1997-98 Carroll County boys basketball previews

December 05, 1997|By John W. Stewart

Carroll Christian Patriots

1996-97 record: 26-5

Coach: Randy Peterson

Top players: John Brunson, 6-3, Sr., F; Jadon Good, 6-2, Sr., F; Ethan Simonton, 6-2, Sr., F.

Outlook: Having to replace three starters, the team is not as deep as it was last season, but the front line is stronger, with better jumping ability. Peterson's motion offense is geared to team play, and although there is not a lot of height, the team has overall quickness. The focus is on running, looking to force turnovers, and get the fast break. This was the case against bigger Montross (a 87-52 win) last week, as the Patriots consistently got to the ball first, especially in opening a 20-point first-quarter lead. Brunson was leading scorer through first six games (80 points in first 4). The Westminster school has won the last two conference and Maryland Association of Christian Schools post-season tournaments, and was third and fifth regionally.

Francis Scott Key Eagles

1996-97 record: 8-16

Coach: Jeff Cook

Top players: Clint Brownley, Sr., 5-11, G; Kevin DeCarlo, Sr., 6-4, C; Josh Hollman, Sr., 5-9, G; Andy Jenkins, Jr., 6-3, G; Vince Stonesifer, Sr., 6-4, Sr.; Steve Webb, 6-4, Jr., G.

Outlook: Nine of the 12 squad members are seniors, headed by first-team All- County choice DeCarlo, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound force at center. He was among the county scoring leaders at 15.4, and was a 6.5 rebounder, a figure Cook expects to see improve, and shot nearly 60 percent from the field. Hollman averaged 13.3 points as the team's only consistent outside shooter, contributed a team-high three assists, and shot 54 percent from the floor. Stonesifer returns after having played only the last third of his junior year following an injury. He may wind up as a starter, possibly at an outside spot, although more help is expected from him inside, especially as a rebounder. Webb is another possible outside starter; Jenkins is a good shooter and ball-handler, and Brownley, who started some a year ago, is a good defender and a streaky shooter. "The players see their potential as a team, but they will have to play hard all the time. A couple years ago, we beat a team by 50 at home and went to their place and lost a game the players thought they would win just by showing up," said Cook, in his ninth season. "Last year, we were in a lot of games and were better than our record. The point differential for and against was only seven points, but we had trouble in the fourth quarter. We weren't able to get something done at a critical point of a game. This time, I hope that experience will help us get over the hump in the close games. It will come down to mental attitude because we are not good enough to just walk out there and win. If we do the basics, and the intangibles that are so important, we'll be OK."

Liberty Lions

1996-97 record: 11-14

Coach: Scott Kohr

Top players: Andy Dolan, Jr., 6-1, G; Mike Lamont, Sr., 6-2, F; Andrew Mangle, Sr., 6-2, G; Dave Morgan, Jr., 6-2, F; Micah Reese, Jr., 6-2, F; Matt Wilder, Sr., 6-8, C.

Outlook: The key players are Dolan and Wilder, as the Lions try to get back on the winning side of .500. There are no returning starters from a year ago, when the team started 7-1, then went into a slump. Kohr said Wilder still has to prove himself, but he is being counted on for scoring and rebounding. "Our focus will be on taking advantage of our height," says Kohr, citing 6-5 junior Mike Reuwer and 6-5 sophomore Marc Falcone. In addition, the ninth-year coach said, "The years we have done well were when we had someone to handle the ball." As a result, Dolan, one of several juniors who will be asked to step up and do a lot of the work, will be the chief ball-handler. Reese was one of the top JV scorers a year ago.

North Carroll Panthers

1996-97 record: 4-17

Coach: Bernie Koontz

Top players: Mike McComas, Sr., 6-2, F; Patrick Winemiller, Sr., 5-8, G.

Outlook: Koontz, Westminster's girls coach the last six seasons, steps in for Troy Warehime, who relinquished the varsity duties after five years but remains with the program. Seven seniors were part of the program last year, but McComas is the only one who saw much playing time. "We're still in the process of sorting things out, and it is learning experience as we adjust to each other," said Koontz. "Right now, it is one day at a time, working on the things we need to improve."

South Carroll Cavaliers

1996-97 record: 14-7

Coach: Jim Carnes

Top players: Aaron Dorsey, Sr., 5-8, G; John Ely, Sr., 5-9, G; Sam McGrane, Jr., 6-7, C; Jimmy Shea, Sr., 6-1, F.

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