Carroll Christian gets a brotherly hand

NOTEBOOK

Greg Mason goes it alone after sibling was injured

High Schools

Notebook

January 29, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Greg Mason transferred to Carroll Christian last fall for a chance to play with his brother.

Though a season-ending injury to older brother Andrew prematurely ended that opportunity, the former Linganore player continues to breath new life into the once-ailing Patriots.

Entering tonight's game against Elkton Christian, Mason was averaging a team-leading 18 points, 14 rebounds and five assists to help Carroll Christian - 13-43 over the past three seasons - to a 12-3 mark.

"He's just a powerful player," said Patriots second-year coach Roger Wood, also the school's principal. "I like to say that he plays a lot of [Charles] Barkley ball. He'll shoot and get the offensive rebound before his defensive man has a chance to recover. He has a great second effort."

The 6-foot sophomore swingman, who last year played on Linganore's freshman team, last week helped the Patriots rally from a double-digit deficit to edge powerful Clinton (Md.) Christian, 67-64, and recently pulled down 27 rebounds in a game.

Though Wood acknowledges that the level of competition is somewhat lighter than most public schools, he believes Mason has skills that would translate to most levels of high school ball.

"He's a good leaper, a good ballhandler and scores a lot of points underneath," Wood said. "We try to give him as many touches as possible. He's definitely someone to build around."

Mason, however, had hoped to do that building with his brother Andrew, a senior guard. The elder Mason had decided to transfer to the Westminster private school, in part, because it offered a course of study that Linganore didn't.

Where Andrew went, Greg wanted to follow for a chance to play together.

But when Andrew suffered a tear to an anterior cruciate ligament on Dec. 21 against Red Lion, ending his season, Greg was forced to press on alone.

"It was hard for me," said the younger Mason. "I wanted to go to school with my brother and we wanted to play on the same team, since it's his last year in high school."

With dreams of someday playing in college, however, the 15-year-old has played some of his best ball since, helping the Patriots recover from a slow start to post eight straight victories.

"We struggled a little in the beginning with teamwork, but we're starting to come together," Mason said. "We're passing the ball more and running our [motion] offense."

The team now has six regular-season games remaining before the Potomac Christian Athletic Conference tournament, and is expected to challenge for the Maryland Association of Christian Schools state title, which it hasn't won since completing a threepeat in 1998.

After watching his team go 6-14 during his first season at the helm, Wood believes the squad, comprised mainly of sophomores and juniors, could leave its mark during the postseason.

"We haven't arrived by any means," Wood said, "but we are starting to click."

Alternative plans made

School construction projects in Howard County have forced the lacrosse teams at Glenelg, the softball team at Atholton and the track teams at both schools to alternative playing sites.

Glenelg will play its home lacrosse games at Glenwood Middle School because its stadium field will be torn up at the end of February to install a new septic tank.

"I have no idea how it will affect us," said Glenelg boys lacrosse coach Rick Kincaid. "I've been told that the field at Glenwood is a very good one, but it won't have a scoreboard. We may have to borrow a portable one from the field hockey team."

Atholton will play its home softball games at Clemens Crossing Elementary because of renovation to the main school building.

Atholton's pole vault pit was vandalized in December by a gasoline-fueled fire. The damage was $7,000 and the police are investigating.

Reservoir varsity teams: 4

Scheduling at the new Reservoir High in Howard County was one of the agenda items when Don Disney, county coordinator of athletics, met with the high school athletic directors yesterday.

Reservoir, which will open in August with only freshmen and sophomore classes, will field only four varsity sports - cross country, indoor and outdoor track and tennis.

All other sports will be at the JV level.

Disney originally had compiled a countywide schedule that had included a full slate of varsity teams for Reservoir, but that was disrupted when the school board approved a plan last week to open the new school without a junior class.

Because of that decision, five schools are left with only nine football games and are seeking additional opponents.

Sun staff writer Rick Belz contributed to this article.

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