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High School Boys Basketball Preview

December 04, 1995|By Mark Hoeflich, Derek Toney and Ethan Skolnick

Outlook: The Victors have perhaps two of the best unknowns in the area in Bruce (18 ppg) and Singleton (15 ppg). Both can handle the basketball and score from anywhere on the court. Physically, the Victors can match up with anyone in the Maryland Christian Athletic League (MCAL), but the front line isn't as steady with Badoloto and Kuhn playing in their first seasons. The front-runner to win the MCAL, Rock Church plays a 40-game schedule that includes six tournaments.

St. Paul's Crusaders

1994 record: 22-5.

Coach: Rick Collins

Top players: Tiano Brown, 6-4, Sr., F; Chris Kakel, 6-4, Sr., C; Michael Satyshur, 5-9, Soph., G; Justin Singleton, 6-2, Jr., G; Simeon Wharton, 5-9, Sr., G.

Outlook: Last season's MIAA B Conference finalists have experience in three returning starters and they will need it with what Collins calls the Crusaders "toughest schedule ever." Included are McDonogh, Edgewood, and Towson Catholic. Still, the Crusaders have last year's leading scorer back in Singleton (15 ppg) and two agile post players in Brown and Kakel. St. Paul's is further strengthened by a deep bench.

Sparrows Point Pointers

1994 record: 15-10.

Coach: Russ Linger

Top players: T.J. Burleson, 5-10, Jr., G; Griffin Dingle, 6-1, Sr., F-G; Pete Marshall, 6-2, Sr., F; Gary Meninger, 6-2, Jr., C; Derrell Smith, 5-9, Jr., G.

Outlook: The Pointers have put together three straight winning seasons and a fourth is likely with an excellent starting five. There isn't much height, but Linger said his team plays "a lot taller then they are." Both Dingle and Marshall are strong on the boards and give the Pointers a good inside-outside combination with Smith on the perimeter. Burleson takes over at point guard in his first varsity season. With no let-up on its schedule (Patapsco, Boys' Latin, Towson), Sparrows Point will need to start fast but is favored to win the Sharpshooters division.

Talmudical Academy

1994 record: 2-14.

Coach: Gordon Kaplan

Top players: Sam Siegel, 6-2, Jr., C; Ari Storch, 6-0, Sr., SF; Steve Goldberg, 5-10, Sr., PG; Dovid Radomyslsky, 5-10, Sr., SG; Gary Guttenberg, 5-8, So., G

Outlook: Kaplan, an assistant at Goucher last year, vows to keep things simple. "Jumping rope is an effort," he says. Goldberg is a leader, and Radomyslsky has good natural ability. "We're not going to be more athletic or bigger than anyone," Kaplan says. "We're going to have to outsmart people to win a game or two."

Towson Generals

1994 record: 11-10.

Coach: Randy Dase

Top players: Chris Brown, 6-2, Sr., F; Chris Kandan, 6-0, Sr., F; Brian Lange, 6-2, Sr., F; Neal Mason, 5-10, Sr., G; Wes Spence, 5-10, Soph., G.

Outlook: Dase says his Generals are a 2A school playing a 4A schedule, and with a lack of size they will have a difficult challenge with games against Perry Hall, Catonsville, Dulaney and Fallston. Towson has more talent than experience and will have to adjust to the loss of last season's leading scorer and rebounder. Mason leads the offense, but must create more opportunities to get everyone involved.

Towson Catholic Owls

1994-95 record: 7-21.

Coach: Mike Daniel

Top players: Frederick Lewis, 6-5, Sr., C; Evan Monroe, 6-3, Sr., F; Khary Richburg, 6-1, Sr., G; Damian Hocker, 6-6, Jr., F.

Outlook: Five players return for Towson Catholic, but only one starter. Lewis is a solid inside player, who Daniel says must stay healthy for the Owls to be competitive. The addition of Hocker, who transferred from Lake Clifton, should help Towson Catholic in the frontline. The Owls will be young and inexperienced, but if they can develop, they have the potential to surprise a few teams late in the season.

Western Tech Cobras

1994 record: 3-17.

Coach: Troy Mackin

Top players: John Bullock, 6-1, Jr., G; Taj Doaty, 6-1, Jr., G; Jason Hardison, 6-4, Soph., C; Dwayne Murray, 5-9, Sr., PG; Mike Thomas, 6-1, Jr., G.

Outlook: With all five starters back and a year of maturity, the Cobras look forward to a more structured program this season after a dismal 3-17 first year. Mackin hopes to build on last year's season-ending win over Chesapeake and chances are good with a sure three-point shooter in Doaty, a strong rebounder in Thomas, who totaled 202 last year, and a weaker schedule as a member of the Sharpshooters division. Murray joins Doaty in the more stable backcourt and a pressure defense figures to increase scoring.

Woodlawn Warriors

1994 record: 17-6.

Coach: Daniel Hewins

Top players: Babbatunde Danela, 6-3, Sr., F; Bill Epps, 6-3, Jr., F; Paul Kwjafa, 6-4, Jr., C; Mike Mcrae, 6-2, Sr., C; Kevin Parson, 6-2, Sr., G; Marcel Smith, 6-0, Jr., PG.

Outlook: Woodlawn enters new territory this season, playing in the Quickshooters division of the new Baltimore County League classifications. It will do so with seven returnees (three starters) and a schedule that includes teams they've never played -- most notably Milford Mill. While Woodlawn is not as overpowering inside or as quick as last season, it actually is more experienced. The Warriors are soft on the boards, yet have a dependable backcourt in Parson and Smith. Smith started 10 games a year ago at point guard but now takes over full-time duty with the loss of Keion Carpenter.

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