Tribes cruise to AAU semifinal

April 12, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Despite being without the services of three players, Tribes Baltimore was able to reach the semifinals of the Boo Williams Junior Amateur Athletic Union 17-under Invitational Tournament this past weekend at Hampton University.

In the semifinals on Sunday, Tribes Baltimore lost to the Motor City Mavericks from Detroit, 102-92. It was the first time since 1987 that a Baltimore representative had reached the semifinal round.

"The guys did extremely well," said Tribes coach Nat Stewart. "Considering that we haven't spent much time working together, we played outstanding."

Tribes Baltimore embarked on its 3 1/2 -hour ride to Hampton without Shawnta Rogers, a two-time All-Metro selection from Lake Clifton; Southern-Baltimore's John Hemsley, a key contributor for the Bulldogs, who were ranked No. 2 nationally; and Marvis Thornton of Dunbar. Greg Billups of St. Frances and Patterson's Keenon Jackson provided help off the bench.

Two players who stood out for Tribes Baltimore were Woodlawn's Guy Butler and St. Frances' Mark Karcher, who scored a team-high 20 points in the loss to Motor City.

Butler, a first-team All-Metro selection this past season, was called "the best big man" at the tournament. The 6-foot-7 junior averaged 17.7 points before he was injured in the loss to Motor City. Karcher, a 6-foot-4 freshman from St. Frances, averaged 20.3 points.

Karcher, who was a first-team All-Catholic League selection and second-team All City/County by The Baltimore Sun, scored 26 points on Saturday in a 105-98 victory over Greater Boston. Ernie Evans of Southwestern contributed 23 and Butler had 22. Tribes Baltimore was edged by LA Slam-N-Jam, 72-71, later in the day as Butler and Evans each scored 18, but it clinched first in its pool with a 2-1 record.

Friday, Tribes Baltimore won its opening game, a 80-67 victory over the Tennessee Travelers. Karcher scored 17 and Colin Jones of Patterson contributed 17.

Harris hangs tough

All-Metro wrestler Gary Harris pinned three of nine opponents, going 8-1, to finish third in the 112-pound class at the weekend's National High School championships at Duquesne (Pa.) University.

Harris, a two-time state champ, was the only member of Team Maryland's 14-member squad to place among the top eight in his weight class, thereby earning All-American honors out of a 48-member weight class

Harris, who raised his high school career to 130-5, led his first-round bout, 11-4, against Iowa's State champ Eric Keller before being caught and pinned in 3:28.

The loss snapped Harris' winning streak at 64 since his 5-3 sophomore state title bout loss, but he rebounded to win eight straight matches -- including a 2-1, consolation title victory over Keller.

Harris raised this year's pin total to 28 with falls over state champs from Oklahoma (in 3:47) and Ohio (0:31), as well as Texas' state champ and National Prep Tournament fourth place finisher Scott Gottlich in 1:44. He also scored major decisions over another Oklahoma State champ and over Nevada's and Montana's state champs.

Keller's other loss came by, 5-4, to eventual finalist Shane Valdez of California.

A 125-pound regular, Harris was given a five-pound weight allowance for the nationals and weighed in Thursday at 117.

"My first loss of the year was a crushing blow, but I feel really good about avenging it and being an All-American," said Harris, who may continue his career at Norfolk, Va.'s Old Dominion University.

A three-time regional champ, Harris compiled a 32-0 record at 125 pounds this year at Randallstown (122-4 for his career) and became Baltimore County's second-ever four-time champ.

Weighty changes

On March 30, the National Federation of State High School Associations adjusted the 13 wrestling weight classes to provide more opportunities in the lower and upper weight categories.

The new weight classes are 100, 106, 112, 119, 126, 134, 142, 151, 160, 172, 185, 215 and 275. The change is optional for the 1994-95 season, but mandatory for the 1995-96 season.

Ron Belinko, chairman of the sport for the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, said the state decided at its most recent meeting to remain with the old classes during the optional year.

They are 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189 and 275 or heavyweight. When the state switches over two years from now, it will be only its second weight class adjustment since the inception of the state tournament in 1970.

Until 1988, the 12 weight classes were 98, 105, 112, 119, 126, 132, 138, 145, 155, 167, 185 and unlimited, meaning a wrestler could weigh as much as he wanted.

In a related change, wrestlers will be allowed a two-pound growth allowance after Jan. 15 of each season.

Simpson shines

Kevin Simpson of Southern-Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun Player of the Year, participated in the Magic Johnson Round Ball Classic game at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich., Sunday.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard scored 10 points for the East squad as it defeated the West team, 141-135. At the Capital Classic at Cole Field House Thursday, he had seven points and three rebounds for the Capital All-Stars, which lost to the U.S. All-Stars, 91-81.

Beasley games set

The Baltimore Metropolitan Basketball Coaches Association's fifth annual Rodney Beasley All-Star games will be held April 22 at Southwestern High. The girls will play at 6 p.m., with the boys following at 8 p.m.

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