No. 15 Lansdowne faces big challenge in Miner in Class 2A semifinal

South Hagerstown star once scored 54 points

State boys basketball notebook

High Schools

March 10, 2004|By Lem Satterfield and Pat O'Malley | Lem Satterfield and Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Having played against Lake Clifton and Cardinal Gibbons, Lansdowne's John Jarboe has seen his share of high-scoring players.

But none, the senior guard said, as prolific at South Hagerstown's David Miner, who has totaled 50 or more points five times with a high of 54.

"I've played against some great players, but none who are scoring as much as he is," said Jarboe, who will guard Miner. "As a team, we feel like the underdogs, but we see this as a challenge and we're prepared for it."

The 15th-ranked Vikings (21-4) will get a good look at Miner in Friday night's Class 2A state semifinal at the University of Maryland's Comcast Center, when the senior leads South Hagerstown (23-2) in its quest for its 19th straight win in its second straight state semifinal appearance.

Lansdowne is making just its second appearance in the final four, and its coach, Doug Goff, 33, is the youngest of the four coaches in the 2A classification.

But the third-year coach said he's "not looking at it like we're out of our element."

"We're the only team that's not been there before, but we don't feel like we're in over our heads," Goff said. "We've played a good city team [Lake Clifton], a private school [Cardinal Gibbons.] We've done what it's taken to get where we are."

State runner-up in 1970, Lansdowne is in the bracket opposite Friendly (23-2) of Prince George's County and J.M. Bennett (25-1) of the Eastern Shore. Friendly was last year's Class 3A champ, and Bennett is the defending 2A titlist.

Griffin stars as sub

By stepping back, Dunbar's Camontae Griffin has taken a huge move forward and helped the defending 1A champion Poets in their quest for their ninth state title.

Griffin was a starter until the sixth game of the year, when turnover problems relegated him to the bench.

"We realized he wasn't getting the job done as a starter, and felt like he'd do better after getting a good look at the game before going in," said Poets coach Eric Lee. "It turned out to be the best thing for him and for the team."

Griffin's fresh legs often jump-start the No. 3 Poets (21-2), who meet Cambridge-South Dorchester (22-3) in Friday afternoon's 1A semifinal.

In one of his best games, Griffin, who averages 10 points, seven assists and three steals, led five double-digit scorers with 16 points in an 82-61 rout of Lake Clifton.

Ducks have incentive

Having narrowly missed this year's Baltimore City title game, Douglass coach Rodney Coffield sees the final four as a shot at redemption. His 10th-ranked Ducks (21-5) meet Linganore (22-3) of Frederick in a Class 3A state semifinal tomorrow evening.

Coffield wears his chief source of motivation on one of the fingers on his hand: the ring symbolizing the Ducks' 28-0, Class 3A state championship season of 2002.

"I show it to the kids all the time," Coffield said. "If that doesn't motivate them, nothing will."

Banner year for Woodlawn

Woodlawn coach Eddie Green was a Poly senior in 1989 when the Warriors last reached the state semifinals.

"My assistant, Derrick Vincent, was a member of that Woodlawn team, so I was very familiar with the excitement that they felt," said Green, 32, in his third season. "There's a [regional championship] banner in our gym from that year, and the first thing I did when I got the job was point at it. I said, `We've got to get another one up there.' "

Woodlawn defeated Lake Clifton for the 4A North region crown, "but now, we want another one - we want a state championship banner," Green said.

The fourth-ranked Warriors (21-3) will try to achieve that tomorrow night when they meet Springbrook (23-3) of Montgomery County in the Class 4A semifinals.

Glen Burnie back on track

Seventh-ranked Glen Burnie fought through some internal problems this season, but the Gophers got it back together during the Class 4A East region playoffs.

"It's been a roller-coaster season with a lot of ups and downs for us," said senior guard Mitch Guest.

"We had a lot of stuff going, but we're past that now and we're a family again. We're together and going to do what we've got to do to win a championship. Playing with these guys is my heart."

Glen Burnie earned a return trip to the state semifinals at the Comcast Center with an impressive 58-29 romp over Thomas Stone on Saturday, and coach Mike Rudd is hoping last year's experience will be a plus for this year's team.

Glen Burnie (23-3) plays Northwestern (16-8) of Prince George's County at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

The Gophers lost a 67-63 overtime decision to Montgomery County's Magruder in last season's semifinal, and return two key players in Guest and 6-foot-7 center Branden Albert.

Albert will need help inside from 6-1 Delayne Nelson, 6-4 Chris Schrader, 6-3 Byron Smith and 6-2 Aaron Wright to battle the Wildcats, who have five players 6-5 or taller.

Jeff Green, an imposing 6-9 forward headed to Georgetown, leads the Wildcats.

"Their size is definitely a concern, but it's a one-game thing in the Comcast Center where anything can happen," said Rudd. "We learned a lot last year and just wanted to get another chance. Now we've got it and we're going after it."

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