If things go as expected, Meade-Old Mill will be big

Sidelines

February 12, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

With No. 6 ranked Meade working on the county's latest winning streak in boys basketball, an odd twist could be a week away involving No. 8 Old Mill.

Meade (17-1), which has reeled off 12 straight wins, is home at 5 p.m. today vs. Chesapeake (6-12) and visits Northeast (1-17) Tuesday. Two more wins and Coach Butch Young's Mustangs tie the season-high of 14 in a row by No. 4 Annapolis (17-1).

The Meade school record is also the county public school record of 21 set in the 1982-83 season.

Old Mill (16-2) terminated the Annapolis 14-game streak this season with a 64-61 triumph at the Panthers Den on Jan. 29.

Guess who visits Meade a week from today, when the Mustangs seem likely be going after 15 in a row?

You've got it -- the Old Mill Patriots, the "streak terminators."

How often does one team get a chance to end two opponents' 14-game winning skeins in the same season?

The victor in the Old Mill-Meade showdown also will likely clinch a spot in the Feb. 24 county championship game.

Going into tonight, Annapolis, Meade and Old Mill are tied for first place in the county league at 11-1 each. The top two finishers will play for the county title.

Meade's only league loss was by 54-48 to Annapolis. Old Mill suffered its only county loss at home to Meade, 61-59.

Of course, Old Mill also has to keep winning to set-up the showdown next Friday.

The Patriots face a big challenge at 7: 15 tonight when No. 20 Glen Burnie (12-6, 9-3 league) comes calling in Millersville.

The Gophers clinched their first winning season under third-year coach Mike Rudd with a 57-38 romp over Chesapeake on Tuesday and are as hot as anybody.

Glen Burnie has won five straight on the strength of a point scoring binge by Owen Gaither and the return of their bulky center, 6-foot-4 George Schneider. Schneider did not play when the Gophers lost at home, 51-40, to Old Mill on Jan. 5.

The Gophers were out-rebounded 35-27 that night, with Old Mill grabbing 20 defensive rebounds to just 13 by the Gophers, who could not get second shots.

Gaither was the only Gopher in double digits with his game high 17 points, 13 in the first half. Gaither hit only two of eight field goal attempts in the second half and did not score in the final seven minutes.

Quite obviously, Gaither will be looking for vindication against Old Mill tonight. Lately, he has been firing in 25 to 30 points a game in lifting his average to 21.3 and establishing himself as a Player of the Year candidate.

It's almost always a barn-burner when these two neighborhood rivals meet. Tonight's game could be a 12-alarmer.

Another Towson trip

It's back to Towson for Archbishop Spalding's now third-ranked boys basketball team, which visits No. 9 Calvert Hall (15-9) at 8 tonight.

This will be the 21-3 Cavaliers' first game since Sunday's 63-60 loss at No. 2 Towson Catholic (20-4), which cost them the area's No. 1 ranking and left them tied for first in the Catholic League with the Owls.

Briggs mending, again

It's been a rough 12 months for Matt Briggs, an All-County basketball player at Severna Park last season after averaging 21 points and six boards a game.

The 6-2 Briggs was getting about six minutes of playing time for Salisbury State before his season was slam-dunked.

"Matt had just gone back to Salisbury after his Christmas break when [we] got a call that he was in the hospital," said Matt's father, Jon Briggs, an All-County player and Severna Park's leading scorer in 1967-68.

Diagnosis: An appendectomy, followed by six- to eight weeks of recovery.

Briggs cracked a tooth near the end of last season at Severna Park, had major surgery for a bone cyst that prevented him from playing summer basketball, and severely sprained an ankle before the start of this basketball season.

Things can only get better.

Sideliners

An informal poll of county basketball coaches indicates that the new rule which allows coaches to call for timeouts rather than players has received near unanimous approval.

Former Brooklyn Park athlete Scott Cofiell, who coached at his alma mater and several other county schools, is now in the Caribbean as athletic director and boys basketball coach at St. Croix's Good Hope High School.

Arundel's Kelly Jordan is another example of how important it is to be a true student-athlete. Jordan recently signed for a soccer scholarship to North Carolina State.

It helped that she was a three-time All-Metro and 1998 All-American. But she also carries a 3.96 grade-point average and has a 1,260 SAT.

Have a note or question for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline, 410-647-2499.

Pub Date: 2/12/99

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