Winter playoffs melt into spring


February 27, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Ready or not, some winter seasons end, some go on this week while spring season starts Wednesday.

The basketball playoffs get into full swing this week with region titles to be settled by the survivors this weekend with the others turning in their uniforms.

And Wednesday marks the first day of spring practice for baseball, softball, boys and girls lacrosse, tennis, track and field.

Can you believe spring season is here already?

Among those expected to extend their winter basketball seasons on the boys side are top-ranked Annapolis (22-0) in the 3A East with No. 14 and second-seeded North County (16-6) the favorite to challenge 13th-ranked and top-seeded Westminster (20-2) in the 4A East for the right to go to Cole Field House for the state tournament March 9-11.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed in the 4A East, which could turn into a wide-open affair, with Meade (14-8), Severna Park (14-8) and Glen Burnie (13-9) capable of pulling the upset.

With the regular-season title under their belts, the No. 6 Cavaliers of Archbishop Spalding (21-10) continue their run at a repeat Baltimore Catholic League tournament championship, 6: 45 tonight at Goucher College vs. No. 15 Mount St. Joseph (22-9).

By winning the regular-season title, Spalding should get an invitation to the Alhambra in Cumberland in mid-March even if it doesn't repeat as tournament champion. Last season, Towson Catholic won the regular season, Spalding the tournament and both went to the Alhambra.

Tonight's other semifinal (5 o'clock) at Goucher pits No. 5 Towson Catholic (27-9 ) and No. 8 St. Frances (19-8), with the championship 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow.

On the girls side, a fourth meeting between No. 6 Arundel (20-2) and No. 7 Severna Park (17-5) looms in the 4A East, where the two county powers are second and fourth seeds, respectively.

Don't tell that to No. 3 seed and 14th-ranked Glen Burnie (18-4) or even top-seeded C. Milton Wright (19-1) of Harford County.

If Glen Burnie takes care of Chesapeake (6-13) in tomorrow's quarterfinals and Arundel disposes of Old Mill (6-17), the winners would meet Wednesday at Arundel in the semifinals.

Severna Park would visit C.M. Wright in the other semifinal if both are victorious tomorrow night. The Falcons play host to Broadneck (13-8), while Meade (12-11) visits C.M. Wright.

Should Meade, playing well right now, win in Harford County, the Mustangs would play host to Severna Park if the latter defeats Broadneck.

Severna Park, fifth-seeded Broadneck and CMW had first-round byes, while Meade was routing North County (10-13) by 47-32 on Friday after the two had just played Wednesday night in the county's "everybody plays day."

It was county championship day, but in order to be fair to everyone and not let the two teams that earned the right to play for the championship have an extra game, the county athletic directors voted to let everybody play.

Meade won the meaningless game, 45-43, and again Friday in the region, which was not fair to either team.


Many of the fans and observers of Wednesday's county boys championship game at Meade, won 80-74 by Annapolis over North County, appreciated the rapid pace of the game made possible by referees Billy Warren and Phil Margiotta, who let the teams play. Annapolis standouts Thomas Hawkins and Marcus Johnson will visit Tallahassee and Gulf Coast (Panama City) community colleges in Florida after their high school season is over. Last year's Sun Metro Player of the Year, Marcus Hatten of Mervo, is having a fine season at Tallahassee, and as a result, the Eagles' staff is interested in Baltimore-area players. Isn't it time to give assistant coach Danny Mangum some credit for the Glen Burnie girls turnaround? Head coach Vicki Plitt is indebted to the contributions made by Mangum, who played a prominent role in last year's 11-9 record, the first winning season by the Gophers in a decade, and this year's 18-4 record.

Bad news for county and state baseball teams: Andy Borland, the retired Severna Park football coach, said he called Arundel baseball coach and athletic director Bernie Walter after the latter's heart surgery to wish him well. Borland said: "Bernie told me he's never going to retire." Walter, the winningest public school coach, starts his 26th season in Gambrills on Wednesday. Glen Burnie attorney and Spalding booster Steve Peroutka is being touted for Baltimore Catholic League commissioner. The Peroutka family boasts graduates of Spalding, Towson Catholic, Calvert Hall and Loyola dating back to 1940 with Bud Peroutka (Loyola) and 1999, Annie Peroutka (Spalding). If the Annapolis boys win in the 3A East and one of the county teams win in the 4A East, it would be the first time since 1996 (Annapolis and Southern) that Anne Arundel sent two teams to Cole for the state tournament.

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

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