Most schools don't open their basketball seasons until next week, but Wayne Fowler's debut as Severn School's varsity boys coach Wednesday was one to remember.
Severn opened with a 76-74 double-overtime win at always-tough Calvert Hall, and the Severn JV made it a sweep of the Cardinals by 55-54, also in double overtime, with Admirals eighth-grader Denard Melton scoring 42 points.
John Vereen (22 points) and Alhamisi Simms combined for 43 points to spoil the return of Mark Amatucci as Calvert Hall's varsity coach.
In case you lost track of Amatucci, he left Calvert Hall in the early '80s to coach at Loyola College. After seven seasons at Loyola, Amatucci became head coach and assistant athletic director at Anne Arundel Community College in 1989.
Amatucci resigned at AACC in January 1992, and after a couple of assistant college jobs, he resurfaced at Calvert Hall last spring.
Amatucci is a basketball junkie and go-getter who will attract talent to the Hall. The same can be said of Fowler, who already has lured a few players to Severn School.
Simms played at Annapolis last year while Jaylonnie Booth was at Broadneck. Both are juniors and will be key players.
"It was a great win for our school and I believe it was the first time we've ever played Calvert Hall," said Fowler, whose Admirals open in the Babe Ruth Classic at Cardinal Gibbons tonight against the host team.
"The kids really wanted it and deserve all the credit. We were down by 12 with two minutes to go."
Gibbons, Severn's opponent tonight, lost its opener to powerful DeMatha, 89-76, despite 24 points by Severna Park resident Steve Wojciechowski. DeMatha is ranked third in the nation by Street and Smith's.
DeMatha is among a host of private schools who hopes to land the sensational Melton, whom Fowler calls "a definite Division I prospect."
Severn hopes to keep Melton, who is an excellent student.
New gym at Broadneck
Are you Broadneck fans aware that this possibly could be the final season for the cozy, nostalgia-filled Bruins gym?
If county renovation plans for Broadneck begin on schedule, basketball coach and athletic director Ken Kazmarek estimates that the Bruins won't have their own gym for two seasons.
"I'm not sure where we will play, but when the new gym is completed, it will be comparable in size to Old Mill's and hold about 2,300," said Kaz, who is not sure if his team would lose its home-court advantage with more spacious quarters.
"I love the gym [which holds about 800-900] we have, but if we can fill up a bigger one, maybe it would be just as noisy."
Passing to success
Did you know that for the first time Anne Arundel County had three quarterbacks with 1,000 or more yards passing (two cracking the 2,000-yard milestone) and six quarterbacks threw for 950 yards or more?
Broadneck's Sean Ryan (2,048 yards) and North County's Justin Rice (2,032) led the way followed by junior Brad Davis (1,040) of St. Mary's; Joe McCafferty (974) of Southern; junior Matt Michalowicz (964) of Chesapeake; and sophomore Pat Cilento (953) of Arundel.
No new jersey
Did you know that North County's premier linebacker Troy Fowlkes refused to give up his old and tattered No. 60 jersey for a new one this year because the one he has worn since his sophomore year had lost part of its No. 6 numeral but retained its "luck?"
Fowlkes, meanwhile, will visit the University of Maryland after jaunts to Penn State, Pitt, Syracuse and Boston College.