South River finds wrestler to cheer for in 145-pound Belka

Senior blanks Barrett in Seahawks' invitational for 2nd tournament title

Notebook

High School

January 22, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The South River wrestling team has had its share of struggles, but Billy Belka has been a source of joy for the Seahawks.

The 145-pound senior captured his second tournament championship yesterday by blanking senior Matt Barrett of Southern, 5-0, in a final of the South River Invitational.

Belka, who improved to 15-2, used a reverse in the second period and three near-fall points in the third frame to add the title to the one he collected at the Bowie Tournament Dec. 8.

"I tried to not let him use his strength over me," Belka said. "He was getting a little tired, a little sluggish. I could ride his legs a lot easier after that."

Fourth-ranked Owings Mills won the team crown despite not participating in yesterday's action in honor of the Martin Luther King holiday. The Eagles, who placed nine wrestlers in nine of 14 championship finals, compiled 207 points, while Calvert finished second with 151 and Landon third with 126.

Because Owings Mills had to forfeit their matches in the finals, 112-pound junior David Thornton (15-0) of Southern and 160-pound senior Ricky Powell (15-2) of Annapolis Area Christian claimed titles.

Falcons on rise

The Severna Park girls basketball team has put to rest memories of last season's 9-14 record.

The No. 18 Falcons are 10-4 overall and 7-1 in the county - tied for first with No. 13 South River and No. 16 Chesapeake.

"I guess the biggest thing is the kids really took the challenge of getting better," said Severna Park coach Bill Giblin. "A lot of them played AAU basketball, a lot of them did the off-season program we asked them to. They have good stamina, and they're a lot stronger toward the end of games."

That strength will be tested tonight when the Falcons welcome four-time defending county champion Arundel at 7:15.

The No. 14 Wildcats are also 10-4 overall, but a game behind with a 6-2 mark in the county.

Cracks have appeared in the armor of Arundel, which had a 30-game winning streak against county opponents snapped Dec. 18.

Coach Lee Rogers said it's a little unfair to compare this year's version to teams of the past.

"This team is totally new and finding its own identity," Rogers said. "It's all about who wants to be [in the county championship game] in February."

Freshman guard Alex McGuire leads the Wildcats in points with 15.4 a game and assists with 3.7 a game. Junior guard Jessica Collins is averaging 11.7 points and 3.2 assists a game, and junior guard Amanda Hernandez is recording 10.6 points a game.

But Arundel runs into a Severna Park team that has strung together six straight wins. Junior guard Jessica Norris is posting 14.4 points and 7.5 assists a game, while junior forward Julia Waters has registered 10 double doubles in 14 games.

1,000 for Bestul

When senior forward Kylie Bestul of Archbishop Spalding converted a three-point play in the third quarter of Friday's 57-47 win against John Carroll, she was a little taken aback when she saw Cavaliers coach Deb Taylor inching her way across the court toward her.

"Someone said, `Five.' I thought I had fouled out or something," Bestul said. "Coach came up to me, and I didn't know what had happened."

What had happened was with her fifth point of the night, Bestul had reached the 1,000-point barrier in her career, becoming only the sixth player in school history to reach that mark.

Bestul also became the only player to score more than 1,000 points and grab more than 600 rebounds. She's already the all-time leader in free-throws made with 311 and free throws attempted with 428.

Further review

Upon further review, the Institute of Notre Dame's 49-41 victory over the Cavaliers Sunday was not the Indians' first against Archbishop Spalding in 10 years.

Taylor coached IND during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons in which the Indians won three of the four meetings between the two teams, the most recent occurring in 1996.

Tennis vacancy

Old Mill tennis coach Dick Hobbs has stepped down to focus on other interests, said athletic director Bruce Lawton.

Applicants interested in the position or becoming an assistant gymnastics coach can call Lawton at 410-969-0837 for information.

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