After Annapolis, Glen Burnie has steadiest boys program

Notebook

December 21, 2005|By PAT O'MALLEY | PAT O'MALLEY,SUN REPORTER

Consistency in Anne Arundel County boys basketball is best measured by Annapolis. Coach John Brady, who set the state's all-time mark for wins by public school coaches last week, is working on an unprecedented 29th consecutive winning season.

After the Panthers, Glen Burnie is the next-most consistent county public school team.

The Gophers have had only two losing seasons since 1995-96 and have reeled off seven straight winning seasons under coach Mike Rudd.

No. 9 Annapolis and Glen Burnie entered this week with 4-0 records. . It's no surprise that Annapolis, with several key returnees, including 2004-05 Player of the Year Kevin Coates, is off to the fast start, but it is somewhat unexpected for the Gophers.

Glen Burnie lost six seniors, four of them starters, to graduation from last season's 15-8 team.

"As this team goes along, we keep getting better and better, and no one expected anything out of us," said Rudd, who is in his 10th season as head coach after nine seasons as an assistant to Terry Bogle, who was Rudd's high school coach.

"The only people who believed that we could get something special going was us. As the season goes on, I think we're going to be a team to reckon with."

Upstart Meade (2-2), with high scoring, 6-foot-4 senior Johann Jones, found out how tough the Gophers are. The Gophers overcame 31 points by Jones to remain unbeaten, knocking off the Mustangs at home, 71-69, Friday.

Garrett Blackstone, a 6-4 junior who Rudd said could emerge as one of the county's top players this season, had 30 points and seven rebounds against Meade.

"Garrett was phenomenal down the stretch and made some big baskets," said Rudd, who savored his 135th career win.

Blackstone had 17 points in a 58-53 victory over Broadneck in overtime earlier in the week. Junior guard Kareem Downs, who is the Gophers' only returning starter, added 13.

Rudd has also been getting contributions from several others, including reserves Antione Wepke, Jamar Snell and Taronce Stowes.

Including this year's start, Rudd's Gophers have gone 42-12 since 2004.

Brady's state record

None of the Annapolis players were aware that Brady had broken the state public schools record for career wins with his 593rd on Dec. 13 in a 63-47 victory over City.

"I thought he was going to get the record next game [a 62-41 win over Severna Park]," senior guard Justin Brown said with a laugh. "But it was this game. OK, congratulations, Coach."

Brady (594-112) himself played down the milestone.

"How many do I need to get to 700?" Brady asked. "I want people to have something to look forward to. They think I'm going out with 600, but I can't. I'm having too much fun to leave."

Girls basketball

No. 5 Arundel (2-0) handed a good Southern team its first loss, 63-53, last week as sophomore Ayanna Randolph emerged for coach Lee Rogers. Randolph scored 17 points for the Wildcats.

Senior Omara Parker had her biggest game of the season as Annapolis downed Severna Park, 44-38, to go to 3-0. Parker had 27 points and 14rebounds.

The Severn Admirals of coach Chuck Miller appear ready to defend their Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference title, as they are off to a 4-0 start.

Severn is getting balanced scoring from seniors Lindsay Hall and Faith Meisenberg and junior Jess Wilson. Also, freshmen Leanne Hug and Kate Dickerson are coming on fast.

One of the county's most underrated players is Northeast senior Carolyn Jenkins. Jenkins, who plays on a team that won only one game last season and is 0-2 this year, has proved to be adept at scoring.

The 5-9 Jenkins tied North County's Jazmine Johnson for game-high honors with 16 points in a 57-49 loss to the Knights (1-1).

patomalleysports@aol.com

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