1997-98 Baltimore County boys basketball previews

December 04, 1997|By Jamison Hensley and Rich Scherr

Public schools

Carver A&T Wildcats

1996-97 record: 11-12

Coach: Russ Harless

Top players: Evan Guidera, 6-0, Sr., G; Hilton Carter, 6-4, Sr., C; Ronnie Sherrill, 6-5, Jr., F; Wes Anderson, 6-3, Jr., G.

Outlook: Under second-year coach Harless, the Wildcats almost reached .500 after winning just one game in 1995. Carver lost three starters from last season's team and expect Guidera and Carter to step up offensively. The Wildcats have size in the frontcourt but lack depth.

Catonsville Comets

1996-97 record: 12-13

Coach: Jim Rhoads

Top players: Damone Upchurch, 6-2, Sr., F; Brendann Mohler, 6-1, Sr., G; Cameron McCarthy, 6-2, Sr., C; Ed Meister, 6-1, Sr., F.

Outlook: The Comets look to return to their 1996 form, when they won 16 games. Catonsville has a strong nucleus back, including four starters and six of last season's top-eight scorers. Mohler, who will play Division I lacrosse next year, is often overlooked for his point-guard play and leads a quick and defensive-minded group.

Chesapeake Bayhawks

1996-97 record: 6-14

Coach: Ben Raphael

Top players: Terrance Mandley, 5-10, Sr., G; Charles Stokes, 6-0, Sr., F; Brian Ross, 6-3, Jr., F; James Conners, 6-5, Sr., C.

Outlook: The Bayhawks have won six or fewer games for a total of 14 victories over the past four seasons. Chesapeake continues to grow under second-year coach Raphael and will rely heavily on Mandley and Stokes on both ends of the court.

Dulaney Lions

1996-97 record: 4-13

Coach: Rod Norris

Outlook: Rod Norris, who compiled a 94-33 record and turned Woodlawn into a top 10 team in the area from 1989-94, takes over at Dulaney. The Lions have had five consecutive losing seasons, winning nine games over the past two seasons.

Dundalk Owls

1996-97 record: 8-13

Coach: Fred Thompson

Top players: Kenneth Turner, 5-10, Jr., G; Shawn Forbes, 5-9, Sr., Shawn Graves, 6-4, Sr., F; Jason Cox, 6-5, Jr., F.

Outlook: Thompson, who previously coached at Meridian (Miss.) Community College, takes over the Owls, who reached the regional final two seasons ago. Forbes is Dundalk's top shooter, and Cox and Graves should be top rebounders. "We're a step behind defensively," Thompson said. "We need to improve dramatically if we want to compete."

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1996-97 record: 19-5

Coach: Todd Wade

Top players: Anthony Lawston, 6-4, Jr., F; Lou Clark, 6-5, Sr., C; Jay Hensler, 6-0, Sr., G; Reggie Thomas, 6-0, Jr., G.

Outlook: In one season under Wade, the Mavericks nearly

doubled their win total of 1995-96. However, Eastern Tech will be tested more this season, moving from the third to first division. The Mavericks, who have their top scorer and rebounder back in Lawston (11 points a game, seven rebounds a game), will be one of the county's stronger teams, with seven football players making the team.

Franklin Indians

1996-97 record: 10-10

Coach: Mike Squirrel

Top players: Demetrius Mitchell, 6-5, Sr., C; Joe Byington, 5-10, Sr., G; Rob Stine, 6-2, Jr., F.

Outlook: The Indians look to rebuild around Mitchell, a dominant rebounder and a three-year varsity player. Franklin has only three players back and, thus, could struggle. "It leaves a big gap," Squirrel said. "There's going to be a whole lot of adjustment."

Hereford Bulls

1996-97 record: 10-13

Coach: Glenn Snyder

Top players: Jason Wingeart, 6-0, Sr., G; Luke Gilbert, 6-3, Jr., F; Justin Coon, 6-3, Sr., C.

Outlook: When the Bulls' football team won the state title, no one celebrated more than Snyder, who gets three-quarters of his basketball team off the gridiron and back into practice for the first time this week. Wingeart and Gilbert, who have been the core of the varsity for the past three seasons, look to carry over the success from the fall with more balanced scoring. Wingeart (12.0 points a game) is Hereford's top returning scorer.

Kenwood Bluebirds

1996-97 record: 14-8

Coach: Cal Rumbley

Top players: Chris Bell, 5-10, Sr., G; Bobby Tumminello, 6-3, Sr., C; Joe Greaver, 6-0, Sr., F; Danny Watson, 5-7, Jr., G.

Outlook: The Bluebirds are optimistic with three third-year varsity players and Watson, who starred for last season's 21-0 JV team. Kenwood still needs to replace its top two scorers and to offset its lack of size.

Lansdowne Vikings

1996-97 record: 16-4

Coach: Phil Bressler

Top players: Andre Loney, 6-2, Jr., F; Brian Hugel, 6-7, Jr., C; Willie Pack, 6-0, Sr., G; Josh Samons, 5-10, Soph., G; Jerald Hurt, 5-10, Soph., G.

Outlook: Bressler, who coached Dulaney last season, faces the challenge of a young team adapting to a new system. Look for several different lineup combinations early. There is so much youth that Bressler said he could have all sophomores on the court at times. Pack is the only player with significant varsity time.

Loch Raven Raiders

1996-97 record: 14-5

Coach: Tim Nordbrook

Outlook: Nordbrook, an infielder for the Orioles in the mid-1970s, takes over the Raiders. Loch Raven has won 14 or more games three of the past four seasons.

Milford Mill Millers

1996-97 record: 22-6

Coach: Edgar Smith

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