra bus transportation, which individual counties must bear, will work against expansion. And Sparks says there is a philosophical argument against expansion.

In basketball, which already has a six-team playoff system, 43 percent of the teams that made the playoffs last season had losing records.

"So are the playoffs meant as a reward for a good season or as a second season?" Sparks said.

The next hurdle for the expansion request is the Board of Control meeting in April.

If it passes there, then the school superintendents must approve the idea.

Sparks said a request that was made several years ago to expand playoffs to eight teams and cut the classifications from four to three failed because of opposition from smaller schools.

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