Owls fall, but still turn things around

Losing first game by 40 to T. Johnson, Westminster makes second competitive


High Schools

January 13, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For Westminster, it wasn't a win ... but it wasn't bad.

The Owls boys basketball team outscored visiting Thomas Johnson in the second half, shooting 72 percent from the field over the final two quarters of Friday's 64-51 loss - a vast improvement over their 40-point setback to the Patriots on Jan. 2.

"I think when they went to TJ last time they were shocked by the speed and athleticism," Westminster coach Dave Herman said. "Tonight, the kids realized that there are some things we can do to. Our kids looked them in the eye, and that's all you can ask as a coach."

In fact, the outgunned Owls (8-4 overall, 2-2 Central Maryland Conference) at times played stride for stride with the Patriots (10-1, 6-0), whose only loss this season occurred in overtime in the championship game of the New York Holiday Tournament. Ultimately, however, it was runs of 16-0 and 10-1 that made the difference.

"You can't really take much away from this because it's a loss, but we stepped up and played pretty good," said Westminster guard Matt Frame, who led the Owls with 21 points. "Now we know that we can play with a very high quality team."

Using a slow-down offense, Westminster looked sharp early, tying the score at 15 on one of Frame's five three-pointers. Over the next five minutes, however, the outcome was sealed, as Thomas Johnson, led by Jermaine Thomas' 31 points, began converting turnovers into easy baskets, making seven of 10 shots to increase its lead to 31-15 with just over a minute left in the half.

Still, Herman said he was encouraged that his team - down by as much as 22 at one point - continued to scrap.

"The technical things we can break down and practice, but this group of kids is special to me," Herman said. " People have said they don't expect a lot from them, but they continue to battle. What makes me most happy about this is that they were not happy losing."

Baseball All-Americans

Area baseball diamonds may be frozen, but it feels like spring for three county players.

Liberty's Jon Bruce, Westminster's Jason Thayer and South Carroll's Bryan Lowry were selected for this year's Baseball Factory Pre-Season All-American Team. Bruce, a second-team All-County selection by The Sun last spring, was named to the 24-player senior first team, while Lowry and Thayer were named senior honorable mention.

Bruce, an outfielder, and Thayer, a pitcher, were expected to attended this weekend's three-day workout in Vero Beach, Fla.

Bruce batted .32 with 13 runs and a .520 on-base percentage last year for the Lions.

"I know Jon spends a lot of time working on his game." Liberty coach Erik Barnes said. "I think this honor helps recognize his work and improvement."

In all, more than 300 players from around the nation were selected for various All-American teams.

Lowry, a shortstop, batted .257 with four doubles and 10 RBIs last year for the Cavaliers, battling an ankle injury for much of the season.

"Getting over the injury is letting him play up to his potential," South Carroll coach George Richardson said. "I'm happy for him. I just hope it doesn't put too much pressure on him in the spring."

The Howard County-based Baseball Factory, founded in 1994 by Columbia native Steve Sclafani, is a national corporation aimed at teaching baseball. Players pay to attend clinics and receive specialized instruction.

Over the past two years alone, 33 Baseball Factory All-Americans have been selected in the amateur draft.

Schedule shift

Tomorrow's scheduled varsity and JV boys basketball games between South Carroll and host Liberty have been moved to Tuesday to accommodate exams, said Liberty athletic director Joe Reiter.

The JV is scheduled to tip off at 5:30, with the varsity to follow.

The schools' girls basketball teams will play at South Carroll tomorrow as scheduled.

Panthers in rankings

In the latest Maryland State Wrestling Association rankings, released on Jan. 7, North Carroll stands No. 12 in both the tournament and dual-meet polls, thanks in large part to five Panthers wrestlers who ranked in the state individually.

Senior Kyle Smith was ranked No. 6 at 140 pounds, while another senior, Fran Jackson, was ranked fourth at 152. Freshman Seth Knights (119), senior Tyler Graham (130) and sophomore Rob Pearre (145) all made honorable mention.

The highest-ranked county wrestler remains Westminster senior Travis Mohlhenrich, who stands second at 145.

Other local wrestlers to make honorable mention included South Carroll's Andrew Gold (103), Westminster's Jason Brown (135) and Nick Burger (160) and South Carroll's Andrew Winfield (160).

County meet moved

The Carroll County Indoor Track Championships have been moved to Jan. 30 at Hagerstown Community College because of field resurfacing at its original venue, Carroll Indoor Sports in Westminster

The meet will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.