North County's Mr. Versatile The catalyst: A standout in football, Maurice Bowie now leads the Knights basketball team into the Top 20.

February 18, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

There is a rumor around North County High that Maurice "Reece" Bowie can walk on water.

He's already helped North County win a 4A state football championship as a receiver and defensive back in 1994, led the team to a 7-3 record as a top quarterback in 1995, put the basketball team in the spotlight this season with some clutch performances, and now he's promising a return to baseball after being out of the sport for six years.

"I want to play anywhere in the outfield," he said. "Everything is going so good for me now in sports, I want to give baseball a try for North County this spring. I would have ran track in past years if it hadn't interfered with my many basketball leagues."

"Reece will be a success at whatever he does," said North County basketball coach Brad Wilson. "He is one of the few people I've coached in basketball and football that I don't think ever gets tired. That sets him apart from the others."

The genes are certainly there for the 6-foot-2 senior.

It was only 19 years ago that his father, Maurice Sr., and mother, Tonia, were starring at the same time on the Brooklyn Park High boys and girls basketball teams.

Maurice Sr., a 5-foot-11 guard and small forward, was scoring 15 points a game, and Tonia (then Cornish), a 6-foot center, was averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Both are now in the stands for every football and basketball game their son plays and are having the time of their lives this winter.

Especially the way Bowie is raining three-point jumpers on the opposition and shooting down such Top 20 teams as Annapolis, Arundel and Glen Burnie.

The Knights were nowhere to be found in the preseason Top 20.

But Bowie is one of those gifted athletes who can make things happen no matter where he is on the court.

"He's a post player in a guard's body," said Wilson. "He's done whatever I've asked him. Some games I need him to go inside for us and some I need him outside. I've been needing him more inside lately because we lost our center [6-5 Richard Allen] because of academic ineligibility."

With Allen out, Bowie becomes a power forward and Chris Salmon plays center.

Bowie uses all his athletic talent and 176 pounds to excel inside against much taller players.

"It's good for Reece to do anything to help the team, but it kind of hurts him to play all those positions when the bigger colleges are there to watch him," his father said. "They say things like 'He's got a lot of talent, but can he dribble?' "

Bowie would have to be a point guard at a major college and needs to prove to the college scouts he can handle the ball as well as shoot the threes (40 percent from three-point range).

Right now it appears that he may select Division III Goucher College if he opts to play basketball in college.

If he chooses football, there are all kind of opportunities out there.

"I think his heart is set on basketball," said his father who has been coaching Reece in recreation basketball since he was 5 years old.

Bowie is averaging 14 points, six rebounds and three assists, but those stats don't come close to telling just how valuable he is to the 13-8 Knights, who have risen to the No. 17 ranking in the Baltimore metro area.

When the game is on the line, the ball is in Bowie's hands.

He beat No. 20 Arundel, 61-60, with a jumper with two seconds left early in the season.

He gave the Knights a chance to beat No. 14 Glen Burnie, 74-67, in double overtime Tuesday night with a three-pointer with one second left in the first overtime.

There were four seconds left in the first overtime when Bowie got the ball in the backcourt and dribbled three-quarters of the length of the floor and let a three-pointer fly that went swishing through the basket to force the second overtime.

In the first game against Glen Burnie this season, Bowie scored 20 points in a losing cause and dunked with two hands when he went soaring through a 1-3-1 defense.

He had 23 in the double-overtime victory over Glen Burnie, 23 in the upset of Annapolis this season and a career-high 34 points last season against Annapolis.

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