Top 2 in girls basketball have showdown tonight

No. 1 Seton Keough, unbeaten in IAAM, meets once-beaten St. Frances


January 14, 2000|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Seton Keough's top-ranked girls basketball team may face its toughest local challenge at 6: 45 tonight, taking on No. 2 St. Frances in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference showdown at the College of Notre Dame.

Upsetting the Gators (13-2, 6-0 conference) may be a difficult task at this point in the season. All-Metro guard Denise King has returned after missing three games with a sprained ankle. In her first game back, the Gators defeated No. 7 Archbishop Spalding, 56-30, and then had little trouble in Sunday's 57-35 win over No. 20 McDonogh.

The Panthers rebounded from a shocking 54-53 loss to unranked St. Mary's Sunday with a victory over the Institute of Notre Dame Wednesday. That loss, not reported to The Sun, will be reflected in next week's poll and likely would prevent the Panthers (12-2, 6-1) from taking over the top spot if they beat the Gators.

The Panthers, led by Shanell Watson (16 points) and Brooke Campbell (12), have the talent to threaten the Gators.

Tempo will once again be a key. The Panthers like to run. The Gators like to slow things down.

"I think it's easier to slow it down than to pick it up," said Gators coach Jim Stromberg, "but they're adjusting to playing at that pace. We don't want to get into a running game, but we'll pick our spots."

The Gators have no players averaging more than 12 points, but King, Meaghan Allan and Jackie Valderas each average about 11.

While Stromberg is most concerned about the Panthers' quickness, St. Frances coach Jerome Shelton is concerned about the Gators' defense.

"How we execute against their defense will be one of the biggest things," said Shelton. "They're a good ball-defense team. They help very well off the ball. We have to make sure, if they're going to commit to the ball like that, that we find the open players."

Harford reschedules games

Harford County high school games scheduled for Wednesday night are being rescheduled so those involved with athletics can attend a public hearing on County Executive James M. Harkins' proposed 2001 county budget. The hearing at Edgewood High begins at 7 p.m.

North Harford athletic director Fran Matthews said she agreed with the decision to reschedule.

"It's too important," said Matthews. "We are so grossly under-funded. County athletic budgets were cut by 25 percent this school year. I have $12,000 to spend on 37 teams. We're not allowed to cut teams, but as a result [of the cuts], we have to go out and peddle harder and harder and have more fund-raisers, and the community is getting kind of tired of that."

All games -- nearly a full slate of girls and boys basketball -- will be rescheduled by individual athletic directors. C. Milton Wright and Bel Air moved their games to 6: 45 p.m. Tuesday -- the boys at C. Milton Wright and the girls at Bel Air. Others have not yet rescheduled.

Soccer's academic aces

For the third straight year, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America has cited Catonsville's boys soccer team as one of the nation's top academic teams. Loch Raven's boys team and Hereford's girls team were honored for a second consecutive year.

All three coaches -- Catonsville's Dave Lane, Loch Raven's Joe Fiedler and Hereford's Steve Power -- will receive NSCAA/Adidas High School Team Academic Awards at the high school coaches breakfast tomorrow during the annual NSCAA convention at the Baltimore Convention Center. Winners, who must have earned a minimum team grade-point average of 3.25 during the 1998-99 school year, include 55 boys teams and 101 girls teams.

The Comets, whose combined GPA was 3.99 on a weighted, 4.0 scale, are one of eight boys teams to win the award three straight years. They posted the fifth highest GPA among all recipients, the second highest among boys teams and the highest among the 13 Maryland programs honored.

Scott Soracoe had the highest grade-point average among the Comets at 5.25, followed by Kai Degner (5.14) and Amos Whitney (5.13). The rest of the team, including managers: Sam Adams, Ian Callahan, Dan Carter, Raimon Cary, Philip Degner, Kevin Drennan, Tray Hansen, Mike Harrison, Won Hill, Brian Heldmann, John Murrow, James Pallozzi, Brian Schwartz, Donald Scott, Andy Scrivner, David Tracht, Mark Wilson, Jennifer Bloomer, Tara Hanie and Michelle von Nordeck.

Loch Raven posted a 3.66 GPA with Ryan Brown (3.85) leading the way, followed by Jon Calabretta, Arshan Dabirsiaghi, Andrew Hebble, Steve Hofman, Josh Majewski, Blake Mobley, Charlie Phelan, Josh Plunkert, Ricky Powell, Scott Robertson, Matt Sheeler, Chris Smith, Mike Snow, Wayne Weller and Garrett Witts.

The Hereford girls had a 3.78 GPA, 12th best among the girls teams honored. Eight of the Bulls posted GPAs higher than 4.0, led by Jen Cox (5.0), Paige Nichol (4.67) and Liz Ernst (4.66).

The rest of the Bulls: Heather Bell, Hollis Botti, Carrie Cantwell, Lauren Carls, Katie Clover, Brandi Colledge, Annie Ernst, Erin Laughter, Brooke Levine, Melissa Mueller, Rebecca Rambo, Natalie Rostek, Rachel Sauder and Sarah Stoltz.

Others winners from the metro area were girls teams from St. Mary's, South Carroll and Wilde Lake.

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