4 to get seeds in new pilot basketball tourney plan


April 25, 1999|By Pat O'Malley and Lem Satterfield | Pat O'Malley and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

The top four teams in each state region will be seeded for the first time in this winter's girls and boys basketball state tournaments under a newly adopted pilot policy.

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association executive council approved the policy on Thursday.

The experiment addresses objections raised often by coaches and others in high school basketball over pairings in regional tournaments being made by random draw, regardless of a team's regular-season record. The lottery draw began in the 1995-96 season.

"The seedings will be based solely on regular-season records, not including Christmas tournament games," said Ned Sparks, the MPSSAA's executive director. "It will be done on a one-year trial basis, and I suspect we will re-visit it and make a final decision to go with it in all our tournaments, or be done with it."

In 1994, soccer and volleyball were used as the pilots for un-seeded, open tournaments. The following year, the format was implemented for all sports.

Sparks and the MPSSAA sought ideas from all member-school coaches and athletic directors. MPSSAA did not get as many submissions as expected, Sparks said.

"The current system is pure, and now we have to see if enough will accept something not as perfect," said Sparks.

"The cut-off date will be the day of the draw, and what happens after that won't change the status of the seeds," Sparks said.

After the top four teams in each 16-team bracket are seeded on the basis of their records, the remaining pairings will be decided by lottery. To separate teams with identical records, a tiebreaker for seeding will be devised.

Higher seeds will get home-court advantage. In pairings, the team that has had fewer home games will get home-court advantage. Byes will continue to count as home games. In case of a tie for the fourth seed, the teams will draw for the seed.

All seeded teams are guaranteed a first-round home game.

Seeding will all but eliminate first-round doubleheaders for boys and girls teams, adding a cost factor because of additional buses needed for teams to travel. That will be scrutinized in the pilot season, Sparks said.

Poly gets past city champ

Donald Arnold went the distance to improve his record to 4-1 on the mound, striking out 10 batters and giving up one walk, as Poly routed defending Baltimore City champ and Class 4A state runner-up Patterson, 15-3, last Thursday.

Arnold was 3-for-5 with two RBIs as Poly battered All-City/Baltimore County pitching ace Brian McDonald for 14 hits to beat the Clippers for the first time in six seasons, said Engineers coach Mark Schlenoff.

Wolfe throws 2nd no-hitter

Perry Hall right-hander Jennifer Wolfe (8-1) pitched her second no-hitter of the season Thursday, a 10-0, five-inning win over Loch Raven. Wolfe walked two and struck out eight.

At bat, she went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and had the game's only extra-base hit, a double. `Dean Drew'

Boys' Latin's Drew Haugh is "the dean" of Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association lacrosse coaches: JV, that is.

Haugh, 40, jokes that his 13-years of coaching the Lakers is the longest of any active JV coach in the league. His consecutive championships in 1993 and 1994 are more than any active JV coach has won, as are his 118 career wins, nine a year on average.

2 Eagles take tourney titles

McDonogh battled Boston's Milton Academy to a draw for the title in last weekend's third annual New England/Mid-Atlantic Tennis Invitational at Blair Academy, in Blairstown, N.J.

Zach Myers, McDonogh's No. 2 singles player, and No. 3 player Eric Ottenheimer each won championships against comparably ranked opponents. McDonogh and Milton finished with 28.5 team points each in the 16-school affair. Gilman was fifth, with 11 points.

Also noted

Notre Dame junior first baseman Jeff Felker (Mount St. Joseph), a 6-5, 190-pounder, is hitting .333 with four home runs, 17 RBIs and 21 runs scored.

Archbishop Curley's Darien Kess and Gilman's Mike Faust, All-Metro wrestlers competing at 110 and 215 pounds, respectively, won titles at last weekend's 32nd annual Middle Atlantic Eastern National Wrestling Championships at the University of Scranton (Pa.).

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