Howard County team previews LOCAL SPORTS: GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEWS

December 04, 1996|By Stan Rappaport

Atholton Raiders

1995-96 record: 10-12

Coach: Paul Seadler

Top players: Linda Mihelcic, 6-2, Sr., C; Katie Young, 5-11, Sr., F/C; Meagan Funches, 5-9, Jr., F; Sylvia Lin, 5-3, Sr., G; Anne Greenfield, 5-6, Jr., G.

Outlook: Seadler, Don Van Deusen's assistant last year, takes over a team with good height and "a lot of good players" who will provide him flexibility. The Raiders lost one of their top players, Caitlin Bair, to River Hill, but Seadler said the team has experience -- Mihelcic, Young and Funches started most of last year -- and good balance. Scoring, Seadler said, will come from a "real strong team effort." The main weakness early in the season will be ball-handling. "If we can learn to handle the ball in December we can be a team to be reckoned with," said Seadler, who was the JV basketball coach at Mount St. Joseph for nine years and served as the varsity assistant for seven of those seasons. Lin saw limited playing time on last year's varsity, which was seventh (4-10) in the county, while Greenfield led Atholton's JV with 15.4 points a game.

Centennial Eagles

1995-96 record: 17-7

Coach: Dave Greenberg

Top players: Meredith Price, 5-11, Sr., F; Kathleen O'Connor, 5-11, Jr., F.; Mallory Groves, 5-6, Sr., G; Michelle Kincaid, 5-6, Jr., G; Icyis Richardson, 5-8, So., G.

Outlook: The Eagles return nine players from last year's varsity, which finished in a four-way tie for second (9-4) in the county. But one of those players, point guard Kincaid, is out indefinitely with a knee injury that will require surgery. Like last year, Centennial will play tenacious defense and look to many players for points. Price, who scored 30 points in last year's league opener against Glenelg, led the Eagles in points (11.37) and rebounding (8). O'Connor became an outside threat last year, making 29 three-pointers, fourth best in the county. Richardson, who played JV football this season, has excellent potential. "She's much better than she was but still has a way to go," Greenberg said. The Eagles have a strong bench -- led by Alexia Vogler, Stacie Tokasz, Caitlin Ryland and Jessica Mentz -- and Greenberg will go to them often. He has two seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and one freshman on the team. Centennial's season opener Saturday won't be just another road game. The Eagles leave at 6: 30 a.m. Friday for a weekend trip to New York City and a game Saturday night against Christ the King High School, one of the top teams in the country.

Chapelgate Christian Flames

1995-96 record: 13-7

Coach: Ed Esbrandt

Top players: Heather Davison, 5-8, Sr., G; Anna Lohrmann, 5-11, Jr., C/F; Sarah Esbrandt, 5-3, Jr., G; Meghan Price, 5-7, So., G; Laura Starsoneck, 5-10, Fr., F; Laura Carder, 5-9, So., F.

Outlook: "I expect this team by the second half [of the season] to be a better team than last year," said Esbrandt, who has two returning starters in Davison and Lohrmann. "I think we'll be a contender in the [Christian Schools Athletic Association] playoffs." Right now, the Flames, who graduated two-thirds of their scoring offense, are not a strong shooting team, but they have good team speed and hustle on defense. Davison is a four-year starter and last year's second-leading scorer. Lohrmann led the team -- 4-4 in the league last year -- in rebounding.

Glenelg Gladiators

1995-96 record: 15-8

Coach: Ciaran Lesikar

Top players: Camey Brian, 5-10, Sr., F/C; Lauren Brown, 5-7, Sr., G.

Outlook: Lesikar, who coached the boys JV team at Oakland Mills for seven years and has coached girls in track and volleyball, will coach a girls basketball team for the first time. Only eight players tried out initially for varsity, but Lesikar, a 1984 graduate of Centennial and a special education teach at Mount View Middle, has increased the roster to 12. With Jill Younce (17 points a game) having graduated and Lauren Martin (school-record 54 three-pointers) re-districted to River Hill, the Gladiators, who finished in a four-way tie for second (9-5) last season in the county, will rely heavily on co-captains Brian and Brown. "They have to step up and provide experience, confidence and leadership," Lesikar said. Lesikar is hoping Brian, whose best scoring output last year was 12 points, can average around 15 points. "She has the ability to do that," Lesikar said. Brown will be the team's point guard. Junior Shana Wyant, who led last year's JV team with a 12-point average, has an ankle injury and is out indefinitely. "The girls are working so hard in practice," said Lesikar, whose team has three seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen.

Glenelg Country School Dragons

1995-96 record: 0-14

Coach: Barb Brummett

Top players: Kim Greene, 5-6, Jr., G; Julie Everett, 5-8, Jr., F; Jordana Woodford, 5-9, Sr., C; Elena Diaz-Martin, 5-8, Sr., F; Lindsay Lehmann, 5-5, Sr., G.

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