Annapolis' boys basketball team (3-0) is in a no-lose situation tonight despite the fact that No. 5 Dunbar pays a visit to the No. 11 Panthers' Riva Road gym.
Or, at least, the fans can't lose by paying $3 for a ticket to a unique doubleheader.
It's going to be a nostalgic kind of night in the Capital City with a Panther alumni game set for 6 p.m. and the Panthers and Poets to tip off at 8 p.m.
The tip-off is the start of a big weekend for Anne Arundel County boys basketball. The county's top two teams are playing host to two of Baltimore's best with No. 3 Calvert Hall (5-0) at No. 10 Broadneck, 7:30 p.m. tomorrow for the Bruins' season opener.
There may be a limited number of tickets at the door at Annapolis tonight, so fans should call the school today, (410) 266-5240, to see if it is a sellout.
No tickets will be sold at the door tomorrow in Cape St. Claire and for ticket information, call Broadneck today at (410) 757-1300.
Annapolis has never beaten Dunbar and is 0-4 lifetime against the Poets. Dunbar last beat Annapolis, 80-61, in January 1991 on the way to an overall 27-1 record and the area's top ranking under Pete Pompey. Annapolis (21-4) was No. 2 in The Sun poll that year.
The likes of All-Metro players Michael Lloyd (junior), Keith Booth (sophomore), Donta Bright (junior) and senior Player of the Year Terrance Alexander visited Annapolis that night. Lloyd and Alexander led the Poets with 23 points each while Booth and Bright chipped in with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Bob Wade was the Dunbar coach when Annapolis came its closest to upsetting the Poets before losing by seven in 1981.
This year's Annapolis team is averaging 83 points while giving up 70 per game in victories over Patterson (91-74), City College (80-72) and No. 14 Glen Burnie (78-64). Germaine "Boo" Diggs, a 6-foot-7 leaper, is averaging 22.6 points for the Panthers.
"We've been good in spurts, and we've been bad in spurts," said Annapolis coach John Brady. "If we're bad in spurts against them we won't be in the game."
Tommy Polley leads one of the younger Dunbar teams in recent years. An Annapolis upset would cap off what should be an exciting evening of basketball.
Former Annapolis greats and player/coaches Tim Brown and Barry Booth have picked their teams for the alumni game, which will not be lacking in excellent play because most of the guys still play in recreation leagues.
Some 12 former All-County players, two of whom won Player of the Year honors, and were named to the Arundel Sun's All-Decade Team for the '80s with one other, plus six members of Brady's 1990 4A state championship team return for the game.
Brown, currently an assistant coach at Annapolis, was the 1987 Player of the Year after averaging 16.1 points a game and is one of nine former All-County players on his team.
Ted Watson, the 1982 Player of the Year and Jeff "Bone" Brown (All-County 1980) join Tim Brown as members of the All-Decade team.
Other All-County players on Brown's team are: Gene Slocum (1989-90), Mike Selby (1988), Junior Day (1982), Lenny Knight and Dan Ruland (1978), Kevin Thompson (1979) and second-team All-County Kevin Alarie (1988). Rob Magruder and Gino Tongue, '84 grads, round out the team.
Booth's squad has only three former All-County players including himself (1979), but has five of the six (Slocum is other) members of the state champion in Dennis "Instant Offense" Edwards, Jeff Brown, Aderio Jones, Gerard Hyman and Ahmed Middleton.
Edwards was All-County and All-Metro in his senior year of 1991 after leading the county in scoring with an average of 27.1 points, including a 50-point game.
Londell "Zeke" Owens was the floor leader of the Panthers' 22-2 team in 1980-81 and is the other All-County player on Booth's team.
Freddie Butler (third-team All-County in 1989), 1984 grad Steve Foley, '88 grad Tony Stanton and 7-foot-1 Carlton Thacker who ** graduated in 1982 and went on to play at Millersville State complete the team. Thacker still plays with Brady's Champion men's team that gives local college teams preseason exhibitions.
After the alumni game, Booth can sit back and watch his twin sons, Barry Jr. and Byron, the first sons of former players coached by Brady, go against Dunbar. Basketball doesn't get any better.
While they will be running at Annapolis tonight, there should be quite a contrast tomorrow at Broadneck. Host Bruins coach Ken Kazmarek and his Calvert Hall counterpart, Mark Amatucci, like to play a more deliberate style of game.
Amatucci coached Anne Arundel Community College (59-21, 2 1/2 seasons) from 1989-92.