2 `others' balance Westminster

Boys basketball: Scorers may grab the headlines for the potent, 15th-ranked Owls, but a 16-2 record reflects the unheralded, hard work of seniors Adrian Lynch and David Wynne, too.

February 11, 2000|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Whether it's a Ryan Salkeld slash-to-the-basket layup or a Jon-David Byers feathery three-pointer or a Nick Hohenwarter up-and-under post move, Westminster has proven that it has an arsenal of scoring threats to sink opposing teams.

But the Owls' success -- which includes a 16-2 overall record, first place in the Central Maryland Conference with a 10-1 mark and the No. 15 ranking in The Sun's top 20 poll -- may not have been possible without the yeoman-like work of the other two starters.

You want tough rebounds? Look to senior Adrian Lynch, a 6- foot-1 power forward who cleans the boards as neatly as he mixes hip-hop for the team's warm-up music.

If hard-nosed defense is your game, ask for senior David Wynne, a 5-foot-11 guard who relishes the challenge of locking down an opponent's best player.

And their efforts on the court -- perhaps unnoticed by first-time observers -- don't escape the attention of Westminster coach Dave Byers.

"The big thing is what David and Adrian do for the team is just as important as what Nick, Ryan and Jon-David do," Byers said. "We wouldn't be nearly as successful as we are now if those two didn't bring their roles to the team."

Rebounds and defense, however, don't prevent classmates from looking at the stat lines for Lynch and Wynne.

"I'm always getting it about dunks," Lynch said. " `When are you going to get one?' I hear that all the time."

Added Wynne: "We don't need six or seven guys to put up 15 shots a game. We need to do our jobs, and if we do that, everything else will fall into place."

Wynne's primary job is stopping the other team's sharpshooter, which isn't easy when one considers he faces the likes of Jermaine Thomas of defending state Class 3A champ Thomas Johnson, Linganore's Matt Trammell and Urbana's Zack Mills.

Wynne's best performance came on Jan. 18 against Mills, a 6-foot-3 senior forward who can post up or shoot a three-pointer.

Aided by senior forward Jason Jarrett, Wynne limited Mills to just 13 points -- no three-pointers -- and Westminster pinned the Hawks with their first CMC loss.

Although Wynne hasn't scored in double digits in a game this season, he said that doesn't bother him.

"I'm not asked to score a lot," Wynne said. "I'm asked to hustle and play defense. I'm looking at whether I can shut my man down."

But opponents shouldn't overlook Wynne, who is shooting 50 percent from behind the three-point arc. One of Salkeld's fondest memories is a Wynne three-pointer that helped the Owls catch Linganore in a 57-55 Westminster win on Jan. 14.

"Dave can hit some big shots, too," Salkeld said. "Dave's 100 percent hustle. We always get the most out of him."

At 6-foot-8, Hohenwarter is no slouch when it comes to rebounds, but Lynch actually leads the Owls in rebounds.

His 139 rebounds in 17 games give him an average of 8.2 a game. He's corraled 10 or more rebounds in seven games and has earned four double doubles this season.

Lynch registered 10 points and 10 rebounds in each of two meetings with Frederick. Against Urbana, he finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and he recorded 16 points and 11 rebounds in a 66-52 victory over Liberty.

Lynch's ability to out-jump most players allows him to grab the loose balls, he said.

"When the ball hits the rim, I'm going to do whatever it takes to own it," Lynch said. "Somebody will have to jump over me to get it."

Byers said he is most impressed with Lynch's footwork underneath the boards.

"You watch his feet, because a lot of guys plant their feet and then jump," Byers said. "If you watch Adrian rebound, he moves his feet to get the rebound, and he has some really quick hops."

With Wednesday's 72-47 win over North Carroll, Westminster already has clinched a share of the county championship and appears to be in command for the Central Maryland Conference crown.

The next goal is a trip to Cole Field House at the University of Maryland, College Park for the state basketball tournament -- an accomplishment that Lynch and Wynne agree would far exceed any personal goals.

"We wanted to take care of the county and CMC," Lynch said. "Obviously, we want to be at states."

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