Basketball title games a hit



Two packed gyms. The standout players standing out. And the county's two top basketball teams - the Long Reach boys and River Hill girls - further punctuating the fact.

Last week's inaugural county championship games were a success across the board, as the No. 9 Lightning primed for the regional playoffs with a 61-52 win over rival Howard on Feb. 21 in front of an overflow crowd. At River Hill, the No. 8 Hawks captured their fourth straight county title with a 66-47 win over Atholton in front of another big crowd.

"I was real pleased overall with the level of sportsmanship between the teams, the leadership the coaches and administrators showed and the energized crowds. It was a good night of basketball in the county," the county's supervisor of athletics, Mike Williams, said.

Lightning senior forward Darryl Webb continued to be the county's most dominant player with a game-high 32 points to go with 12 rebounds. At River Hill, senior guard Keisha Eaddy, last year's Howard County Player of the Year, put on a do-it-all performance with 21 points, 11 rebounds and six steals.

Next school year, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, baseball and softball will join volleyball and basketball in having county championship games. With the addition of Marriotts Ridge at the varsity level, the 12 schools will be divided into two divisions.

Reedy returns

Former Mount Hebron three-sport coach Mark Reedy has agreed to coach again, but this time, he will be coaching the Hammond outdoor track and field program this spring.

Reedy, who stepped down after the 2004 cross country season, has been working as a personal coach for several track and field athletes at Century and Liberty in Carroll County, but said he couldn't ignore the itch to coach a team.

"I've always believed that when done properly, track and field is a team sport," he wrote in an e-mail. "I missed the aspect of developing 100 kids, in 18 events, to produce one strong team."

Stara to West Virginia

West Virginia University was an easy sell for River Hill soccer standout Matt Stara, who signed to play for the Mountaineers last week.

From the coaching staff to the small campus in Morgantown to the team's recent success, Stara sees it as a win-win situation.

"Basically, I just liked how they approached everything, and I really enjoyed the campus. It's a small little town where everybody gets along - there's the college and mountains," said Stara, a first-team All-Metro defender who was Howard County's Player of the Year in the fall.

Stara, a member of four state title teams, will join a program coming off a winning season that included a trip to the second round of the NCAA playoffs.

More Hammond titles

Hammond High may need to add space to its trophy case with the continued success of the wrestling team.

The Golden Bears (23-1) have already won county and Class 2A-1A state dual meet crowns this season and will look to add a state tournament title this weekend at College Park.

Groves honored

Freshman point guard Julia Groves is making a splash in her first season at Chapelgate Christian. Averaging 13 points, five rebounds and four assists per game, she's been named to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference All-Star team.

Pallotti, which captured the B Conference crown, had three players make the All-Star list in Annesia Faulkner, Beth Ann Fusco and Ashley Lyles.

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