1997-98 Howard County boys basketball previews

December 05, 1997|By Rick Belz

Atholton Raiders

1996-97 record: 12-12 overall, 11-7 league

Coach: Jim Albert

Top players: Brian Boykins, Jr., F; Jason Allmond, Jr., G/F; Ryan Lambert, Sr., F; James Penamon, Sr., G; Jhunio Medina, Sr., G; Jared Albert, Sr., G; Chris Shead, Sr., G; Tim Small, Sr., F.

Outlook: Boykins is the only returning starter, but the 6-foot-4 forward is a rugged rebounder who, along with Lambert (6-3) and Small (6-4), give the Raiders adequate height. Coach Albert is most concerned about his guards. Montgomery Blair transfer Medina may start at point guard. Albert's son, Jared, and Shead are returning guards. Penamon is an exciting, high-energy player who helped the Raiders dominate the JV league last season. Penamon started Atholton's final two playoff games. He's quick and can shoot. The Raiders brought up three other JV players who should help, Eddie Lopez, Angel Cotto and Steve Waddy. "If we can take care of the ball, we'll do something," Albert said. The Raiders will continue to play an up-tempo style.

Centennial Eagles

1996-97 record: 22-1 overall, 18-0 league (county champs)

Coach: Jim Hill

Top players: Andy McShane, Sr., F; Andres Conejo, Sr., F; Keith Williams, Sr., G; Scott Bell, Sr., C; Jamal Stevens, Jr., G; Kurt Vogler, Sr., G; Rob Mentz, Jr., F; Brian O'Connor, Fr., G; Erik Forni, Sr., C; Pat Lee, Sr., F/G.

Outlook: The Eagles graduated their top six players last season but have three returnees who saw a lot of action, 6-6 McShane, 6-1 Costa Rican Conejo and 5-11 football tailback Williams. Bell and Stevens are newcomers who figure to crack the starting lineup. A lot depends on Stevens at point guard. Vogler at 5-9 returns, 6-1 Mentz comes up from JV, and O'Connor is a promising 6-0 freshman. All will see plenty of action. The Eagles can't hope to duplicate last season, when they set a school record for wins and won their second straight county title, but they should remain competitive.

Chapelgate Christian Flames

1996-97 record: 16-15

Coach: Gary Berwager

Top players: Chris Davidson, Jr., G; Richard Price, Sr., G; John Ring, Jr., F; Ben Byrd, Jr., G; Dan Bird, Sr., F; Nathan Brenneman, Sr., G; Brian Downing, Sr., G; Scott Saulsbury, Jr., F.

Outlook: This fourth-year team steps up in class by moving from the Christian Schools Athletic Association to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference. The Flames will be young, starting three juniors, but experienced. They return eight. Davidson returns with a 19.2 scoring average. He shot 82 percent at the foul line. Price brings back averages of 10 points and four assists. Ring averaged five points and five rebounds. Bird and Byrd will be the other starters.

Glenelg Gladiators

1996-97 record: 5-16 overall, 4-14 league

Coach: Jeremy Snyder

Top players: Brandon Robertson, Jr.; Kendall Stewart, Sr., G; Eric Krausse, Sr., C; Adam Hazlinski, Jr., F; Jeff Starcher, Jr., G; Eric Breland, Fr., F; Chris Gregory, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Gladiators return only three who played much, Robertson, Stewart and Krausse (6-3, 240). Hazlinski (6-3, 230) and Starcher are up from JV and expected to start. Starcher is the team's best shooter. Robertson will play a key role at point guard. Glenelg has an outstanding freshman class, and 6-5 Breland is the best of its members. "We're bigger than we've been in three or four years," said Snyder, 27, a West Virginia University graduate who was the JV coach the past two seasons. He's also a special education teacher, JV football coach, and replaced Klaude Krannebitter as varsity basketball coach. "We'll have to play within ourselves, and some people will have to step up. We like being down in Class 1A when it comes to the playoffs, so it should be a fun, learning year."

Glenelg Country School Dragons

1996-97 record: 10-14

Coach: John Aquila

Top players: Jason Greenberg, Sr., G; Eric Greenberg, Sr., G; Garth DeAngelis, Jr., F; Nick Woodford, Sr., F; C. J. Bowles, Soph., C; Matt Woodford, Soph., C; Dare' Ogunsolaju, Soph., F.

Outlook: The Dragons return four starters, including All-MIAA C Conference player Eric Greenberg, a third-year starter who averaged 15 points. But they remain a young team with just two seniors. Other returning starters include 6-2 point guard Jason Greenberg, DeAngelis and Nick Woodford. Aquila, a third-year coach, said the team will have its best bench in three years. "We should be one of the best teams in the C Conference, and will be tough to beat if we get our offense going," Aquila said.

Hammond Golden Bears

1996-97 record: 15-8 overall, 14-4 league

Coach: Mark Murray

Top players: Pat Lally, Sr., G; Ryan Pflugrad, Sr., F; Antwaun Oliver, Sr., F; Jason Boyd, Sr., G; Pat Gelinas, Sr., C; Jamar Wise, Sr., G; David Hines, Jr., F; Robbie Watkins, Sr., G.

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