1998-99 Baltimore City boys basketball previews

December 03, 1998|By Derek Toney and Mark Hoeflich

Carver Bears

1997-98 record: 9-14

Coach: Durce Jackson

Top players: Miguel Wilson, 6-0, Sr., G; Dwayne Banks, 5-10, Sr., G; Kenneth Jones, 6-3, Jr., F; Mike Napper, 6-4, Sr., C; Presley Prettyman, 6-2, Jr., G; Joel Gamble, 6-3, Jr., F; Jonte Hall, 5-3, Soph., G; Aaron Shaw, 6-2, Jr., G

Outlook: The Bears return three starters, including Wilson, one of the city's best players. Jackson says putting points on the board shouldn't be a problem, but playing solid defense could be. Another key will be development of players from last year's JV. Carver, which lost to City in the Class 3A North final, has the potential to give Douglass and Southwestern problems in the City West Division.

City Knights

1997-98 record: 16-12

Coach: Daryl Wade

Top players: Dominic Fulcher, 6-4, Sr., F; Austin Baker, 6-6, Sr., C; Bryant Johnson, 6-4, Sr., F; Ryan Galloway, 6-1, Sr., G; Todd Galloway, 5-10, Soph., G; Jermaul Alcanbi, 6-0, Jr., G

Outlook: Baker and Fulcher are solid inside performers, and Todd Galloway, who played quality minutes as a freshman at St. Frances, should provide leadership at the point. Wade says his team is young overall but experienced at certain positions. City, state runnerup last season, should be competitive in the City East Division and be in position for another charge at the Class 3A final four.

Douglass Ducks

1997-98 record: 15-10

Coach: Rodney Cofield

Top players: Raymond Dickens, 6-4, Soph., F; Ron Simms, 5-7, Sr., G; Rico Alston, 5-7, Sr., G; Anthony Knox, 6-7, Jr., F; Davon Collier, 6-2, Jr., G; Maurice Barber, 6-4, Sr., F; Cornell Lee, 6-1, Sr., G

Outlook: Douglass lost scoring from last season's city championship team so it will depend more on defense. Cofield says the Ducks will be inexperienced but have a good mix of talent. The Ducks have the potential to make a return trip to the city title game but will have to battle Southwestern in the City West Division.

Dunbar Poets

1997-98 record: 22-3

Coach: Lynn Badham

Top players: Donteaz Dean, 6-7, Sr., C; Arnold Bowie, 6-2, Sr., G; Lafonte Johnson, 5-9, Sr., G; Leonard Ferguson, 6-3, Sr., G/F

Outlook: The Poets are loaded again. Dean, a second-team All-Metro pick last winter, is one of the area's top front-line performers. Johnson, a first-team All-Metro transfer from Towson Catholic, is one of the country's best point guards. Johnson headlines a host of talented transfers, but the question is whether the Poets can mesh into a consistent unit. If Badham can keep Dunbar focused, another Class 2A state title seems likely.

Edmondson Redskins

1997-98 record: 7-14

Coach: Pete Pompey

Top players: Eddie Colbert, 6-3, Sr., G; James Horton, 5-9, Soph., G; Jeffrey Paige, 5-9, Sr., G; Danny Dixon, 6-1, Soph., F; Eric Whitehurst, 6-8, Sr., C

Outlook: Pompey, who last coached basketball in 1991-92, at season, returns to the sidelines. Colbert and Horton should provide scoring, but outside shooting is a concern. Pompey lacks size after Whitehurst, as well as depth. Pompey won't be competing for a championship, but the Redskins could make some strides.

Forest Park Foresters

1997-98 record: 8-15

Coach: Greg Warren

Top players: Donnell Dobbins, 5-11, Sr., G; Dolphus Dixon, 5-8, Sr., G; Donte Toles, 6-2, Sr., F/G; Rasheed Smith, 6-1, Sr., G; Jared Washington, 6-1, Jr., G

Outlook: The Foresters were the surprise of last year's post-season, taking the Class 1A state title after winning just two regular-season games. The returning backcourt of Dobbins and Dixon provides stability. Warren says his team will have more scoring balance but lacks depth and size. Forest Park should eclipse the two wins from last regular season and make another state championship run.

Friends Quakers

1997-98 record: 12-13

Coach: Todd Ezrine

Top players: Brett Benjamin, 6-0, Jr., G; Gene Flinn, 5-10, Jr., G; Kyle Harrison, 5-11, Soph., PG; C.J. Nixon, 6-4, Sr., C

Outlook: The Quakers are in good position to make a strong defense of their Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference title. Four starters return, including leading scorer Benjamin (19 points a game), and with more athleticism, the Quakers will be hard to defend. Flinn is versatile. Nixon is strong inside.

Greater Grace

1997-98 record: 13-12

Coach: Pat Lynch

Top players: John Capello, 5-7, Sr., G; Nate Estabrook, 5-11, Jr., G; Nate Gorman, 5-10, Sr., F; Tim Roberge, 6-1, Sr., F; Matt Sliva, 5-11, Sr., F; Jeremy Sutorius, 6-2, Sr., C

Outlook: The strength is in the backcourt, where Gorman and Estabrook averaged a combined 20 points a year ago. Lynch hopes quickness and depth will help in improving the defense.

Lake Clifton Lakers

1997-98 record: 13-10

Coach: Herman Harried

Top players: Andre Mouzone, 6-3, Soph., G; Brandon Haughton, 6-7, Jr., C; Kenny Purnell, 6-1, Sr., G; Javis Wiggins, 6-6, Jr., F; Teon Carroll, 6-3, Jr., G; Dale Byrd, 6-0, Sr., G

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