State semifinals

March 12, 1998|By Katherine Dunn, Lem Satterfield, John W. Stewart and Kevin Eck

Today's games

Boys

No. 19 City (15-11) vs.

Thomas Stone (20-6)

Class: 3A

Site: Cole Field House, University of Maryland, College Park.

Time: 3 p.m.

Outlook: City coach Daryl Wade and his Knights return to Cole Field House, site of last year's Class 2A semifinal loss to eventual champ Surrattsville. This time, however, the Knights take on the defending Class 3A champion Patriots of 24th-year coach Tom Dickman. TJ is in its 11th playoffs and in search of its seventh title, led by 6-3 G Chad Dickman (13.2 points, 5.6 assists, 4.3 boards a game), 6-6 freshman C Levi Watkins (12.3, 1.2, 6.1) and 6-4 F Chris Williams (12.2, 1.5, 5.6). F David Stone (11.1 points a game) and G Michael Foreman (8.2 points, 3.5 assists) add to a balanced attack for the Patriots, who face a team riding an eight-game win streak. City's 6-6 junior C Autin Baker averages 17.8 points and 13.2 boards, and 6-4 junior F Dominic Fulcher, 11.7 and 7.1. Senior workhorse Warren Smith, a 6-4 F, averaged over 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Knights' blue-collar outfit, but G Kenny Carter (11.3, 11.1) and Kyle Pompey (10.7 points) make it go.

No. 6 Aberdeen (21-4) vs.

Friendly (14-11)

Class: 3A

Site: Cole Field House

Time: 5 p.m.

Outlook: Aberdeen opened with losses to Mount St. Joseph and Cardinal Gibbons but lost only to Edgewood and Fallston the rest of the way. It outscored opponents by an average 79-62, including winning three regional games by an average of 18 points. The Eagles, under coach Ron Petrey, get much of their offense from front-liners E.J. Henderson (18.8 points, 11.4 rebounds); Demetris Oliphant (12.3, 6.8, 3.1 assists); and Stephon Watson (12.3, 6.8, 2.0). No starter is taller than 6-foot-3, but the team averages 40 rebounds a game. Friendly lost twice during the year to Gwynn Park and Crossland but beat both in regional play. The Patriots have an average scoring edge of 67-54, and average 16 rebounds. For another team on which the tallest starter is 6-3, the top threats are junior forward Ray Baker (16.5 points, 10 rebounds); senior forward Jamal Shivers (12.5, 6.0); and senior guard Dorian Johnson (11.5 points).

No. 2 Mervo (20-4) vs.

Oxon Hill (21-5)

Class: 4A

Site: Cole Field House

Time: 9 p.m.

Outlook: When a team from Baltimore plays one from Prince George's County, anything can happen. Southwestern required overtime to win last year's Class 4A state title game over Parkdale, and you can expect similar fireworks from these two semifinalists. For the Mustangs, as a team, this is the first trip to Cole. For coach Woody Williams, it's a return to where he was a former assistant to Bob Wade. Oxon Hill's main men are 6-4 G Ryan Gorham (19 points, five rebounds) and 6-7 C Michael Sweeney (19 points, 10.8 rebounds). Williams' leaders are G Damien Jenifer (21.9 points a game., 10.3 assists) and G Marcus Hatten (22.9 points a game., 12.3 boards, 9.5 assists). Mervo will require big games from its inside men, 6-6 Hugh Brown (15.6 boards, 10.9 points) and 6-6 Kevin Taylor if it is to win its sixth straight game

Girls

No. 6 Western (25-2) vs.

Suitland (22-2)

Class: 4A

Site: UMBC

Time: 5 p.m.

Outlook: The Doves have the edge in state playoff experience with 10 players back from last year's state semifinalist. Suitland is making its first appearance in the state semifinals, but the Rams also appear to have an edge -- they played a tougher schedule during the latter part of the season and in the regional playoffs. Western has won 22 straight, but it hasn't been tested since a 78-75 win over University City (Pa.) on Jan. 10. Since then, the Doves' average margin of victory has been by more than 53 points. Western was in a similar position last season when it entered the state semifinals with a 21-game winning streak, only to lose to Montgomery Blair. Suitland, conversely, has won close games over defending Class 4A state champion Largo (45-42) and Riverdale Baptist (64-60 in overtime) in mid-February. Suitland, which has won 13 straight, is led by senior guard Sharron Francis (21.0 points, seven rebounds, eight assists). The Doves don't have any players with scoring statistics like that, but they do have a balanced and deep squad. Senior guard Tyesha McMillion leads Western in scoring (13 points a game), followed by center Crystal Falline (12, 11 rebounds a game), guard Delena DeShields (12, 8) and guard LaTia Few (11 points).

No. 11 Milford Mill (23-4) vs.

Douglass-Prince George's (25-1)

Class: 3A

Site: UMBC

Time: 9 p.m.

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