Atholton learns from '05

Raiders get to final four after falling short last year



Details, details.

That's what Atholton girls basketball coach Maureen Shacreaw was considering when she wrote a list of about 15 things her Raiders could have done differently following the team's one-point loss to Potomac in last year's Class 2A South regional championship game.

A put-back here or there, a made free throw or two, a key rebound or the one time the team didn't get back on defense.

Shacreaw reviewed the list with her Raiders prior to the start of this season and then posted it in the locker room during the season.

A second review came prior to Friday's 52-47 regional title win over McDonough of Charles County, which sent the No. 11 Raiders to their first state tournament since 1982.

Shacreaw said she told her players not to be the one to say "I should have done that one thing."

Boosted by their pressure defense and composed play in the final minutes, the Raiders will meet Milford Mill in Friday's 2A state semifinal game at 3 p.m. at UMBC's RAC Arena.

The Raiders also proved bigger isn't always better. In a 52-51 win over Calvert in the regional semifinals last Wednesday, the Raiders overcame a dominating, 31-point performance from 6-foot-3 center Whitney Johnson.

In Friday's regional title win over McDonough, Julie Taylor, Taylor Chapman and Kayla DesPortes each reached double figures to offset a 30-point effort from the Rams' 6-foot standout, Ashley Thompson.

During that same talk back in November, the Raiders set out to reach the county's first championship game, earn the top seed in the region and then win the region. Their last goal for the season is to bring the program its first state title.

"I think these close games will benefit us. The kids have had to play with the pressure and stepped up," Shacreaw said.

Hawks return to states

At this time last year, in a span of one week, the River Hill girls basketball team experienced the extreme high a season can bring, quickly followed by an ultimate low.

After ending a six-year drought to stake claim to their first regional title with a win over three-time defending champ Gwynn Park from Prince George's County, the Hawks went into their first state semifinal appearance with a 25-0 mark and plenty of confidence.

But after building a 15-point lead in the third quarter against Milford Mill, they faltered in the fourth and were stunned, 68-59.

The No. 8 Hawks, once again undefeated at 26-0, hope to turn last year's negative into a positive tomorrow when they take on Urbana of Frederick County in the Class 3A state semifinals at UMBC.

"Last year, I think we may have came in with a little too much confidence. This time, we're going in with confidence, but we know what it's like. We're not going to be as nervous, we know what the court is like and I think we're going to be ready," senior Cari Haas said.

The Hawks already have a regular-season win against Urbana, which got past Montgomery County's Paint Branch, 56-55, to win the West region behind 28 points from senior forward Catherine Mills.

Versatile Maybin

While football is Mount Hebron senior Aaron Maybin's passion - he will play at Penn State next fall - the 6-4, 238-pound standout showed his versatility when it comes to winter sports.

After finishing fourth in the state as a heavyweight wrestler last year, his first season on the mat, Maybin turned to basketball this year and made a big contribution for the Vikings' frontcourt.

"I really like to experiment with different sports, and basketball really helped me in terms of athleticism and footwork," Maybin, a first-team All-Metro lineman in the fall, said.

Maybin added that wrestling this season would have caused a conflict with the weight lifting and nutrition programs he's on in preparation for playing college football. For the Vikings' basketball team, he scored a career-high 21 points in a late-season game against Howard. He also scored 16 in a game against Urbana and reached double figures in rebounds in four games.

Charm City Challenge

Three Howard boys basketball players will participate in the Charm City Challenge, set for April 2 at the Towson Center.

In the opening game at 3 p.m., Howard forward Chris Hahn and Long Reach center Darryl Webb will represent the Suburban All-Stars against the City All-Stars. In the featured game at 5 p.m., Howard center Chris Moore will play for the Baltimore All-Stars vs. the U.S. All-Stars.

Ticket prices range from $10 (for students with identification) to $50 for courtside. For more information, call 410-605-9381.

Mixing soccer, family

Former Centennial girls soccer coach Mike Senisi, who recently stepped down after 10 years to spend more time with his family, will do part of that on a soccer field.

He plans to start a soccer clinic for children between the ages of 3 and 5, which would include his 4-year-old son. Senisi and his wife also have infant twins.

In his 10 seasons at Centennial, the Eagles went 111-34-14 with two state championships and three county titles.

"I think the key to the success was just carrying on the tradition and being ready and competitive in every game situation," Senisi said. "We had a good mix within the community ... and always had strong support from the administration."

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