With fourth point Friday, Hawkins to score big

Sidelines

January 19, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Thomas Hawkins, who is averaging 18.7 points per game, needs only four points Friday night at home to become the all-time leading scorer in Annapolis boys basketball history. The No. 2-ranked Panthers (11-0) play host to the 18th-ranked North County Knights (7-4).

Hawkins has 1,221 points in his four-year varsity career and is set to break the school career record of 1,224 set by the late James Butler, a 1986 graduate.

A two-time All-County selection and Sun Player of the Year as a sophomore, Hawkins can break Butler's record in the Panthers' gym thanks to coach John Brady.

Brady pulled Hawkins in the second half Friday after he had scored 21 points in an 83-45 Annapolis romp at Chesapeake (4-7).

"I was hoping we would pull away and not have to keep Thomas in the whole game, so he could set the record at home," said Brady. "It worked out and the special moment will come at home."

Brady's Panthers are eight wins from tying the county and school record for consecutive wins to start a season (19), set in 1985-86. That was Butler's senior year, when he set the school career and season scoring records.

Butler scored 759 points in 25 games his final year, an average of 30.4 a game. The only better county numbers came from Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Famer Steve Stielper of Andover, who posted records of 892 points in 27 games for an average of 33.04 in the 1975-76 season.

No county basketball team, boys or girls, has ever gone undefeated. The 1994-95 Arundel girls came the closest by going 25-0 until losing in the 4A state final.

Neal gets VHS assist

After reviewing the game film several times, Brady has discovered that his junior point guard, Marcus Neal, set a school and county record for assists in a game (17) on Dec. 29 in a 90-52 romp over Oakland Mills in the Panthers' Cap City Classic.

"I took Marcus out early in the fourth quarter and he was jokingly telling me that he was setting all kinds of world records for assists," said Brady.

"Sure enough, when I recently started working on our stats, which I do by film, he had 17 assists in that game. I couldn't believe it. He told me he wants to go down as our best-ever assist man."

Neal, who leads the county and metro area in average assists per game (8.2), had 18 assists in two Panthers wins last week to go with nine steals and only four turnovers.

In a 108-41 romp over South River (1-11), Neal had eight assists, and in Friday's 83-45 rout of Chesapeake, he assisted on 10 baskets, not playing the entire game in either.

Gophers in running

Despite a 6-5 record, coach Mike Rudd says his Glen Burnie Gophers are going to have something to say about who gets the top four seeds in the 4A East Region. "We're still hanging around," said Rudd. "Don't count us out yet."

Sixteenth-ranked Westminster (10-1) paces the 4A East seedings race at 8-1 in games that count (holiday tournaments do not), followed by No. 14 Meade (8-3) at 7-2, with Glen Burnie (6-5), Severna Park (7-4) and No. 18 North County (7-4) at 6-3 each.

Rudd's Gophers have two games left with North County and one each with Meade and Severna Park.

Eldridge appeal

Ned Sparks, the executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, said yesterday that Meade's LaTanya Eldridge is appealing the Jan. 6 county ruling to suspend her for the rest of the season due to a residency violation and doesn't expect a final decision to be made "until possibly sometime next week."

"When someone appeals, we make it a top priority and the process takes awhile," said Sparks.

Sideliners

Meade junior Doug Underwood, who is averaging 21.8 points a game, scored 49 in two games last week on 19-for-27 shooting from the field and 11-for-14 accuracy at the line. He had 12 rebounds, six assists and eight steals.

Joel Long, a 6-foot-4 senior at Northeast (5-6), scored 50 points, grabbed 33 rebounds and blocked eight shots in two games last week.

Another big week was recorded by Annapolis Area Christian School senior Paul Allen, who scored 50 points, pulled down 23 rebounds and blocked six shots.

The Annapolis girls not only lost junior scoring leader Sherika Adams (19.4 points) to a suspension for academic violations last week, but also another starting guard, Acacia Walker, to torn ankle ligaments. Coach Dave Griffith is starting freshman Whitney Crankfield -- who was called up from JV to replace Adams at point guard -- three sophomores and a senior.

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

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