Boys Basketball State Semifinals

March 09, 2006|By PAT O'MALLEY, GLENN GRAHAM, LEM SATTERFIELD AND RICH SCHERR.

THE GAMES (At Comcast Center, College Park)

Today

Class 3A

No. 8 Mervo (21-4) vs. Lackey (24-1)

TIME -- 3 p.m.

OUTLOOK -- Mervo stunned last year's 4A state champion, Walbrook, 54-48, to win the North region. Lackey has emerged victorious from a South region traditionally dominated by Prince George's County schools and is trying to win only the second title for teams from its Southern Maryland Athletic Conference. G Walter Saunders, 6-foot C Antoine Williams and 6-4 F John Williams average 18, 15 and 14 points, respectively, for Mervo. The Chargers of Charles County rely on 6-8 F Tayvon Jackson, who averages more than 15 points and nearly 12 rebounds.

No. 9 Long Reach (24-2) vs. Seneca Valley (24-0)

TIME -- 5 p.m.

OUTLOOK -- Depth and defense carried Long Reach in its 39-35 win over Annapolis for the East regional crown. Seneca Valley has defeated its opponents by an average of 15 points. Handling the Screamin' Eagles' pressure defense and getting the ball inside will be the keys for the Lightning offense. F Darryl Webb (16 points, 12 rebounds) and F Daevon Wall (14, 6.5) are the go-to players. Seneca Valley has five players averaging eight or more points, led by G Brandon Saunders (13).

Class 4A

No. 4 Southwestern (23-3) vs. Eleanor Roosevelt (24-1)

TIME -- 7 p.m.

OUTLOOK -- The Raiders of Prince George's County, ranked No. 4 by The Washington Post, have won 13 straight games and set a school record for victories. They are led by 6-6 F Darnell Dodson (16 points, 8 rebounds) and 6-6 F Jordon Morris (14 points, 10 rebounds). The Sabers boast 6-3 All-Metro G Jamal Barney (27.5 points, 6 assists, 5.2 rebounds), 6-5 F Jarwand Rheubottom (17.5 points, 15.1 rebounds) and 6-8 F Wayne Dorsey (15 points, 13 rebounds).

No. 7 Old Mill (24-2) vs. Walt Whitman (22-3)

TIME -- 9 p.m.

OUTLOOK -- The Patriots are making their second straight appearance in College Park in a matchup of two teams that have never won a state title. The senior trio of G Andrew Engel (15.4 points., 4.7 assists), 6-6 F Derek Harris (10.8 points, 9.2 rebounds) and 6-8 C Rodney Stokes (11.3 points, 9.6 rebounds) has led the team to a school record for wins. The Vikings from Montgomery County are ranked No. 12 by The Washington Post. They don't match up well in size with the Patriots, but G Michael Gruner averages 20.1 points and the Whitman defense has held its past 10 foes to 38 points or fewer.

Tomorrow

CLASS 1A

No. 10 Dunbar (16-6) vs. New Town (22-4)

TIME -- 3 p.m.

OUTLOOK -- In a rare final four clash of teams from Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Dunbar is seeking its area-high 11th state title and must get by New Town, a second-year varsity program. The Poets rely on the forward tandem of 6-4 Marcus Taylor (16.8 points, 4.8 rebounds) and 6-6 Delano Johnson (16.8 points, 6.6 rebounds). The undersized Titans have a six-game winning streak behind sharpshooting G Corin Henry (19 points, 8.2 assists) and 6-0 G Stuart Clarke (13.5 points, 6.7 assists, 5.2 rebounds).

CLASS 2A

No. 2 Randallstown (24-1) vs. Potomac (22-4)

Time -- 7 p.m.

Outlook -- Last year's 3A king, Randallstown, attempts to oust the reigning 2A champion, Potomac of Prince George's County. The Rams of Baltimore County must rely on the experience of second-team All-Metro G Johnny Higgins, who is averaging nearly 30 points and seven assists. The only other Ram averaging in double figures is 6-4 F Darrell Bryant (11.7 points, 8 rebounds). The Wolverines return 6-4 F Bobby Shannon (27.3 points, 10.1 rebounds) and G Ricardo Pride (20.3 points).

No. 14 Winters Mill (23-2) vs. Wicomico (23-3)

TIME -- 9 p.m.

OUTLOOK -- Winters Mill is making its debut in the state final four and is just the second school from Carroll County to make it there in 17 years. The Indians are making their 18th appearance since 1948 and the seventh under coach Butch Waller, who is stepping down after 40 seasons. Waller led the Indians to their only state title in 2002 and is the second-winningest active public school coach with 579 wins.

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