Athletes of the Week

High Schools

February 13, 2002


Mike Kessler

Owings Mills, wrestling

The 125-pound freshman is poised to continue a legacy started by brothers Kevin, Gregg, and Steve, who collected a combined eight state championships. Kessler, who is 32-0 this season, stunned former state champion Brian Fox of Kent County with a 9-7 decision Saturday at the Class 2A-1A state dual-meet championships. Kessler, who registered five near-fall points against Fox, pinned three other opponents last week. Kessler, who has been wrestling for Eagles coach Guy Pritzker since age 4, has captured titles at the Parkville and Loch Raven Duals invitationals. With Kessler in the lineup, Owings Mills finished with a 23-1 record and claimed its first state dual-meet crown in school history.


BJ Banjo

Mercy, basketball

The senior led the Magic with 83 points last week, including 24 in a 57-51 upset of then-No. 2 Institute of Notre Dame before 3,100 fans Friday at the Towson Center.

Banjo, a 5-foot-5 guard who has signed with East Tennessee State, hit four free throws in the final 21.3 seconds and two three-pointers for then-No. 5 Mercy. She also had seven steals, four rebounds and two assists in the 36th annual showdown.

Earlier in the week, she scored 33 points and had 12 rebounds and four steals in a 51-42 win over Western. She then had 26 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in a 62-57 loss to John Carroll.

Banjo, who has 1,299 career points in three seasons at Mercy, is averaging 20 points a game.

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