1997-98 Anne Arundel County boys basketball previews

December 05, 1997|By Pat O'Malley

Annapolis Area Christian Eagles

1996-97 record: 13-11

Coach: Paul Brophy, first season

Top players: Paul Allen, 6-4, So., F; Dale Crowner, 6-0, Jr., F; Seth Knight, 6- 5, Jr., C.

Outlook: A new coach will lead the Eagles into their new league, the MIAA C Conference. Brophy succeeds John Dennstaedt, who coached the team for three seasons with Brophy as his assistant. A 1988 graduate of Severna Park, where he played basketball and soccer, Brophy starts just one senior. Allen, who averaged about 10 points a game, and Crowner are the only two players with any varsity experience to speak of. "Our ball-handling has a way to go, but I hope by the second half of the season we will be coming together," said Brophy.

Annapolis Running Panthers

1996-97 record: 20-6

Coach: John Brady (career record: 416-80)

Top players: DeMarkus Green, 6-3, Sr., F; Thomas Hawkins, 6-3, So., F; S.J. Womack, 6-5, Sr., C; Dewayne Hunt, 6-1, Jr., F; Kyron Belt, 6-2, Jr., F; Marcus Johnson, 6-4, So., G; Aaron Copeland, 6-1, So., G; Joe Feldman, 6-0, So., G.

Outlook: Despite graduating all their starters among eight seniors, the Panthers will again be a Class 4A East region contender. Just three players are back from last year's region finalists, Hawkins (lot of time as a freshman), Green and Robert Griffin (6-4, Sr., C), but a strong nucleus from a good JV team has moved up. Also, the addition of Womack, a St. Mary's transfer, should fill the void left inside by graduated Brian Barber. Womack is a superb athlete (All-Metro tight end in football) who is quick and can jump. It should be a matter of Brady and staff finding the right combinations to get past Class 3A Broadneck in the South Division and earn the Panthers' first trip to the county championship game.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1996-97 record: 21-8

Coach: Tony Martin, second season

Top players: Jason Campion, 6-5, Sr., F; Jon Bents, 6-8, Sr., C; Derrick Goode, 7-0, Jr., C; Tremaine Robinson, 6-2, So., G-F; Derrick Snowden, 6-0, So., G; Darren Johnson, 6-1, So., F-G; Isaac Brooks, 5-9, So., G; James Bowen, 6-0, Jr., G.

Outlook: Look for the Cavaliers to be right there with the top teams in the Baltimore Catholic League and MIAA A Conference. Martin, a former assistant at Cardinal Gibbons and Mount St. Joseph, has assembled a potential powerhouse in just two years. Super sophs Robinson (12.2 points), Snowden (4.6 assists), Johnson and Brooks, junior Bowen blend perimeter shooting and defense to go with seniors Campion (11.8 points) and Bents, who should control the boards. The addition of two juniors, the 7-foot Goode and 6-2 sharpshooter Chris Masters, makes a good team potentially great at this level. "We're very deep and can shoot threes," said Martin, pointing to Campion, Masters, Bowen, Brooks and Nate Kuh.

Arundel Wildcats

1996-97 record: 18-6

Coach: Hank Kuzma, first season

Top players: Rodney Farmer, 6-1, Sr., G; Andrew Helms, 6-9, Sr., C; Dave Huff, 6 -5, Sr., F-C; Tim Coulter, 6-4, Sr., F; A.J. Gallow, 6-6, Jr., F; Mike Parker, 6 -5, Jr., C-F; Ellis Champion, 6-1, Jr., G-F.

Outlook: Kuzma, a former Navy guard (1974-78) who scored 1,388 points in his career and was a team captain his senior year, takes the Wildcats' reins after serving as an assistant to V.J. Keith. Keith stepped down after one season, departing with four starters, including All-Metro C-F Tony Ross, who averaged 17 points and 10 boards a game. Farmer, who averaged 4.2 assists a game, is the only returning starter and as a team captain is expected to shoulder a lot of responsibility. Helms may be ready to become a force inside with his 225-pound frame and will be flanked by Huff, Coulter, Parker and Gallow. "It will be interesting to see how we jell this year," said Kuzma. "We will build on our man-defense and try to run up-tempo."

Broadneck Bruins

1996-97 record: 20-5

Coach: Ken Kazmarek (241-90)

Top players: Lehrman Dotson, 6-0, Jr., G; Brooks Barnard, 6-3, Sr., F; Earl Downs, 6-3, Sr., F; Jonas Weatherbie, 6-2, Sr., G; Jeff Logan, 6-1, Jr., F; Keith Williams, 6-1, Jr., G; Tremayne Williams, 6-1, Jr., G.

Outlook: The two-time defending county-champion Bruins lost more than most teams through the graduation of John Williams, the consensus county player of the year and an All-Metro swingman last season and All-County forward Noble Watkins. The pair combined for 35 points and 20 rebounds a game. But Kazmarek, who begins his 15th season as a coach, his 14th at Broadneck, is a master at filling holes and staying on top. As a result, look for Downs and Barnard to take their turns stepping up. Dotson (third-team All-County as a sophomore) proved to be an excellent point guard, averaging 4.8 assists, and should be ready to provide more offense this season. The Bruins open at 8 p.m. tomorrow at home in Cape St. Claire vs. Northern-Calvert.

Chesapeake Cougars

1996-97 record: 12-12

Coach: John Spinnenweber (59-84)

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