Cinderella hoops

March 17, 1998

"OUR RECORDS may not be the longest, but our spirit is ever the strongest " So goes the fight song for Baltimore's Forest Park High School. Never were those words truer than over the weekend, when the Forester basketball team capped a Cinderella performance by winning the state's Class 1A championship.

Not bad for a team that went 2-15 in the regular season against such city powerhouses as City, Douglass and Dunbar. The Foresters kept the games close; they just didn't have the manpower to compete against bigger schools.

But when the Foresters went up against similar-sized schools in the state tournament (it got in because it was the only city school in the Class 1A category), the team in forest green trounced rivals by 26, 28, 43 and 45 points, edged Brunswick 61-55 and Pocomoke 45-43 in a thriller of a championship.

Playing top-ranked schools all season paid off handsomely in Forest Park's six-game playoff streak. The players did it with tenacity and hard-earned experience. They had to, because their center was just 6 feet 3 inches tall.

Perhaps Valparaiso College, the smallest school in the NCAA championships, can duplicate Forest Park's feat. It has two upsets so far. Now all it needs is four more triumphs to equal the Foresters' stunning success.

Pub Date: 3/17/98

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