Boys basketball fight for second place intensifies

SIDELINES

February 03, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

It's that time of year when scoreboard watching is very popular.

The Anne Arundel County boys basketball race for second place and the right to play No. 4 Annapolis in the county championship game on Feb. 19 at Broadneck starts this week in a three-way tie.

Annapolis (18-0) is running away with first place at 12-0 with four league games left. The Panthers can clinch at least a tie for first place with a win at home over Broadneck (6-12) on Tuesday.

It could be the Panthers' county-record 54th consecutive win over an Anne Arundel foe. Of course, the way Annapolis has been playing, it's not likely that tiebreaker criteria will be needed to determine first place.

Second place is another story.

Last week's four-way tie for runner-up was broken by Glen Burnie's 57-50 victory at North County on Wednesday. The four teams that were tied at 7-3 when the week started all won on Friday.

As a result, No. 11 Meade (14-4), No. 18 Southern (12-6) and Glen Burnie (12-6) all begin this week at 9-3; North County (11-7) stands 8-4.

A crucial game is set for 7:15 Tuesday night as Meade invades Glen Burnie. It's not only crucial to the county race, but also for the Class 4A East Region seedings.

Tuesday is a near must-win for Glen Burnie since the Gophers lost, 75-71, at Meade in overtime on Jan. 15. The Gophers have to keep Meade's 6-foot-6 Eric Bigby from dominating again.

If Meade wins again, it would be 2-0 head-to-head and take second over the Gophers if the two were tied at the conclusion of the 16-game regular season.

Glen Burnie and Meade each have three of their last four games at home, while Southern and North County have two at home and two away.

Southern is finished playing the other three contenders, but the Bulldogs are the only one of the four with Annapolis left on their schedule. The Dawgs visit the powerful Panthers, who won, 75-71, in Harwood back in December.

If Southern could pull off the upset Friday, the others could knock off each other and the Dawgs could end up in their first county championship game.

Region playoffs

The top four teams by virtue of their regular-season won-loss records, excluding holiday tournaments, will be seeded one through four with the rest of the teams in each region seeded by random draw 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 17 at Arundel High.

Through the weekend, two Anne Arundel County boys teams are among the top four teams in the realigned Class 4A East Region. Powerful Thomas Johnson (16-1) of Frederick has all but clinched the top seed at 15-0.

Meade (12-4 in games that count) and Glen Burnie (11-5) are second and third, with Frederick fourth at 9-5. North County (10-6) is fifth and Westminster (9-7) is sixth.

The 4A East is a 12-team region and in the 16-team brackets used, the top four receive first-round byes and likely home-court advantage in the quarterfinals.

All eight Anne Arundel 4A teams are in the East along with Westminster, but Thomas Johnson, Frederick and C.M. Wright were added this year.

Annapolis (16-0) is the top seed in the 3A East that includes Anne Arundel's Severna Park (9-7) and Northeast (1-14); Howard County's No. 14 River Hill (10-4) and Long Reach (12-3); and Prince George's Gwynn Park (14-1) and Friendly (12-3), ranked Nos. 5 and 17 by The Washington Post.

Southern-Harwood (10-5), the county's only 2A team, is among the top four in the 2A South.

Sideliners

The No. 2 Archbishop Spalding boys (20-4) became the first metro area team to win 20 games with a 55-46 victory at No. 9 McDonogh (14-8, 5-6) Friday. The Cavaliers lead the combined Baltimore Catholic League/MIAA A Conference at 8-2 by a half-game over No. 6 Calvert Hall (17-6, 7-2). ... No. 4 Annapolis is two wins from its seventh straight 20-win season and the 21st in coach John Brady's 25 years. The Panthers hold the record for most consecutive 20-win seasons (nine) from 1983-84 to 1991-92. ...

The 48th Annapolis Touchdown Club banquet will be held Thursday at the Sheraton Barcelo with the following honorees: quarterback Keith Williams (Glen Burnie), the Rhodes Trophy as the county's top player; defensive lineman Kerry Blake (Old Mill), Laramore Trophy as the county's top lineman; Meade High, the Jerry Mears' Trophy as the county's top team; quarterback Brian Madden, Navy's Silver Helmet as the Mids' top player; and, linebacker E.J. Henderson, Maryland's Golden Helmet as the Terps' top player. ...

Severn lacrosse midfielder Justin Martin has committed to Mount St. Mary's. ... Former Old Mill defenseman Tim Newby has been named boys lacrosse coach at Chesapeake. ... The annual Youth and High School Lacrosse Coaches Clinic at Navy's Rickover Hall is set for 8 a.m. on Feb. 16. Everyone must have a photo ID to get onto the grounds. There will be shuttle buses from the stadium parking lot. Youth coaches get in free; there is a $10 fee for high school coaches. For more information, call Broadneck coach Clay White at 410-437-5233. ...

Stephanie Connelly, the Northeast freshman and Maryland high school golf and state junior champion, is headed to Orlando, Fla., for a tournament, Feb. 15-18.

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

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