Annapolis' Neal eyes single-game scoring record

SIDELINES

January 21, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Don't be surprised if Marcus Neal of Annapolis breaks the county single-game record for points scored (52) one night soon.

Neal, a four-year starter and two-time All-County guard for the No. 5-ranked Panthers (13-1), probably could have broken the record, set by Glen Burnie's Mike Thibeault in 1990 against Queen Anne's, on Friday night.

Annapolis rolled to a 96-65 victory over Northeast (4-10), with the 6-foot-1 Neal pouring in a career-high 46 points, including five three-pointers to set a county career record with 168.

Neal's former teammate and All-Metro swing guard Marcus Johnson, who is now playing at Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College, set the record of 167 last year.

"Marcus could have broken the [single-game] record against Northeast, but as I told him, when we're winning by 30, it's not the time to do it," said Annapolis coach John Brady, who sat Neal down early in the fourth period.

"He played basically three periods against Northeast, and the way he was shooting, [he] could have scored 60. But we would rather him do it under different circumstances. Marcus understands that."

Neal, who has 1,384 career points, trails another former All-Metro teammate, Thomas Hawkins, in that Annapolis scoring category by 123.

It's interesting the night Thibeault set the record, the Gophers needed all his points in a 72-68 victory over the Lions. Thibeault also set a record for most three-pointers (10) in a game that night, Jan. 5, 1990.

Neal averages 30.1 points a game and trails Edgewood's 5-foot-10 guard Jermaine Hancock (35.8) for the metro area scoring lead. Neal also scored 40 in an 86-67 rout of Prince George's Frederick Douglass on Dec. 13.

No one has been able to cover Neal with man-to-man or zone defenses.

"Marcus is so quick that he goes right through a zone and three guys and comes out the other side," Brady said. "I don't know how he does it."

Annapolis and the rest of the county public schools are off until Friday, as the students concentrate on their midterm exams. Neal and the Panthers visit No. 13 Meade (10-4) on Friday. The time of the game was recently changed to 7:15 p.m. so the girls could play the first game of the doubleheader at 5:15 p.m.

Sideliners

In his 24th season, Brady stands two wins short of 500 (498-91). ... With 12 wins in a row, Annapolis (8-0 league) leads the county boys league by two games over No. 14 Glen Burnie (12-2, 6-2 league), which got back on track with a 70-35 romp over Chesapeake (6-8, 2-6) after two straight losses. The top two finishers will play for the county championship on Feb. 20 at Arundel, and four other boys teams are right behind Glen Burnie at 5-3 - No. 13 Meade (10-4), No. 16 Southern-AA (9-5), Arundel (8-6) and South River (9-6). ... Now 1-14 overall, the only win in league play over Severna Park (8-6, 4-4), Broadneck is in danger of having the worst season in school history since the school's first year of basketball in 1982-83 (5-15) under Jim Morris. ... Archbishop Spalding's 8-9 boys basketball team plays host to a red-hot Cardinal Gibbons (13-8) team at 3:30 p.m. today in Baltimore Catholic League action.

On the track

Broadneck's indoor track team easily won both the boys and girls divisions in a six-team county meet at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex on Friday.

Craig Schmidt won the 1,600 meters in 4:45.2, nosing out teammate Scott Koehler by 3.1 seconds. Schmidt was also the runner-up to Meade's David Pickett in the 3,200, as the Bruins boys won, 130-79, over Meade.

On the girls side, senior sprinter Merrian Brooks was a double winner as The Sun's top-ranked Bruins out-pointed Old Mill by a whopping 152-86. Brooks edged Meade's Adrian Tompkins, 43.3 seconds to 43.6 in the 300 dash, and took the 500 over teammate Jamie Woodward, 1:25.1 to 1:28.7.

Woodward was third in the 300 behind Brooks and Tompkins with a time of 45.5.

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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