State semifinals

March 13, 1998|By Katherine Dunn, Lem Satterfield, John W. Stewart, Joseph Samuel

Today's games

Boys

Forest Park (6-16) vs.

Brunswick (22-3)

Class: 1A

Time: 5 p.m.

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

Outlook: Against a difficult city league schedule, the Foresters, coached by Gregory Warren, lost their first 10 games, including a 34-point rout by Mervo. Yet it is the Foresters, lately, who have been routing opponents. Forest Park, led by senior swingman Shawn Waller (6-0), who is averaging 18 points, and 5-8 playmaker, Donnel Dobbins (10 assists), enters this semifinal having blown out all four regional opponents by an average of 76-to-40. Four Foresters are averaging in double-figures, including 5-6 G Dolphus Dixon (12 points). C-F Jamie Higginbotham and F Chris Hurst each average 10 each in points and rebounds. The Foresters have balance offensively and defensively: Every starter averages over two steals, and they're all shooting over 75 percent from the line. Brunswick is a balanced team with depth. Coach Jim Skencar's Frederick County squad starts with 6-5 junior forward Frank Clements, the leader in scoring (13.6 points a game) and rebounding (9.7). The Railroaders have a seven-game winning streak. And with its starters shooting 50 percent from the field, Brunswick has proven consistent and effective offensively.

No. 1 Dunbar (23-3) vs.

Middletown (22-4)

Class: 2A

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Cole Field House

Outlook: Coach Lynn Badham's Poets are making their fifth straight appearance in the state championships, having won four straight crowns before losing in last year's Class 3A title game to Thomas Johnson. Dunbar has been led by F Jamal Brown, a 6-6 junior averaging 20.7 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.3 blocks a game. The Poets, winners of 10 of their last 11 games, are strong down low, where Donteaz Dean (12 points, 13.4 boards) and Brown have often overpowered their competition. As a team, Dunbar is scoring just under 80 points a game, allowing just 62. Middletown is a senior-laden team with balanced scoring and tough defense that allows only 51 points a game. The Knights, winners of the Frederick County title, are making their second trip in the last three years to the state semifinals; they've never made the finals. Coached by Tim Leber, Middletown is on a six-game winning streak, and their only loss in the past 11 games was to Class 1A semifinalist Brunswick.

No. 8 Edgewood (21-2) vs.

Central (21-4)

Class: 2A

Time: 9 p.m.

Site: Cole Field House

Outlook: Averaging 91 points a game and having topped 100 10 times, Edgewood is by 20 points the tournament's most offensive entry. They lost only to Loyola and Aberdeen. Coach Bob Slagle took the Rams to the Class 1A championship last year, and three regulars from that team are the leaders: 6-foot senior Keith Winder (22 points, 4 rebounds, 2.8 assists); 6-1 senior Mike Griffin (21, 4 and 3,8); and 6-1 senior Allen Jordan (10.3 points, 6.8 rebounds). The starters have 322 steals, led by Winder (98) and Griffin (83). Four Central starters score in double figures, headed by 6-5 senior forward Gerald Jenkins (16), and senior guard Edsel Lindsey is an 85 percent foul shooter. Coach Walter Fulton's Falcons have won four straight Prince George's County Class 1A-2A championships. They had one close regional game, beating Surrattsville in a semifinal, 57-56, in overtime.

Girls

No. 12 Towson (21-3) vs.

Potomac (13-12)

Class: 2A

Time: 5 p.m.

Site: UMBC Field House

Outlook: In their second straight appearance in the final four, senior-led Towson meets a sub-.500 regular-season team from Prince George's County that got hot in regionals. Coach Bev Snyder's Generals are a disciplined, veteran squad making their second straight trip to UMBC. Team leaders include seniors Sara Lev, Jaimee Reynolds, Leslie Hunt and Julie Ramer, who have played together since they were 8 years old. A 5-9 swing player, Lev is the team leader and averages 12.9 points and 2.6 assists. Reynolds, a 5-11 forward, contributes 11.5 points and 8.1 rebounds, and 5-9 junior guard Lindsay Buchanan chips in 10 points and 2.2 assists. The Generals average 57 points and hold opponents to 34. The up-tempo Braves averaged 54 points against strong Prince George's County foes, but allowed 52. In ++ regionals, they upset Centennial, 44-43, and Long Reach, 58-55, to win their first region title in 15 years and debut at No. 20 in the Washington area in The Washington Post's poll. Multi-talented 5-7 sophomore guard KiShanna Washington (21.2 points, 10 rebounds, 8 steals) leads coach Kathy Fehr's Braves along with 5-7 forward Tina Wilson (12 points, 7rebounds) and 5-10 forward Patricia Clay (8.9, 7).

Pub Date: 3/13/98

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