With Henderson's return, Aberdeen is bouncing back

Two-sport standout helps spark 3-game win streak

Notebook

High Schools

January 11, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Erin Henderson is back, and so is the Aberdeen boys basketball team.

With the Eagles' run to the Class 2A state football title, the basketball team took a backseat as nine of its 12 players joined practices two weeks late because they were still competing on the gridiron.

And even when the football season ended, the basketball team was without Henderson, who was sidelined after hurting an ankle in the playoffs.

The result was inconsistent and rusty play and a 2-3 record heading into the new year for a team that once seemed destined for a memorable season.

But the Eagles spent last week proving that it was much too early to forecast their demise. With Henderson back in the lineup and the players clearly becoming more comfortable with each other, Aberdeen downed Annapolis on Monday, Havre de Grace on Wednesday and then made its strongest statement yet with a 92-58 drubbing of Fallston (7-2) on Friday.

Against Fallston, senior guard Phillip Brown made six of 10 three-pointers and finished with a career-high 30 points, and Henderson and Shawn Lewis added 15 points apiece.

"This whole thing started in Annapolis, and it seems like we've been getting progressively better since then," said Eagles coach Richard Hart.

The Eagles (5-3) reached 50 points once in their first four games, but they have averaged 79 in their past four.

The improvement coincides with Henderson's return to the lineup and his surprise move to point guard.

In the past, Henderson (6 feet 4, 225 pounds) has been a physical post presence, but Hart valued his skills, leadership and knowledge of the offense and asked him to run the point.

Though his ankle is still sore, Henderson is averaging about 13 points and is getting everybody involved.

"He's a natural leader and it was hard without him," Brown said.

Even before his injury, Henderson, who has a full scholarship to play football at Maryland, was considering sitting out the basketball season.

"I was real hesitant, but there are too many people counting on me to be out here," said Henderson, who denied the rumors that the Maryland coaching staff was pressuring him to miss the season to rest his ankle.

"I've told my teammates that they rode my back in football and I'm going to ride their back to College Park [sight of state tournament] in basketball."

Warner hits milestone

In the Harford Christian basketball team's 77-49 home victory over Capitol Christian on Friday, senior Marcus Warner became the school's fourth boys player to reach 1,000 points in his career.

Coming in to the game 16 points short of a milestone that hadn't been reached at the school since Brandon Spencer did it in 1995, the point guard scored 22 points, including a three-pointer in the fourth quarter to put him over 1,000.

After he made the shot, the game was stopped and the 5-9 Warner was given the game ball before he walked over to give his mother and father a rose.

Turner's status uncertain

The status of John Carroll center Kayani Turner for the rest of the girls basketball season remains uncertain, as the senior continues to be sidelined by an ailing shoulder.

Turner, a first-team All-County selection last year, has played in just five of the Patriots' 11 games, averaging 16.8 points and 10 rebounds.

Patriots coach Kathleen Shannon said Turner believes she injured the shoulder during club volleyball practice and does not expect to be back playing any time soon.

Record-breaker

Aberdeen senior Cory Knopp, who is in his first year of high school swimming but has quite a resume with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, has set three county records.

At a December meet against Edgewood, Knopp set new marks in the 200-meter individual medley (1 minute, 57.27 seconds) and the 100 backstroke (56.66).

On Thursday in a tri-meet with Bel Air and Edgewood, Knopp established another record in the 200 freestyle (1:45.69), breaking the eight-year record of 1:46.58, set by current Bel Air coach Jeff Warwick.

Knopp also barely missed another record Tuesday, coming .27 of a second behind the 100 butterfly record time (53.00) set by Jim Born in 1982.

Gardner makes gains

Jeff Gardner's pin of Dan Sullivan in the clinching match of Harford Tech's 39-24 victory over Fallston on Thursday was the latest proof of just how far the 171-pound sophomore has come in a year.

With the win, Gardner avenged a one-point loss to Sullivan last year and improved to 9-0.

"Last year, he was afraid to shoot, but his confidence level is so high now," said Cobras coach Gary Siler. "He has really developed. The sky is the limit for that kid."

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