Spalding's quick turnaround puts it in the midst of title chase


February 05, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff

If you haven't noticed, Archbishop Spalding's boys basketball team is sitting atop the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) C Conference standings.

The Cavaliers have a great shot at winning only their second title in school history and appear to be a lock to eclipse the school record for wins (17).

Spalding won the old Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA) C Conference title in 1981-82 under coach Bert Olsen.

Led by the likes of Rich Franchak (13.2 points per game), Dave Wicker (13.1) and Kevin Bittner (10.8), the Cavs were 8-1 in the C Conference and 11-9 overall that season.

Loaded with freshmen (five) and underclassmen (12), the Cavaliers are 8-0 in league play, after yesterday's 61-47 win over Glenelg Country School, and 15-8 overall.

First-year coach Tony Martin has done a remarkable job in transforming a 3-17 team into the school's first winning team since 1992-93.

Guard Joe Petrocelli is the only senior on the team.

Spalding visits Archbishop Curley (12-3, 6-2) of the B Conference tomorrow and, depending on the outcome, could tie or break the school record for wins come Friday at winless Mount Carmel in Baltimore.

Crab Pot leftovers

Fred Blair, the Navy ice hockey public relations and rink announcer, is already looking ahead to next year's 21st Crab Pot Tournament.

The Mids club team dropped a 2-1 heart-breaker to SUNY-Buffalo in Sunday's 20th Crab Pot final to spoil Navy's bid for a third straight title in their own four-team tournament.

Blair hopes to include Towson State and Maryland in future tournaments and bring in an out-of-state school for the fourth team. Buffalo will be invited back to defend its title.

"The Beanpot has the same teams every year, and they are all from the Boston area which generates a lot of interest," said Blair. "We need to create the same kind of atmosphere for local fans."

This year's Crab Pot only drew about 600 fans for the final despite free admission. Playing the same weekend as the Army at Navy basketball game didn't help the turnout of Midshipmen.

In past years, the Crab Pot has drawn as many as 1,500 at Dahlgren Hall, even on Super Bowl Sundays. Three local teams would certainly have a lot of fan appeal and make the tournament more attractive to hockey fans.

"I'm hoping we can get a commitment from Towson State [1994 finalist] and Maryland [1992 champion] to participate the next couple seasons," said Blair.

Blair's "Score the Mid" intermission bit was a big hit Saturday and Sunday. A Midshipman is put in a big, plastic saucer and fellow Mids push him across the blue line and into the cage. It took two attempts before the third period of Sunday's final for the Mid in the saucer to land in the goal. To that point, it was the only score by the Mids all afternoon.

Severna Park sophomore and field hockey player Heather Soroka, whose dad Steve Soroka is a 1972 Naval Academy grad, sang the National Anthem about as well as it can be sung before the final.

Former Navy coach Steve Gordon (1975-83), who started the Crab Pot in 1978, watched and cheered for the Mids at center ice next to the Navy bench. The tourney's MVP trophy is named after Gordon and he made the presentation to Buffalo' stellar goalie, Greg Myers.

Blair has set up a fund-raiser for the Kevin Reichardt Foundation. On Feb. 22 at Dahlgren Hall, the Washington Capitals' Alumni will play the St. Mary's High Saints at 5 p.m. Reichardt was the former St. Mary's lacrosse player who was slain in North Carolina.


Washington College's veteran coach Tom Finnegan visited one of his former standout players turned coach -- Severn School's Charles "Tank" Duckett -- last Friday. Finnegan said he was "very proud" of Duckett and the job he is doing with the No. 13 Admirals (14-3). Duckett's Admirals defeated McDonogh, 66-56, that night and started this week atop Division II of the MIAA B Conference. At 10-6 overall going into last night's home game vs. North County (7-9), Severna Park's boys basketball team has already won more games than in any of coach Paul Pellicani's four years. Leann Shuck, girls soccer coach, has replaced older sister Jennifer Shuck as Broadneck's girls lacrosse coach. Jennifer's schedule as an attorney has made it impossible to continue coaching. The Shucks' dad, Jim Shuck, also a lawyer, is back as women's lacrosse coach at Anne Arundel Community College.

Have an idea for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-Hour Sportsline, (410) 647- 2499.

Pub Date: 2/05/97

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