Upstart Howard set for L. Reach

County's two unbeaten boys squads meet tonight in showdown

Notebook

High Schools

January 05, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg and Stan Rappaport | Kevin Van Valkenburg and Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

What's been the biggest surprise in boys basketball so far this season? Hands down, it has to be Howard's 5-0 record in league play, making the Lions the only team besides Long Reach to remain unbeaten within the county.

And as fate would have it, the two teams match up tonight at 7 at Long Reach.

All things considered, it has been a storybook start for coach Derrick Dunlap, who, after getting removed then reinstated as Howard's coach earlier this year, promised his team could be one of the best in the county. LaMar Parrish, perhaps the league's best point guard, even said the team felt it could go undefeated. It seemed unrealistic considering the turmoil the team had just experienced, with players threatening to boycott the season after Dunlap's hiring was overturned.

But with wins over Mount Hebron, Glenelg, Oakland Mills and Hammond, the Lions are making everyone believers. Howard did fall in the finals of the Craig O'Connell Tournament to River Hill, 72-68, despite 23 points from Parrish, who has been stellar. But the loss doesn't count in the league standings, and so the Lions' record remains unblemished going into tonight's game.

To continue its fairytale run, Howard will need another big effort from Parrish and center Mike Hennessie tonight against the Lightning, which has one of the league's best players in Josh Gross and has gotten big contributions from Nick Andrews and Kevin O'Malley.

Girls basketball

Glenelg started the new year with a bang, registering back-to-back 30-point victories against Howard (73-43) and Centennial (54-24). Sophomore Chrissy Starcher had a career-high 15 points against Howard, and sophomore Alli Biggs finished with 21 against Centennial, her third-straight game in double figures.

Biggs was named the MVP of the I-95 Challenge tournament in Uniondale, N.Y., over the holidays. . Biggs scored a team-high 15 points in a 47-38 win over Kellenberg, the host school. The Gladiators' second tournament game last Saturday was canceled because of snow.

The 13th-ranked Gladiators (5-2 overall, 3-1) face a tough three-game stretch beginning today when they face Hammond, Oakland Mills (Monday) and Mount Hebron (Wednesday).

River Hill came home with three awards from the IAABO Invitational Christmas Tournament. The top-ranked Hawks lost an 18-point lead but beat Oxon Hill, 71-70, in overtime to take the third-place trophy. Senior forward Greeba Outen Barlow was named the tournament MVP. She scored 45 points in three games. Also, River Hill earned the Sportsmanship Award.

Freshman Timisha Gomez scored in double figures in Long Reach's first six games. After a two-game slump - she scored five points against Westminster and Centennial - Gomez was back in form Wednesday, scoring 14 points and helping the Lightning to its first county victory, a 51-40 decision over Wilde Lake. Another freshman, Whitney Ward, had 12 for Long Reach. ... Atholton freshman Julia Reynold is averaging 14 points her last three games. ... In victories over Hammond and Oakland Mills this week, Mount Hebron senior Erin Jaschik had 41 points and sophomore Kristen Waagbo had 39. ... Chapelgate, behind 23 points from freshman Heather Landis, surprised Howard, 57-50, last week to win the Craig O'Connell Tournament. The Flames outscored Howard, 15-2, in the final quarter.

Wrestling

Two of the state's best wrestling squads - River Hill and Damascus - lock heads in a dual meet tomorrow. Fifth-ranked River Hill, a state finalist last year, meets Damascus, a perenial state power that took home the state title in 1999. The Hornets are ranked second in the Washington area.

On Tuesday, River Hill travels to eighth-ranked Atholton.

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