After stunning Glen Burnie, Meade has sights on Annapolis

SIDELINES

High Schools

January 14, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Meade's 59-55 victory over Glen Burnie on Friday night left No. 7-ranked Annapolis (11-1) as the only Anne Arundel County boys basketball team undefeated in league play at 6-0.

While the No. 15 Mustangs (9-3, 4-2 league) were ending No. 12 Glen Burnie's best start in 53 years (11-1, 5-1), Annapolis continued its torrid trek through the county with a 77-59 rout over Chesapeake.

It was the 10th consecutive win for the Panthers, who have not lost to a county opponent since 1999. Premier guard Marcus Neal, who is averaging 29.1 points, scored 38 points against Chesapeake (6-6, 2-4).

Last season, Annapolis set county records for consecutive wins in a season at 25, most overall wins (25-1) and a public school regular-season record for most wins in a row (22), including the county championship game.

Meade is the last county team to defeat Annapolis. The Mustangs outlasted the Panthers, 59-56, in the Class 4A East quarterfinals on March 1, 1999, at Meade.

The Mustangs went on to Cole Field House, at the University of Maryland, for the 4A state tournament, and did it again last season as did Annapolis in Class 3A.

Both teams are looking for an encore. Despite having Neal as the only returning starter, Annapolis has emerged again as the team to beat in the 3A East, while Meade may again be the class in the 4A East after knocking off Glen Burnie.

Annapolis coach John Brady's continued development of 6-foot-5 senior Camaro Henson as an offensive threat, averaging 10.5 points and 8.8 boards, has been crucial for the Panthers.

In addition, the emergence of sophomore guard Laronja Owens (15.5 points, 4.3 assists) and 6-foot-5 sophomore Josh Johnson (7.3 rebounds), not to mention several contributing role players has Annapolis right there again.

"A lot of people didn't think we were going to do much this year with all that we lost to graduation," Neal said. Annapolis last two All-Metro players in Thomas Hawkins and Marcus Johnson. "But we're the sleeper."

"We may shock a lot of people this year."

In the 4A race, Meade is now 1-1 against Glen Burnie and will visit the Gophers on Feb. 13. Glen Burnie won the first meeting, 73-66, over the host Mustangs in the Meade Christmas final, and the possibility of a fourth game looms in the region playoffs.

At the moment, a fifth game for the county championship (top two finishers) will likely include Annapolis and possibly either Glen Burnie or Meade, although the Mustangs are now one of four teams at 4-2 in county action behind the 5-1 Gophers.

Glen Burnie coach Mike Rudd, who said after the Meade loss that he "can't fault the determination" of his kids, will be looking for that same effort when his Gophers play host to Arundel at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Sideliners

Meade's Doug Underwood was presented a game ball by coach Butch Young before the Glen Burnie game Friday night for becoming only the second Mustang to score 1,000 career points. Underwood reached the milestone in Tuesday's loss at Arundel and trails only Corey Wallace, who scored 1,331 in his career (1987-89). ... Annapolis' Neal now has 1,311 career points, trailing only Hawkins, who holds the Panthers' career record of 1,507 points. ... The Broadneck boys have only one league win (over Severna Park), but coach Ken Kazmarek is playing three freshmen, including guard Andrew Holland. The Bruins are improving with each game as evidenced by Tuesday's, 68-61, loss at Glen Burnie, and could prove to be a dangerous team come the 4A playoffs. ... After winning their first two Baltimore Catholic League games this week, defending champion Archbishop Spalding (8-8) dropped a 44-43 decision to St. Maria Goretti (11-3, 3-0) on Wednesday, but bounced back to knock off Loyola, 65-45, on Friday to go to 3-1 in league play. The Cavs host No. 13 Mount St. Joseph (13-4) at 3:30 p.m. today. ... Spalding's ice hockey team got two goals from Doug Webb on Thursday to edge St. Mary's, 5-4, their first win over the Saints in nearly four years. Both teams, Spalding (6-3-1) and St. Mary's (6-2) are having good seasons. ... The Granite Baptist basketball team is quietly having a good season running their record to 11-4 with Friday's 70-47 rout of Frederick Christian as Ian Alexander recorded 28 points.

Have a note for Sidelines? E-mail patomalleysports@aol.com or call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.

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