Baltimore Area's Best

March 05, 2006

The Baltimore area's top 20 boys basketball teams of all time, according to The Sun's Pat O'Malley, who has covered local sports and basketball for 37 years and has covered and/or seen every team listed below:

1. Dunbar, 1982-83

Record -- 31-0

Coach -- Bob Wade

Skinny -- The Poets' first of three mythical national titles was led by a trio that would play in the NBA: 5-foot-3 point guard Muggsy Bogues, Reggie Williams and Reggie Lewis.

2. Dunbar, 1991-92

Record -- 28-0

Coach -- Pete Pompey

Skinny -- This was the third national champion at the East Baltimore school. Led by Keith Booth, Michael Lloyd and Donta Bright, this team beat nine nationally ranked teams.

3. Calvert Hall, 1981-82

Record -- 34-0

Coach -- Mark Amatucci

Skinny -- Considered the best Baltimore Catholic League team ever, the Alhambra-champion Cardinals won a national crown playing a national schedule that included a stop in Las Vegas. The team was led by future stars Duane Ferrell, Marc Wilson and Paul Edwards.

4. Dunbar, 1972-73

Record -- 19-0

Coach -- Sugar Cain

Skinny -- This Poets team, led by Skip Wise, Larry Gibson, Donnie Joy and Billy Snowden, put Baltimore basketball on the map with an 85-71 victory over DeMatha and Adrian Dantley at the Civic Center. The legendary Cain retired after the game.

5. Douglass, 2001-02

Record -- 28-0

Coach -- Rodney Coffield

Skinny -- Coffield, a Bob Wade protege at Dunbar, led the high-flying Ducks to the school's first state title in Class 3A. Sun Player of the Year Tyler Smith set the tempo for fellow All-Metro players Gerald Brown and Richard Dorsey.

6. Dunbar, 1984-85

Record -- 29-1

Coach -- Bob Wade

Skinny -- The Dozier twins, Perry and Terry, transferred from Hammond to team up with Kurk Lee, Karl James and Clarence Hutton for a second national championship.

7. Dunbar, 1981-82

Record -- 29-0

Coach -- Bob Wade

Skinny -- Had it not been for Calvert Hall's banner season, this could have been another Poets national championship team.

8. St. Frances, 1995-96

Record -- 28-4

Coach -- William Wells

Skinny -- Junior Mark Karcher took Most Valuable Player honors in leading this Panthers team to the third and last Alhambra title won by a Baltimore team. Karcher was complemented by Shawn Hampton and Darran Byrd.

9. Calvert Hall, 1980-81

Record -- 29-2

Coach -- Mark Amatucci

Skinny -- This Cardinals team will always be remembered for its triple-overtime victory against Dunbar at a standing-room-only Towson Center. The Edwards brothers, Darryl and Paul, along with Duane Ferrell and Marc Wilson, set the stage for a national title the next season.

10. Mount St. Joseph, 1970-71

Record -- 24-2

Coach -- Gene Nieberlein

Skinny -- Milt Walker and Barry Scroggins led the Gaels to a stunning Maryland Scholastic Association title win at Dunbar that led to a brawl and the eventual formation of the Catholic League. Walker took MVP honors at the Alhambra tournament, but the Gaels lost to DeMatha, 53-51, in the final.

11. Lake Clifton, 1975-76

Record -- 23-2

Coach -- Woody Williams

Skinny -- Ernie Graham, Arnold Gaines and Pop Wright were among 10 Lakers who received college scholarships and won the MSA A Conference title.

12. Loyola, 1975-76

Record -- 27-6

Coach -- Jerry Savage

Skinny -- This was the best team in Savage's 36-year run at Blakefield, with senior Bob Barry, junior Pete Budko and sophomore Tony Guy. The Dons lost, 44-41, in overtime to Roman Catholic in the Alhambra final.

13. City, 1965-66

Record -- 20-0

Coach -- Jerry Phipps

Skinny -- Leroy Dedmon and Henry Gareis led the Black Knights to a pair of wins over Dunbar in the best season in school history.

14. Dunbar, 1971-72

Record -- 18-0

Coach -- Sugar Cain

Skinny -- Penalized by the MSA for a brawl with Mount St. Joseph at the end of the previous season, the Poets had to play all their games on the road and won every one of them with junior Skip Wise leading the way.

15. Southern, 1993-94

Record -- 23-1

Coach -- Meredith Smith

Skinny -- Winning its second straight state title, this Bulldogs team led by Damon Cason and Kevin Simpson also upset nationally No. 1-ranked Rice of New York. Southern's only loss was against Southwestern in the game after the Rice victory.

16. Cardinal Gibbons, 1978-79

Record -- 27-5

Coach -- Ray Mullis

Skinny -- The Quintin Dailey-led Crusaders lost to eventual Alhambra champion DeMatha, with Bob Ferry and Dereck Whittenburg, 67-65, in the semifinals. Dailey was named Most Outstanding Player.

17. Southwestern, 1996-97

Record -- 27-0

Coach -- Terry Leverett

Skinny -- The Sabers earned their first 4A state title and first No. 1 ranking with a perfect season that included dealing Dunbar its first home loss since 1988. Ranked No. 10 in the East by USA Today, the Sabers were led by Cornelius McMurray and Dion Smith.

18. St. Frances, 1996-97

Record -- 32-6

Coach -- William Wells

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