Storm raises heat for Mercy-IND game High schools notebook

January 18, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

One casualty of the Blizzard of '96 was the 30th anniversary basketball meeting between No. 11 IND and No. 12 Mercy at Loyola College, now rescheduled for Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

No other girls game is quite like this one, which has sold out Loyola's 3,000-seat Reitz Arena for the past five years.

"It's not just a game," said Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion. "It's the biggest high school girls basketball game in the area. It's tradition, because we've been playing one another for so long."

IND (7-4) won last year's game and also won the first meeting with Mercy (10-4) this season, but Marion said that doesn't matter a whole lot, especially in the high-energy, high-decibel atmosphere surrounding the once-a-year meeting at Loyola.

"It doesn't really matter what our records are in the regular season," said Marion. "Even if a team were 0-and-whatever, that team could come up big in this game."

No. 1 Mustang

Erin Updegrove celebrated the new year by becoming the all-time leading scorer in C. Milton Wright girls basketball history.

With 24 points in the Jan. 5 win over Bel Air, the senior forward boosted her career total to 1,107. That eclipsed the old record of 1,101 set in 1993 by center Stacey Milton, now playing at Winthrop.

Updegrove, co-Player of the Year in Harford County last year, reached 1,000 points in the final game of her junior year, a 27-point effort as the Mustangs fell in the state semifinals to Walt Whitman.

Snowed under?

The fate of the Association of Independent Schools' winter soccer season should be decided at Tuesday night's coaches meeting. Since a foot or so of snow still covers most fields, the teams may not be able to fit in at least one game with each league opponent, a prerequisite for the tournament scheduled to run Feb. 6-14.

"I don't think anybody's field is going to be playable anytime soon and that presents a real problem," said Mary Bartel, head of the AIS soccer committee and athletic director at Notre Dame Prep.

If the coaches opt to cancel the rest of the season, this would mark the third straight year for a premature end because of bad weather. Last year, heavy rain kept teams off their fields; two years ago, ice and snow forced the cancellation.

With that track record, the obvious question is whether the AIS should continue to confine soccer to the winter.

"We have to decide whether or not to sanction fall soccer and leave the winter to anybody who wants to play," said Bartel. "The reason we don't want to lose winter soccer is that it provides another alternative."

Some schools offer only basket- ball in the winter while a few have added swimming.

The AIS offers soccer in winter because many schools don't have the field space to accommodate it in the fall and because, with small enrollments, it could affect field hockey programs.

A few teams play in the fall and winter. McDonogh and Notre Dame Prep play in the fall Catholic League while Maryvale will move into the league next fall. McDonogh plans to drop its winter soccer team after this season.

In the swim

The blizzard also forced postponement of a swim meet between the Catholic League's top two teams, Notre Dame Prep and Seton Keough. The meet has not been rescheduled yet.

NDP edged out Seton Keough for the AIS championship last year, but both teams have moved into the brand-new Catholic League along with IND, McDonogh, Spalding and Severn.

The league may have changed but the top names haven't.

Seton Keough's Laurie Felker, Most Valuable Swimmer at last year's AIS title meet, set league records in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200 individual medley. However, she missed the Gators' only meet so far this season.

NDP's top gun, Shannon Curreri, has not lost a race in two meets this season. Neither has the Pirates' Amy Auerbach.

The Gators also rely on veterans Bonny Lehman, Meghann Donovan, Jenn China, Jenny Watts, Shannon Heine and Kelly Herwig while two newcomers, Emily Brooke and Meghan Baker, sparkled in the 53-41 win over McDonogh. Baker took second in the 500 freestyle, then came right back to anchor the 400 freestyle relay to a second-place finish that secured the victory.

For NDP, Sandra Floyd, Jen Austin, Kate Taylor, Elizabeth Lasker, Kelly Boyle, Lindsay Krauss and Julia Massoni helped the Pirates clobber McDonogh 86-28 and IND 130-40.

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