Today, No. 1 vs. No. 2, Douglass at Dunbar

Boys basketball game possible city title preview

Jackson shines at MIAA


High Schools

February 12, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Top-ranked Douglass visits No. 2 Dunbar today in a boys basketball matchup that is intriguing for a number of reasons.

It will be the most important meeting between the programs since Douglass defeated Dunbar for the city crown in 1996.

This year's game also could be a preview of the city championship. Dunbar already has clinched the nine-team Division I title with an 8-0 record, and Douglass is 5-0 in the six-team Division II, with one game remaining at Douglass against No. 8 Southern-Baltimore on Friday.

The visiting Ducks (20-0) are led by their high-scoring guards, senior Tyler Smith and junior Gerald Brown, and the Poets (15-3) by senior guards James Taylor and Jujuan Robinson.

The game will be a homecoming for the head coaches of both teams. Douglass' Rodney Coffield graduated from Dunbar in 1980, Dunbar's Eric Lee in 1985.

Coffield and Lee played for Poets squads coached by Bob Wade, the city's current athletic director.

This is also a homecoming of sorts for Brown, who transferred to Douglass from Dunbar after his freshman year.

Douglass is on track to become the city's first unbeaten team since Southwestern went 27-0 over the 1996-97 season, winning the Class 4A state title and finishing with the No. 1 area ranking.

Students and parents from both schools must display their corresponding activity cards before gaining entrance to the game, according to Dunbar athletic director Barbara Allen. She said students from other schools will not be admitted.

Jackson's day

When Cardinal Gibbons decided to resurrect a wrestling program last winter -- its former program folded in 1981 -- sophomore Darrell Jackson was one of the youngsters recruited by coach Billy Royer from the school's hallways.

"Just a hard-nosed kid," Royer said recently of Jackson.

Last weekend, Jackson proved Royer correct.

The 125-pound junior finished second at the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament at Mount St. Joseph, losing in the 125-pound final to McDonogh's No. 1-ranked Chet Naylor.

Jackson, who never wrestled before last season, is the first MIAA finalist under Royer and assistant Eric Kocay.

But Jackson did not have an easy road to the final, toppling two more experienced wrestlers along the way.

First, he advanced past defending champion Jim Barbour of Archbishop Curley in the quarterfinals, holding a slim lead before Barbour had to default after a clash of heads caused a concussion. In the semifinals, Jackson scored another upset when he pinned Mount St. Joseph's fifth-ranked Tim Bohlman.

In pinning Bohlman, Jackson did what National Preps champion Rudy Rueda of DeMatha and two-time state champion Brian Eveleth of Chesapeake-Anne Arundel could not. Rueda edged Bohlman, 9-6, and beat Eveleth, 5-1, in earlier victories.

"He's worked really hard to get where he's at, and he deserves this," Royer said.

And Jackson's effort will go a long way toward helping Royer in the recruiting process.

Sims' year?

Lansdowne's fifth-ranked senior, Shawn Sims (24-0), is Maryland's only unbeaten 112-pound wrestler and has a school-record 107 career victories against 26 losses.

But the two-time region champion has yet to win a Baltimore County title, finishing second and third, respectively, the past two seasons and didn't place at states after being third as a sophomore.

Sims takes another shot at this weekend's county tournament at Parkville. Standing in his path of a winning a county title are Eastern Tech's top-ranked Trent Dixon, Perry Hall's No. 4 Jim Van Daniker and Owings Mills' county and region champion David Jacovsky.

In his only berth in the county final two years ago, Sims led 10-2 when Dixon pinned him for the crown.

City hopefuls

Baltimore City's quest for a second individual state champion, one who will join Poly heavyweight Dennis Scott (1999), begins over the next three weeks with the city, regional and state tournaments.

The top candidates appear to be Patterson's Warren Brown (119) and Chris Price (171) and Mervo's Chris Jones (130) and DeShawn Barrett (160).

Title chase

The boys basketball race is heating up as the final week of the regular season of the combined Baltimore Catholic League/Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association comes to a close.

Out in front is Calvert Hall (21-6, 11-2 league), followed by Anne Arundel County's Archbishop Spalding (23-5, 11-3), Hagerstown's St. Maria Goretti (18-9, 10-4) and Mount St. Joseph (20-7, 9-5).

Calvert Hall visits Spalding tonight, plays host to Mount St. Joseph on Friday and visits Towson Catholic (5-8 league) on Sunday. Also on Sunday, Spalding plays host to Gibbons (5-8 league), Mount St. Joseph plays at Loyola and Goretti visits St. Frances (2-12 league).

Swimming championships

The Baltimore City swimming championships will be held at noon Friday at Morgan State University.

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