Annapolis girls lose top scorer and 4 victories

Sidelines

January 16, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Annapolis junior point guard Sherika Adams, the county's leading scorer with an average of 19.4 points, is ineligible for the rest of the season because of an academic violation.

The Annapolis girls team forfeited four wins, leaving it 0-10 before Friday's 63-57 victory over Chesapeake without Adams.

"My coach told me that he had a meeting with the school, and they told him [Monday] that I was ineligible because I didn't have the grades," said Adams, a three-year varsity player.

Annapolis coach Dave Griffith is not allowed to discuss the matter, but confirmed that "an honest oversight was caught" and reported to the board of education, resulting in the action which ended Adams' season.

"My personal opinion is that some people were jealous of her because she is the best player and colleges were looking at her," said the 16-year old girl's grandmother, Earline Green.

"Sherika has been playing since day one, and they waited until January to tell her she had bad grades relating back to the first marking period. She had an A-E-C-B-E and a C."

A 2.00 grade-point average is required for athletic eligibility, and Adams' grades constitute a 1.83 GPA. Also, only one failing grade (E) is allowed. An athlete is declared ineligible if there is more than one E.

"The teachers where she had the two E's promised to give her make-up work so she could improve those grades, and I don't know if that was ever done," said Green.

"She was suspended for a week and a half back in October because she had a teacher she didn't get along with. They said she hit the teacher, but they couldn't prove it and she was put in another room with another teacher. I guess that's what kept her from getting the make-up work and kept the grade down."

Green says she is going to request a meeting with school officials when the students return Tuesday.

Adams is the second county girls basketball player declared ineligible within a week. The other was Meade senior LaTanya Eldridge, for a residency violation.

Meade had to forfeit four years of victories, Eldridge was suspended for the rest of the season and coach Phil Popielski was suspended from coaching in the county for two years.

No action is expected to be taken against Griffith.

Knights marching

Before the basketball season began, North County boys coach Mike Francis said, "We're going to make your [Sun] Top 20 this year."

The Knights played now-No. 1 Towson Catholic (14-4) and No. 8 St. Frances (9-3) tough in nonleague games (lost by identical 64-53 scores).

Last week the Knights (7-4) ripped Northeast (5-5), 79-54, and Friday outlasted Severna Park (7-4), 66-62.

"Those losses [St. Frances and Towson Catholic] paid off tonight," said Francis after the Severna Park win.

"We wanted tough competition early so that now when we come in the county, we've been there. We want to get playoff-like games in December and January to help us in the long run."

Severna Park coach Paul Pellicani praised the Knights for being "extremely athletic."

Pellicani also played down the loss, despite the battle for the top four seeds in the Class 4A East region.

"It doesn't do a whole lot to jeopardize our seeding situation if we take care of business down the road," said Pellicani.

North County pulled even with the Falcons in regular-season won-loss records, each at 6-3. Holiday tournament games do not count toward the seedings which will determine crucial home games in the regional.

As far as "taking care of business," the Falcons have three tough road games remaining -- at No. 15 Meade (8-3) on Jan. 25, at No. 2 Annapolis (11-0) on Feb. 7 and at Southern (7-4) Feb. 15.

North County visits improving Old Mill (55-51 loser to Severna Park Tuesday) Jan. 25 and travels to Annapolis Friday and to Meade Feb. 7.

Meade is the defending 4A East champion and a favorite in the seeding race along with No. 17 Westminster (8-1).

The dogfight for the top four seeds is wide open among the four mentioned, Old Mill (4-6) and not-to-be-counted-out Glen Burnie (6-5) now that Annapolis is 3A.

Sideliners

Quite a debut by freshman point guard Whitney Crankfield, called up from the Annapolis JV to replace Adams Friday. Crankfield had 21 points in the Panthers' 63-57 win at Chesapeake. Longtime youth football coach Chuck Morse of Gambrills, who was Southern JV football coach last fall, has been named an assistant to Mike Whittles at Archbishop Spalding.

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

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