High School Boys Basketball Preview

December 04, 1995|By Ethan Skolnick and Derek Toney

Baltimore City

Archbishop Curley Friars

1994-95 record: 12-16.

Coach: Dan Popera

Top players: Mike Palmere, 6-3, Jr., F; Brad Bush, 6-4, Sr., C; Ron Ricccitelli, 5-11, Sr., G; Jamie Cruz, 5-10, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Friars improved from two victories in 1993 to 12 last season, but lost all-league performers Ryan Hax and Jason Karolkowski to graduation. Curley will be inexperienced with four sophomores and juniors, but will have more overall depth. Popera believes Palmere and Bush will improve the team's rebounding, and is encouraged by the fact the team played together during the summer. With the new setup in the MIAA B Conference, Archbishop Curley could be competitive.

Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders

1994-95 record: 18-14.

Coach: Bryan Moorhouse

Top players: Josh Davalli, 6-5, Sr., G; Vernon Collins, 6-3, Sr., F; Keith Phoebus, 6-2, Sr., G; Mike Simmons, 6-4, Sr., C; James Urban, 6-2, Sr., G; Reggie Jones, 6-2, Sr., F; Colin Moorhouse, 5-11, Sr., G.

Outlook: Moorhouse, a longtime assistant to the late Ray Mullis, begins his first full season as coach, returning all but one player from last season's squad. Gibbons' top seven players return, including Collins and Davalli, who form one of the area's best inside-out combination. Moorhouse thinks this could be the Crusaders' best offensive team, but will have to be competitive on the boards if they expect to be a factor in the Catholic League race.

Carver Bears

1994-95 record: 5-15.

Coach: Durce Jackson

Top players: Nate Wingo, 5-11, Sr., G; Tavon George, 6-5, Sr., C-F; Antoine Bennett, 5-10, Sr., G; Robert Williams, 6-4, Jr., F; Dante Townsend, 6-3, Sr., F; Derrell Johnson, 5-11, Sr., G.

Outlook: Only three players return for Carver, which suffered its first sub-.500 season since the 1988-89 campaign. Jackson likes his backcourt nucleus of Wingo, Bennett and Johnson, but Carver lacks height in the frontline, and depth. The Bears will be strong defensively and play aggressive, but will hard-pressed to reach the .500 mark.

City Knights

1994-95 record: 10-10.

Coach: Daryl Wade

Top players: Tyon Harris, 6-6, Sr., C; Dante Everett, 6-2, Jr., G; Jason Scott, 5-9, Sr., G.

Outlook: Wade, son of former Dunbar High and University of Maryland coach Bob Wade, replaces Wayne Cook, who resigned after five seasons. Wade has a young, inexperienced team, but hopes its overall quickness will create opportunities. Wade, a member of Dunbar's 1985 national championship squad, won't be contending for any kind of championship in the near future, but expects to be competitive.

Douglass Ducks

1994-95 record: 14-6.

Coach: Lynn Badham

Top players: Michael Miller, 6-0, Sr., G; Clarence Jones, 5-7, Sr., G.

Outlook: Badham, who has had success in previous stops at Dunbar (five MSA A JV titles), Forest Park (15-2 varsity in 1987-88), Carver (two MSA B JV titles) and McDonogh (13-2 JV last season), replaces John Nash, who retired after 25 years. The nucleus of the team, which went 27-16 over the last two seasons is gone, leaving Badham with a rebuilding situation. Miller and Jones form a quick backcourt, but Douglass lacks height and experience. Badham thinks a .500 season is a realistic goal.

Dunbar Poets

1994-95 record: 25-1.

Coach: Paul Smith

Top players: Tommy Polley, 6-5, Sr., F; Jamal Holt, 6-0, Sr., G; David Manigault, 6-0, Soph., G; Tim Lyles, 5-10, Fresh., G; Chris Dean, 6-4, Jr., F.

Outlook: Smith, 48-4 in his first two seasons at Dunbar, thinks the opening month may be difficult. Only four players return from last season, including one starter -- Polley -- and the Poets' first game isn't until next week against Poly. Polley is one of the nation's premier players, but the rest of the team is inexperienced. The Poets will be quick, especially in the backcourt where Manigault and Lyles, arguably the area's top freshmen, will be playing major roles. Developing consistency and chemistry may take a little time for Dunbar, but look for it to be at College Park in March.

Edmondson Redskins

1994-95 record: 10-11.

Coach: James James

Top players: Carl Lewis, 6-3, Sr., F; James Sumpter, 6-3, Sr., C; Brian Daniels, 5-8, Soph., G; Dwight Reid, 6-2, Sr., F; Virgil Singleton, 6-0, Jr., G.

Outlook: With no real threat in the paint, Edmondson will try to compensate with a three-guard offense. Sumpter, a starter last season, will be the center, and the lack of size will definitely hurt the Redskins in the rebounding category. James believes Edmondson will be competitive, but how they fare on the boards will be the decisive factor.

Forest Park Foresters

1994-95 record: 4-13.

Coach: Carnell Reavis

Top players: Charles Owens, 6-6, Sr., C; Terrel Brown, 6-4, Sr., F; Kwan Press, 6-4, Sr., F; Jeremy Morris, 6-0, Sr., G; Djiba Keita, 5-10, Jr., G.

Outlook: Reavis believes his team is heading in the right direction. The inside combination of Owens and Brown will be strong, but the Foresters lack experience in the backcourt. Reavis likes his team's work ethnic, but whether it can improve from last season remains to be seen.

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