Frosh arrive, ready to play Basketball: At least four varsity squads expect dividends from freshmen players this season, which seems likely to produce an unusually high number of future stars.

December 04, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

This season's freshman class could be one of the strongest in the past few years, and River Hill, Centennial, Long Reach and Oakland Mills appear to be the main beneficiaries.

Let's begin with River Hill's Greeba Outen, a 5-foot-8 guard.

"I've seen her play, and she's outstanding," said Wilde Lake coach Kelly Storr. "She's smooth, she knows what to do with the ball and makes things happen."

River Hill coach Karen Saunderson's first chance to see Outen in a game will come tomorrow when the Hawks play host to Howard in the league opener. Outen missed the team's only scrimmage over the holiday weekend.

"She has a lot of talent," Saunderson said. "She has very good court sense."

Outen can play either guard position. "She likes to put the ball on the floor and drive," said Saunderson. "She likes to mix it up inside."

Saunderson said Outen "seems to have found her place on the team. She's blended in well."

Centennial coach Dave Greenberg said 5-6 freshman guard Ashley Evans "should contribute right away. I think she'll be able to do a lot of things for us."

One thing Evans can do is shoot. Evans "is shooting the ball better and better every day," Greenberg said. "The other thing is that she plays a ton of basketball year-round. She really has great instincts for the game."

Long Reach coach Shanya Evans compares 6-2 Tamara Jackson to recently graduated All-County players Rene Hines of Hammond and Chanelle Carter of Howard.

"She's an all-around player with a very good attitude," Evans said. "The sky is the limit for her."

Jackson, who wears braces on both knees, will start for the Lightning.

"She can score inside with either hand and has a good outside shot," said Evans, who added that her prized freshman also is a good student.

Oakland Mills coach Teresa Waters said 6-0 freshman center Rayna DuBose "shows a lot of promise" and "will definitely be in the starting lineup during the season." Waters said DuBose has "good instincts" and is "able to read the court well."

Two-time defending county champion Wilde Lake also kept three freshmen on its roster -- 5-8 forward Nicole Roy-Harrison, and 5-5 guards Sarah Hobart and Sara Taliano. With three guards graduating after this season, Wilde Lake coach Kelly Storr called Hobart and Taliano "the guards of the future." She's hoping all three freshman get good playing time.

Martin back at Glenelg

Lauren Martin, last season's county scoring leader, is back at Glenelg after attending River Hill a year ago.

"I was in the tech-magnet program, and I just wasn't interested in it," said Martin, who averaged 23.8 points last season and made a league-high 57 three-point baskets. "It wasn't what I expected. It [the decision to return to Glenelg] really didn't have anything to do with basketball."

Second-year Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar is glad to have her. "She has raised the confidence and the level of play for everyone," Lesikar said.

Martin, who will be playing for her third coach in as many seasons, will play the point.

"She's our best ballhandler, and she's a playmaker," Lesikar said. "As good a shooter as she is, she's also a great passer."

Lesikar would like Martin to average under 20 points.

"I don't want her to average 22 or 23 points. If she does, she's probably shooting too much," Lesikar said. "If we really want to be a good team, I think 18 or 19 would be fine."

Lesikar said Martin "has very unselfishly done whatever we've asked her to do. She's really trying to help us."

And that's all Martin wants. "I'm going to do what I need to do to help win, regardless of what it is," said Martin, a first-team All-County selection last season.

Martin said she likes Lesikar and his program. "I like him a lot. He knows what he's doing," Martin said. "Our team has a lot of potential, and he brings it out."

Family matters

Last season, it was Wilde Lake coach Kelly Storr. This time, it's River Hill coach Karen Saunderson.

The connection? Having a child right before the season.

Saunderson, whose husband is Atholton athletic director Pat Saunderson, gave birth to the couple's first child on Nov. 7 at St. Agnes Hospital in Catonsville. Kyle Scott Saunderson entered the world weighing eight pounds, eight ounces and measuring 21 1/2 inches.

"It's actually been pretty good," Saunderson said. "He comes to every practice, and we've got him on a schedule so that he sleeps through it. Luckily, I have family around, and they have been very supportive. And Pat takes care of him, too."

Saunderson, an eighth-grade science teacher, is on maternity leave from Mount View Middle School. "I can focus on being a mom and being a coach," said Saunderson, who will return to teaching in mid-February.

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