Centennial's Greenberg joins 400-win club, 51-36

Eagles' struggles still weigh on coach, however, after defeat of Wilde Lake

January 12, 1999|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Centennial's girls basketball team gave coach Dave Greenberg his 400th career victory last night with a 51-36 decision over host Wilde Lake, but a poor fourth-quarter left the 21-year veteran with mixed emotions.

"The goal for us to play well," Greenberg said, "and that's not happening. We're really struggling, and until that happens, it's hard for me to be quite as happy as I'd like to be."

Greenberg, who was 323-68 in 16 seasons at Mount Hebron, including 13 county and six state titles, is the first Howard County coach and the third in the Baltimore area to reach the milestone. Breezy Bishop, who coached 25 of her 26 years at Western, finished with a record of 424-40. Pat Chance, who retired last year, was 415-150 in 25 years, 22 of them at Old Mill.

"It's a little bit more special because only a couple people have done it," said Greenberg, whose record is 400-99. "But the big thing is that there are so many people involved in this. It's not my 400th win. So many people have played a role in this that it boggles the mind."

Greenberg thanked his assistants, players, parents and friends, and especially his wife of 29 years, Harriett. "She lives day in and day out with this and is nothing but supportive," Greenberg said. "It's really fortunate that I have her there."

When the game ended, many Centennial supporters held small signs across from the team bench that read: "400 Wins." Wilde Lake athletic director Carol Satterwhite acknowledged Greenberg's accomplishment over the public address system.

After the teams shook hands, Centennial players held up their own, larger signs that read: "Congratulations. 400 wins for coach Greenberg." The players, Greenberg and 17-year assistant Brad Rees then had a team photo taken.

Later, with the gym nearly empty, Wilde Lake coach Kelly Storr handed Greenberg the game ball.

"He's the best," said Centennial senior Stacie Tokasz, who, like teammates Tia Richardson and Alexia Vogler, is a four-year varsity player. "I've never had a coach so committed and dedicated to the team."

Said Richardson: "He works so hard and dedicates so much time to us. He really deserves it."

No. 16 Centennial (9-1 overall, 6-0 league) took a 40-20 lead into the fourth quarter, but Wilde Lake (5-5, 2-4) never quit and pulled within 10 before the Eagles scored the final five points.

Centennial committed nine turnovers and made just two of seven field goal attempts in the final period. The Eagles, who had missed 11 of 20 free throws in the first three quarters, made seven of 10 in fourth quarter.

"We lost our composure and played poorly [in the fourth quarter] said Greenberg, who has had 11 seasons of 20 or more wins. "We have moments where we are fairly impressive, and moments where we struggle."

"We did some good things, but we're not playing as well as we'd like to be," said Centennial sophomore Ashley Evans, who made three three-pointers and finished with a team-high 10 points. "We're playing good defense. That's one thing we're doing well."

Tia Richardson had nine points, and Jasmine Hammond and Lisa Richardson came off the bench to score eight and seven points, respectively. Wilde Lake's Bryanna Herring led all scorers with 13.

It doesn't get any easier for the Eagles. They play host tomorrow to River Hill, which defeated No. 12 Mount Hebron, 59-54, last night, and play at Mount Hebron Friday.

"We're 9-1 and in the battle, but we have so far to go," Greenberg said. "I don't know how we'll be able to compete with the better teams unless we get more consistent."

Pub Date: 1/12/99

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