Most teams in county go quietly

CARROLL SPORTS

March 24, 1993|By BILL FREE

Disappointing.

That best describes the performance of most of the high school basketball and wrestling teams in Carroll County this past season.

Even the high-profile teams -- the North Carroll and Francis Scott Key wrestling squads and the North Carroll girls basketball team -- had disappointing ends to outstanding seasons.

The only team that exceeded expectations in a big way was the Westminster boys basketball squad, which won seven straight down the stretch to make the 4A regional playoffs.

The Francis Scott Key girls (11-11) were a mild surprise, making the 1A Region II semifinals, and the South Carroll girls (9-12) turned some heads by making it to the 3A Region III playoffs.

Certainly, the North Carroll and Francis Scott Key wrestling teams expected to do better than sixth and seventh, respectively, in the state Class 2A-1A tournament at Western Maryland.

The Panthers were 13-0 in the regular season and won the county tournament. But injuries and bad luck in the drawing of brackets hurt North Carroll in the regionals and continued in the state tourney.

And out the window went coach Dick Bauerlein's chances for a first state championship in 18 years at North Carroll.

The Key wrestlers lost only one dual meet during the season, 31-24 to North Carroll, and won the 2A-1A Region I tournament in Boonsboro.

But, the Eagles couldn't carry that momentum into the states.

The North Carroll girls basketball team was easily the class of the county, and it looked as if it might have a shot at defeating unbeaten Middletown in the 2A Region I final.

But the Knights, who went on to win the state title with a 26-0 record, beat the Panthers by 35 points.

The picture was even dimmer for the Westminster and the Liberty girls teams.

The Owls never came close to fulfilling their potential and failed to make the 4A playoffs. The Lions faltered down the stretch, playing their way out of a 2A playoff berth.

Liberty needed to win three of its last seven games but lost all seven.

In boys basketball, North Carroll, Francis Scott Key, Liberty and South Carroll all had long years and very few wins.

Home, sweets, home

One more important wrestling note before closing the door on the season: Francis Scott Key sophomore Randy Owings, who was the only Carroll County wrestler to win a state individual title, had a major homemade ice cream and cookie party waiting for him as a reward.

"We're going to do it up right for Randy," said his motherDebbie, moments after her son decisioned Northeast's Steve Smiddy, 6-4, in the 130-pound 2A-1A finals March 6 at Western Maryland.

"We still have Christmas cookies left he couldn't eat. We're making homemade ice cream and he's due a birthday party. He gave up all of those things to make weight."

The party was at the Owings' farm in New Windsor.

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