River Hill, Atholton take shows on road

County wrestling teams enter top-notch tourneys


High Schools

January 16, 2004|By Rick Belz and Edward Lee | Rick Belz and Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The county's top two wrestling teams will participate in challenging tournaments this weekend.

River Hill (13-0) heads to Wicomico High in Salisbury today and tomorrow for the Delmarva Classic against some of the top Delaware teams such as Laurel, Milford and Sussex Central.

Hawks coach Earl Lauer said the tournament has 37 ranked participants, including four No. 1 Delaware wrestlers.

River Hill won the tournament in 2000 and was second in 1999 and 2001.

Top matchups for the Hawks feature No. 2 103-pound Taylor Green (15-2) against Connor McDonald, a national freestyle champ from Sussex, and No. 3 Vince Cina (16-0) possibly matched up with No. 1 John Hummel of Milford. Thomas Perkins of River Hill, No. 5 at 171 pounds, could face Bowie's No. 1 Mike McFadden.

Atholton (10-1), which has not wrestled River Hill yet, heads to Springbrook of Montgomery County, whose tournament includes Whitman and Northeast, teams that are ranked in the top 20 statewide. Hammond will also be there.

The 125-pound weight class is loaded, with No. 6 Vince Taweel of Hammond and Atholton's Ryan Conroy (13-4) just two in a skilled weight class.

Other top Raiders: Nick Colabucci (15-2) at 152 pounds, Robbie Eloshway (12-3) at 103 and Jeff Zillmer (6-2) at 112.

Boys in close race

With 8-1 league records, Atholton and River Hill continue to lead a boys basketball race that produces close games on a regular basis.

Wednesday's games were especially tight: Atholton edged Hammond, 49-46; Long Reach nipped Oakland Mills, 46-44; Howard slipped past Centennial in double overtime, 68-65; and Wilde Lake nudged by Mount Hebron, 51-46. River Hill defeated Glenelg, 65-38, in the night's only lopsided game.

"It's great that schools are close game after game," said Lightning coach Al Moraz. "It creates a lot of spirit. We had a nice crowd at Oakland Mills despite all their troubles."

Moraz said Long Reach (6-2 county) led by five points with 30 seconds left before Bryce Gaeng sank a three-pointer with 20 seconds left for Oakland Mills (4-5), which had won three straight games by three or fewer points.

Long Reach's Mike Smelkinson sank a couple of free throws to ice the game.

Atholton ran into an athletic Hammond squad that Raiders coach Jim Albert said did everything well but shoot free throws. The Bears were 7-for-21 at the line; Atholton shot 16-for-21.

"Kyle Cannon is a quality player for them," said Albert. "We held our poise coming off a tough, physical game against Long Reach but just couldn't pull away. They missed a layup in the last 30 seconds that would have put them up by one point and then we got fouled and hit both free throws."

And Howard (4-4), which upset Atholton last week by two points, led by as many as 12 points before Centennial (3-6) made a charge at the end by hitting some three-pointers.

"They set good screens, and not just one but two or three in succession," said Lions coach Marvin Thorpe. "We played good man-to-man defense but Centennial shot well."

Lift for Chapelgate

Senior small forward Joanna Price could return to the Chapelgate girls basketball team, as next week she is expected to have a cast removed from her left wrist broken in practice last November.

Yellow Jackets coach Jim Barber said Price could bolster Chapelgate's run for a third straight Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference title.

Also, Yellow Jackets senior guard Heather Landis continues to set records as the school leader in career points with 1,389 and career assists with 524.

Landis, who will play at Rider next season, said she didn't intend to break records when she arrived at Chapelgate as a freshman.

"I just never really thought about it," said Landis, who surpassed 2000 graduate Laura Starsoneck's 1,252 points on Dec. 17. "I guess it matters some. It wasn't my main goal, but it's kind of cool that I got to do that."

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