Owls fight to rebuild after loss of Cooke

Inexperience hurts at point guard

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January 21, 2007|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to the Sun

A season that began with lofty expectations has turned into one of uncertainty for the Westminster girls basketball team, which learned recently that it will be without sophomore point guard Cassie Cooke - possibly the top player in Carroll County - for the remainder of the season.

Cooke, who was averaging 15.3 points, 8.3 assists and 5.2 steals over her first nine games this season, hasn't played since the start of the new year, and her name has been removed from the team's roster.

Owls coach Jerry Georgiana and athletic director Terry Molloy would only confirm that Cooke was off the team, declining to disclose the reason.

After starting the season 7-2, Westminster had dropped three of four without Cooke heading into Friday's game against powerful Century.

"It's sad when that happens, but it is better [to have it happen now] because it gives us a chance to rebuild," Georgiana said. "It's definitely a different look. We'll have to work as a team."

Cooke had also played a pivotal role on defense, leading the team's full-court pressure that forced countless turnovers during the first half of the season.

Georgiana has put another sophomore, Ali Thompson, in the point guard position, though the bulk of her experience has come as a shooting guard.

"Right now she's really inexperienced, but I think in the next few weeks she's going to step up, as well as the seniors," he said.

Making the situation doubly difficult was Georgiana's ejection from his team's game against Urbana Jan. 2 for arguing with the referees. That forced an automatic one-game suspension, which the school's administration decided to double.

"The girls are really working hard, and in the next couple weeks we're going to see some positive improvement," Georgiana said.

Basketball honors

A pair of local boys basketball standouts have been honored by the Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

Century's Brandon Beccio was selected as the MVAL's Chesapeake Conference Player of the Week after leading the Knights to a pair of conference victories. Against Linganore, he had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and then came back against North Carroll to finish with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Winter's Mill's Jimmy Dorsey won the MVAL's Piedmont Conference honor by scoring a season-high 37 points to go along with eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals in the Falcon's 80-75 triple-overtime win over Walkersville.

Racing victories

Distance standout Katie Hursey took home gold medals in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter races last week to lead No. 4 North Carroll to victory at last weekend's MVAL Chesapeake Conference indoor track championships.

The Panthers hadn't finished better than third since the event's inception in 2003.

North Carroll also captured victories in the 800 and 1,600 relays, and scored big points when Jess Huber and Sophie Thomas finished first and second, respectively, in the pole vault.

The win came just a week after North Carroll recorded victories in nine of 13 events to walk away with an 80-point victory at the Carroll County Championships.

The team will compete in the Virginia Tech Invitational this weekend, with regional and state meets to follow in February.

To submit news and story ideas about Carroll County high school athletics, contact Rich Scherr at CarrollSports@comcast.net.

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