Old Mill, Broadneck put parity issue to rest

SIDELINES

March 03, 1993|By PAT O'MALLEY

It should have come as no surprise that sixth seed Old Mill knocked off third seed Glen Burnie, 60-55, and No. 5 seed Broadneck eliminated No. 4 seed Arundel, 64-61, in Monday night's Class 4A, Region IV boys basketball quarterfinals.

So much for parity.

Although a lot of people made a big deal over the so-called parity in the county this season, nothing much has changed.

The same old guard will be there tonight for the Region IV semifinals with No. 1 seed Meade (18-4) at home against Broadneck (15-8), and Old Mill (13-8) at second seed Annapolis (16-6).

It's really not surprising that those four are still the contenders and that Arundel (15-8) and Glen Burnie (16-7) are still the pretenders when you consider a few revealing stats.

Among the six that qualified, the top two seeds and Old Mill had 7-3 records down the stretch. Arundel, Broadneck and Glen Burnie went 6-4 at the end.

But possibly the most intriguing statistics that point to an Annapolis-at-Meade final Friday night are the head-to-head records.

Annapolis has the best mark, at 6-3, against the other five. Meade is 5-3 and none of the others had winning records.

Arundel was 3-3 before the playoff loss Monday, and Broadneck was 3-4 (now 4-4). Glen Burnie and Old Mill were 3-5 going in.

Only two teams are riding winning streaks of more than one game: Annapolis (five) and Old Mill (four).

The question is, can Old Mill pull off one more stunner and win the region again?

Coach Paul Bunting's fifth-seeded Patriots came out of nowhere last year to win three straight on the road over Broadneck, Annapolis and Meade to take the region.

This year, Old Mill barely qualified. With a 63-45 victory over Chesapeake (7-15) on the final day of the season, the Patriots edged Edmondson in playoff points average, 4.45 to 4.41.

Old Mill started the season 1-3 before getting on track.

Monday's win was the second in three games over Glen Burnie, and the seventh win in the past eight games for the Patriots.

In this season's two meetings with the Panthers, the Pats have been run out of the gym, losing by 33 (77-44) and by 26 (77-51).

Last year's upset was more conceivable than an Old Mill encore this year because the Pats knocked off Annapolis once in regular season and stunned the top-seeded Panthers, 71-66, in the semifinals.

To do it this time around, a huge surprise might be in order, despite senior Troy Green's assessment that "there are a lot of similarities between this year's team and last year's, and this team is more cohesive."

If Annapolis is upset again, will coach John Brady point to the foul line, where his Panthers have been deplorable this year?

In their past three wins, over Glen Burnie (65-59), Meade (84-83, overtime) and Severna Park (87-53), the Panthers have made only 39 of 78 free throws.

"We were pitiful at the foul line in 1990 until the playoffs," said Brady, whose Panthers didn't miss in postseason that year and handed the coach his first state championship.

But will such poor foul shooting prevent the Panthers from

defeating Meade a third time if the two top seeds survive tonight?

Is Broadneck, playing its final year in Class 4A before dropping to 3A next season, the real sleeper?

"We have to execute in order to win," said Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek, noting his team's lack of depth and methodical style.

Kazmarek has never won Class 4A, Region IV, but made it to Cole Field House with the Bruins as a 3A team in 1985-86.

Broadneck has sophomore sensation Jason Smith, who scored 27 points, including a pair of free throws with nine seconds left, to ice a 64-61 victory over Arundel on Monday.

"I didn't feel any pressure because I've been in that situation many times before," Smith said.

His poise can be attributed to playing in a couple of national AAU tournaments with coach Wayne Fowler and starting as a freshman at Broadneck.

With his 27 points Monday, Smith passed 1992 grad Jeff Vincent (713) and 1986 graduate Jamie Ballard (717) on the Bruins' all-time scoring list and is already in fourth place with 733 points.

On his current pace, Smith, who has 535 points this season and had 198 as a freshman, will smash the career records of Kenny Wood (1988-89), 1,047 points; Matt Campbell (1989-90), 992; and Kurtis Brooks (1983-84), 937, early next season?

Campbell, now at Towson State, holds the single-season points record (626), set in 1990.

"As a 10th-grader, Jason has a great feel on what he has to do and can control the tempo of a game," Kazmarek said.

Did you realize that one milestone can be reached this season if the coach goes all the way, but that a half-milestone has been set?

By winning Region IV (2-0) and the state playoffs (2-0), Meade coach Butch Young will hit 400 wins (would be 400-201) and join Southern's Tom Albright (413-229) in the 400 Club.

In contrast, Glen Burnie's Terry Bogle, who most agree had the best personnel in the county this season, reached a half-milestone Thursday with a 62-48 loss at Meade.

With a career record of 246-301 in 26 years (including Monday's playoff loss to Old Mill), Bogle is the first county coach to lose 300 games in any sport.

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