Glenelg's Edell is no stranger to states

Three-sport performer is in 5th straight tourney

Girls basketball notebook

High Schools

March 08, 2001

Most high school athletes never get to play in a state tournament.

And then there is Glenelg's Erin Edell.

When Edell takes to the floor at UMBC tomorrow night for the Class 1A state semifinal against Bohemia Manor, she will be making her fifth straight and sixth overall appearance in a state tournament.

As a junior, Edell started on the soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams that reached state finals. The soccer team won.

This year, Edell was a starting defender on the state championship soccer team. She will start at forward against Bohemia Manor.

Edell, the daughter of Maryland men's lacrosse coach Dick Edell, is averaging 4.3 points and 5.4 rebounds for the sixth-ranked Gladiators (17-7). She's unselfish, does the little things a good team needs and always plays hard.

"She's unorthodox-looking in everything she does, but she gets the job done," said Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar. "When the game gets tough, Erin always shows up. And her intensity on defense is just unmatched." -- Stan Rappaport

Johnson's new experience

As a high school basketball player, Dana Johnson had an impressive resume, including leading Western to back-to-back City-Wide and Metro Classic titles and earning All-Metro Player of the Year and All-America honors.

But Johnson never had a chance to experience a state championship -- until now.

"It's crazy to say that my kids have more experience than I do," said Johnson, who finally gets to the state tournament today as the rookie coach of the No. 7 Doves. "It's all new to me."

The Baltimore City schools did not join the Maryland Public Secondary Athletic Association until the 1992-93 school year -- two years after Johnson graduated and headed off to play at Tennessee.

To prepare for the state tournament atmosphere, Johnson has been talking to Doves seniors Rolonda Brown and Lillian Drumgold about the tournament almost every night.

"Between [Brown and Drumgold] and some coaches, my former coach [Breezy] Bishop, I'm getting the once-up on everything." -- Katherine Dunn

Happy return for Burgess

Milford Mill's Shari Burgess missed the early part of the season with a back injury that was originally thought to be a fractured vertebrae. It turned out to be a bruised vertebrae.

In her first game back at full stride on Feb. 8, Burgess scored 15 points to help the Millers avenge an early-season loss to Randallstown. On Saturday, she scored 14 as the No. 8 Millers romped past the Rams, 61-41, in the region final.

"Finally, her shot is back," Millers coach Pam Wright said of the junior, who has excellent range. "She just doesn't shoot enough."

Burgess is peaking at the right time. She proved herself in last year's state semifinal, scoring 20 to help the Millers beat Thomas Stone and reach the title game for the third straight year.

Although her three-point shooting can light a fire under the Millers, Burgess brings a lot more than scoring to her team.

"She adds defense," Wright said. "She's real active, she's the fastest person on the team, very aggressive." -- Katherine Dunn

Poets in defense mode

After a dream 1999-2000 season that ended with a sweep of Baltimore City, region and state Class 2A championships as well as the final No. 1 ranking, the Dunbar Poets have learned that it's a lot harder to stay at the top than to get there in the first place.

The No. 11 Poets have dropped off a bit, losing the city title to Western, 53-51. That has only made them more determined to successfully defend their state crown.

"The Western game really hurt because of us beating them by 27 [during the regular season]," said Poets coach Wardell Selby. "I kept instilling in the girls that every game, every day you have to go prove yourself over -- me as a coach, them as players."

After the Western loss, Selby shook up his lineup and forced players to earn their starting spots all over again.

"That woke the team up. They responded well in the Catonsville game," Selby said of their 71-66 win in the region final. "They started off slow, but the light came that we don't want the season to end." -- Katherine Dunn

'Cats have experience edge

Been there, done that.

While defending state champ Arundel makes its fifth appearance in seven tries in the state's final four, Winston Churchill has never set foot in a state tournament game.

For a team starting two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman, and with just two seniors on the roster, the significance of the moment is not lost on first-year Bulldogs coach Pat Fisher.

"Up until Friday, the pressure wasn't too much. But now, we're seeing a whole lot of pressure," said Fisher, who coached the junior varsity squad for five years. "They know what they can do."

By contrast, Wildcats senior starters Najmah Fauntleroy, Jill Marano and Tracy Pucci are making their third trip to the state semifinals. The other starters, senior Catherine Gonzalez and sophomore Amanda Hernandez, saw significant playing time last season.

But Arundel coach Lee Rogers isn't ready to toot his top-ranked team's horn just yet.

"I don't know if it gives us the edge, but it does help us adapt to the environment and the crowds," he said. -- Edward Lee

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