Neal, Underwood in showdown


No. 5 Annapolis takes unbeaten league mark against No. 14 Meade

High Schools

January 25, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

With mid-term exams behind them, Anne Arundel County public school athletes are ready to get back to winter sports tomorrow and boys basketball is in the spotlight.

No. 5-ranked Annapolis (13-1), the county's only undefeated boys basketball team at 8-0 in league action, takes on No. 14 Meade (10-4, 5-3) at Meade. The tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m. tomorrow.

Starting the second half of the league schedule, the game matches two perennial powers each of whom made it to the University of Maryland's Cole Field House and the state final four in their respective classifications, Annapolis in 3A and Meade in 4A.

It also matches the county's top two public school scorers in Marcus Neal of Annapolis and Meade's Doug Underwood. Neal leads the county in scoring and is second in the Baltimore metro area with 30.1 points a game while Underwood is second in the county and sixth in the metro area at 19.9 points an outing.

Annapolis and Meade last met in game nine last season with the Panthers racing by the Mustangs, 83-38. It was the only game between the two as is this one unless they play for the county championship Feb. 20 at Arundel.

In last year's game, Mustangs leading scorer and All-County guard Underwood had only four points. Underwood injured his left ankle and did not play in the second half.

Neal ran the Annapolis offense from his point guard position, scoring 11 points and dishing out six assists.

"It could be quite a show, " Annapolis coach John Brady said of tomorrow's matchup between Neal and Underwood.

Another interesting game finds Severna Park (8-6, 4-4) visiting Arundel (8-6, 6-2) at 5:15 p.m. tomorrow. Each team is coming off a big week that included upset wins.

Severna Park upset then No. 16 Southern-Harwood (9-5, 5-3) by 63-59 and then No. 13 Meade, 76-65. Arundel stunned then No. 14 Glen Burnie (12-2, 6-2) on the latter's home court, 70-61.

Arundel, which is tied with No. 15 Glen Burnie for second place to Annapolis, also knocked off Broadneck (1-14, 1-7) by 54-47 last week to notch its fourth straight win in league play.

The four-game winning streak began with a 72-65 upset of Meade and after the Wildcats' only two league losses to Annapolis (59-48) and Southern (56-54).

Severna Park is on a three-game winning streak in league play after losing three in a row.

Private schools

On the private school scene, Archbishop Spalding continues its rather ineffectual season overall (9-9), yet successful league action.

After Monday's 60-50 victory over No. 17 Cardinal Gibbons (13-9) that featured 26 points and 11 rebounds by 6-10 sophomore Will Bowers, the Cavaliers are tied for first place in the Baltimore Catholic League with top-ranked Towson Catholic (15-3) at 4-2 each.

With a 49-43 upset of Towson Catholic on Jan. 7, Spalding, which played at McDonogh last night and plays host to No. 9 Calvert Hall (13-4) at 8 p.m. tomorrow (WNAV, 1430 AM radio), leads the A Conference by a game over Towson Catholic at 4-1.

Coach Pat Clatchey of No. 10 Mount St. Joseph (15-5) agrees with Spalding coach Mike Glick that the BCL and the MIAA A Conference are extremely well-balanced this season with Towson Catholic holding a slight edge.

There are seven teams in the BCL, and they are joined by McDonogh (8-8) in the eight-team A Conference.

"I can see the league champion [A Conference] going 9-5, " said Clatchey. "The league is that good this year."

Last season, the league race and postseason tournament came down to Spalding and Towson Catholic, but this season the likes of St. Joe, Calvert Hall and No. 12 St. Frances (11-5) are in the thick of it with Spalding and the Owls. Gibbons and St. Maria Goretti are also capable of winning any game with Loyola the only team hurting.

The dates for the BCL tournament, which Spalding has won two straight years, have been announced. Goucher College in Towson will again be the site for the seeded BCL tourney that commences with quarterfinal games on Feb. 27 and 28 and concludes with the final on Sunday, March 4.

On the ice

If you're into ice hockey, a pretty good matchup is set for 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Naval Academy's Dahlgren Hall with Archbishop Spalding skating against St. Mary's in Maryland Scholastic Hockey League action.

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

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