Young misses No. 400 again, Meade falls to Old Mill, 52-47 Patriots dress 7 players, turn in 'best effort' of year

Boys basketball

February 12, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Somebody doesn't want Meade coach Butch Young to win his 400th game. What else can it be?

Young (399-277) has been on the brink of notching No. 400 over the last three years, but a scenario of weird circumstances has prevented him from reaching the milestone.

The latest was last night's 52-47 loss to Old Mill, a team that lost five of its first eight players to academic probation or ineligibility.

Report cards came out yesterday and the Patriots showed up at Meade with only seven players dressed, but according to assistant coach Jim Griffith played their "best game of the year."

Sophomore guard Timmy Smith scored 13 points and Jeff Miller and Toby Green combined for 21 more to pace Old Mill (7-12, 5-2) to the North division victory.

Meade (8-11, 3-4) lost only three players to grades, but had 11 players on hand last night. Only three of them scored in what was a lackluster performance considering they had a chance to get back into the North division race with a win.

Senior Deshawn Brown bagged a game-high 25 for Meade. while juniors Steve Spurlin tossed in 14 and Doug Hebron added eight points.

"We've had a hard time busting 50 points, but we've played well defensively all year long," said Young.

Meade was only down by 37-36 going into the final period after trailing by seven (29-22) at the half.

Four costly turnovers at the start of the final period and six of Green's 10 points enabled Old Mill to build an 11-point lead at 49-38 with about four and a half minutes to go. Brown fired in five points in a 7-0 run by the Mustangs and suddenly it was a 49-45 game, but the home team got no closer.

Young can't catch a break. Every time he knocks on the door, No. 400 won't answer.

"Coach is not too focused on it," said James Meade, a 15-year assistant and former player under Young. "It means a lot to me personally. It would mean a lot to me to be a part of it. He still coaches the game hard-nosed, a little less energy, but just as hard-nosed."

Three years ago it appeared Young was closing in on 400 when it was discovered that junior varsity wins from his four years at Brooklyn Park in the 1960s were included.

Then, he just missed at the end of last season as his Mustangs were upset in the region quarterfinals by Chesapeake (10-14).

Supposedly, Meade finished the season at 12-11 leaving Young 399-258 for his career.

He would begin his 30th season just one win away until it was learned that the Mustangs had an ineligible player who lived outside the Meade district.

Eight wins were erased and eight forfeits were added leaving Young at 391-266 coming into this year.

The coach insists he doesn't give a darn about being only the third boys coach in county history to achieve the feat, but when you have coached 30 years it's got to mean something.

"I suppose once you've quit coaching, it might be a big deal," said Young, who retired after 35 years as a physical education teacher at the start of last semester.

"Right now I don't think it's a big deal because you're so involved with that team you're coaching right now. It was a big deal going 62-18 as a JV coach at Brooklyn Park."

The Mustangs get another chance to present Young No. 400 at home 5 p.m. Friday against Chesapeake (10-9, 7-0), the North division leader.

Pub Date: 2/12/97

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