1998-99 Baltimore County boys basketball previews

December 04, 1998|By Jamison Hensley, Mark Hoeflich and Derek Toney

Public schools

Carver A&T Wildcats

1997-98 record: 6-15

Coach: Russ Harless

Top players: Ronnie Sherrill, 6-4, Sr., C; Wesley Anderson, 6-2, Sr., F; Brandon Morris, 5-9, Jr., G

Outlook: This will be another rebuilding year for third-year coach Harless after graduating nine players. Sherrill, the only starter back, gives Carver adequate size inside.

Catonsville Comets

1997-98 record: 13-11

Coach: Jim Rhoads

Top players: Jason Yachera, 6-3, Sr., F; Stephen Roblin, 5-10, Jr., G; Sam Adams, 5-11, Sr., G; William Augustono, 6-0, Jr., F.

Outlook: The Comets emphasize playing up-tempo. Yachera and Roblin are the only starters back, and Adams, the sixth-man last season, will need to step up. The Comets will be tested early with contests against the Catholic League's Loyola, Mount St. Joseph and Cardinal Gibbons. "What we lack in height, we'll make up in shooting," Rhoads said.

Chesapeake-BC Bayhawks

1997-98 record: 11-11

Coach: Bob Hallett

Top players: Alan Hillenbrand, 5-11, Sr., G; David Thiesen, 6-3, Sr., C; Bobby Sydnor, 6-0, Sr., G; Brian Ross, 6-2, Sr., C; Charles Hawes, 6-4, Soph., F

Outlook: The Bayhawks have average height, and the key will be balanced scoring. "You'll see more discipline offensively than Chesapeake teams of the past [have had]," said Hallett, in his first season there.

Dulaney Lions

1997-98 record: Rod Norris

Coach: 12-10

Top players: Romas Krywonis, 6-6, Sr., F; Colin Stevens, 5-6, Soph., G; Nathan Hopkins, 6-6, Soph., F-C; Steve Will, 6-2, Sr., G-F; Jim Stagge, 6-4, Jr., F; Justin Ferrell, 5-9, Jr., G

Outlook: Norris, who guided the Lions to three more wins last winter than they had the preceding three seasons commbined, looks for continued, gradual improvement behind Krywonis, who averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds last season.

Dundalk Owls

1997-98 record: 8-11

Coach: Kevin Pieser

Top players: Kenneth Turner, 6-0, Sr., G; Vadez Preston, 6-1, Soph., G; Jermaine Smith, 6-1, Jr., F; Melvin Curry, 5-10, Jr., G; Josh Prouty, 6-4, Jr., C; Jayson Cox, 6-4, Sr., F; Jeff Keefer, 6-3, Sr., F

Outlook: The Owls, who lack height, will rely on Preston's scoring and Smith's scrappiness but are working with their third coach in as many seasons. "We're fairly disciplined, and defense will carry them through," said Pieser, an assistant last season.

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1997-98 record: 15-9

Coach: Todd Wade

Top players: Anthony Lawston, 6-3, Sr., F; Reggie Thomas, 6-0, Sr., G; Ralph Henry, 6-1, Sr., C; Wade Henninger, 6-5, Jr., C; Johnathan Hughes, 6-0, Jr., G

Outlook: The Mavericks could be headed for another solid season. However, the late arrival of four players from the state runner-up football team could interfere with team chemistry at the start of the season. One, Lawston, is the Mavericks' most reliable scorer and rebounder. "I don't know how we'll jell, because we're not a full team yet," Wade said. "So we might start slow, but we'll get better as the season goes along."

Franklin Indians

1997-98 record: 4-16

Coach: Mike Thomas

Top players: Jawaun Douglas, 6-3, Sr., F; Corey Lewis, 6-0, Sr., G; Brandon Colfield, 6-4, Sr., F

Outlook: Thomas, the JV coach last season, has a ball-control game plan for the Indians, who will score mainly from the perimeter. Lewis is Franklin's top shooter, and Douglas is the inside presence. "I think if we're disciplined on defense, we'll win some games," Thomas said.

Hereford Bulls

1997-98 record: 14-11

Coach: Mike Kailsz

Top players: Luke Gilbert, 6-5, Sr., F; Brian Davies, 6-0, Sr., F; Will Jackson, 6-0, Jr., F; Rob Bateman, 6-3, Jr., F; Ethan Zell, 6-0, Jr., G; Greg Herwig, 6-0, Sr., G; Steven Goad, 5-11, Soph., G

Outlook: Seven players return, and the Bulls will build around Gilbert, who averaged 20-plus points a game last winter, setting the school's single-season record. "He's very versatile," said Kailsz, in his first season after five as an assistant. "At some point, he'll play all five positions. He's a complete package."

Kenwood Bluebirds

1997-98 record: 17-8

Coach: Cal Rumbley

Top players: Manny Robinson, 5-9, Sr., G; Danny Watson, 5-8, Sr., G; Phil Watson, 6-3, Sr., F

Outlook: Although only one starter returns from last winter's region finalist, the Bluebirds might be able to repeat with an influx of JV players who will make them deeper, quicker and better shooters. "We can go 10 players deep and not lose too much," Rumbley said. With no true center, though, Kenwood could encounter matchup problems.

Lansdowne Vikings

1997-98 record: 14-10

Coach: Phil Bressler

Top players: Andre Loney, 6-2, Sr., F; Chad Gibson, 6-2, Jr., G; Lefty Sammons, 5-9, Jr., G; Brian Hugel, 6-6, Sr., C

Outlook: The Vikings have all of last season's starters back among eight returnees -- and still are a junior-dominated squad. Aggressive defense will be a hallmark. "We're young but experienced," said Bressler, in his second season at Lansdowne. "We'll be stronger and be more mobile."

Loch Raven Raiders

1997-98 record: 8-14

Coach: Brett Kanther

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