Chesapeake's win is respectable event

Sidelines

December 24, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Chesapeake's wrestling team gained a lot of respect over the weekend by winning the 18-team Dundalk Invitational with a score of 141 points.

"Some people around the county had given us up for dead after a 1-3 start," said coach Tom Slichter. "But we beat out North County (138), Boys Latin (136.5) and the defending champion, Eastern Tech (103.5)."

The Cougars had three individual champions in sophomore Jeff Eveleth (103) and seniors Ryan Howard (130) and Keath Puller (160).

Eveleth and Puller also won the Outstanding Wrestler Awards for lightweights and heavyweights, respectively. Puller's dad, Walt, was a state champion at Northeast in 1975.

Who wants it most?

Glen Burnie's surprising 70-62 victory over then-No. 16 Chesapeake (4-1) last Friday is what you can expect in Anne Arundel County this season. There are no dominant teams, but parity will be dominant.

The Gophers won only three games (3-20) last season under rookie coach Mike Rudd. They are now 2-3 and in first place in the North Division at 1-0.

Glen Burnie was 2-8 in North Division games last year, finishing next to last. Chesapeake won the North by three games and returned practically its entire team.

"We needed a win like that," said Rudd. "The kids did everything they had to do to get it done against a really good team. Looks like everybody is pretty even this year."

Antoine Rich led the Gophers with 17 points, followed by Owen Gaither (13), Vernon Crowder (12) and Luckey Williams (11), who scored all his in the final period.

Rudd scouted Chesapeake's 66-52 victory over South River Wednesday with his 6-year-old son, Kyler.

"We used Kyler's scouting report," joked Rudd, whose son is a scoring machine in a Linthicum-Ferndale youth league.

No. 18 Southern of Harwood opened its South Division schedule with a 62-53 victory over Arundel (1-2) Friday and stands alone as the county's unbeaten team at 5-0.

When chided that all are talking about how good his team is, Southern's 33-year coach Tom Albright just grinned from ear to ear.

"No, no, they're just setting me up," said Albright, who knows his Bulldogs are quicker than most teams.

But can Southern or anyone else be a dominant team?

"I don't think there is going to be a dominant team this year," said Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek, whose Bruins were just that a year ago in repeating as county champion with a 9-1 South Division record and 16-1 in all county games played.

"There aren't as many good athletes in the county like last year. We lack dominant players It should be a pretty interesting race."

For the first time since the county went to two divisions three years ago, Broadneck is not in first place. The Bruins lost their first division game by 52-42 to South River (3-2, 1-0) and are 1-3 overall.

The defending champs lost their third game Saturday night, 70-49, to nationally-ranked DeMatha (8-0). With no player over 6-foot-3, Broadneck has its shortest team since the 1987-88 edition.

It's interesting to note that the '87-88 Broadneck team was led by All-County junior Kenny Wood, a 6-2 forward and an almost-6-2 post player, Kevin Watkins.

Wood and Watkins were the tallest starters on a team that went 19-5 and won the Wes Unseld Tournament for the first time. What helped the undersized Bruins that season is what could help them this year before all is said and done -- the three-point shot.

That was the first season the three-pointer was used and the Bruins took advantage.

Kiefer honored

Villanova's Mark Kiefer (St. Mary's) has been named to the Atlantic 10 football conference's all-academic team as chosen by the sports information directors. Kiefer, a place-kicker/punter and computer engineering major, maintained a 3.39 grade-point average.

Sideliners

Kenny Wood (1989) and Matt Campbell (1990) were two of four former Baltimore Sun Players of the Year honored Saturday at Broadneck, but were unable to attend. Jason Smith (1995) and John Williams (1997) made it. Williams was in his Navy Midshipman's uniform.

That very day, Williams, one of three Williamses on the Navy basketball team, scored his first college points (9).

Finally, the four Bruins whose names and numbers on banners will be hung from the rafters at the new gym all played for coach Ken Kazmarek.

Has the school forgotten Kurtis Brooks? He was All-County in the two seasons he played for coach Jim Morris and his 937 career points rank him fifth in Bruin history behind the four mentioned.

But Brooks did something the other four did not -- he led Anne Arundel County in scoring two straight seasons in 1982-83 (20.3) and 1983-84 (26.9).

Williams is the only other Bruin who was a scoring leader with his 20.8 last year.

Brooks also holds school records for season highest average (26.9) and career highest average (24.0).

It would seem a banner with Kurtis Brooks on it is more than deserving.

Have a note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline, 410-647-2499.

Phone in statistics

The Baltimore Sun compiles boys and girls basketball and indoor track and field individual statistics each Sunday during the winter season. Coaches or statisticians should call between 4-6 p.m. at 410-332-6200 or long distance 1-800-829-8000, extension 6200.

Pub Date: 12/24/97

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