Great year for Becker

less so for N. Harford

Senior shines as his team struggles

Notebook

January 28, 2007|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Reporter

As the North Harford boys basketball team begins to fade, the disappointment comes through clearly in the voice of senior shooting guard Joe Becker.

Becker, 6 feet 2, had built up his hopes for a strong finish to his high school career by making a trip to the state tournament. Those aspirations were fueled by a recent three-game winning streak, but have dimmed significantly with a current slide to a 4-10 record.

"I wanted a different ending to my career," Becker said.

Becker has had an outstanding four-year career that has seen him score 1,032 points and lead the team this season in every major category through the first 14 games. He averages 17.7 points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists, and shoots 79 percent from the free-throw line.

"It validates some of the hard work I've done and something I'll always have with me," he said. "I play basketball 320 days a year outside and inside. If I can't find a place to play at first, I'll keep looking until I do."

Becker surpassed the 1,000- point mark nine days ago in a game against Perryville, scoring 18 points to reach 1,007 in his career and hitting a three-pointer to make it to 1,000.

He scored a career-high 35 points last season in a victory over Bohemia Manor, erupting for 17 points in the first quarter.

"That was the hottest I've ever been," Becker said. "I was five of six on threes in the first quarter. I hit everything pretty much from the outside in the first half. Then in the second half, I had some 10-footers, 5-footers, and layups."

Despite his individual accomplishments, Becker keeps coming back to the team's disappointing 4-10 season, which includes an 0-9 start.

"Our team lost a lot of confidence during that 0-9 start," said Becker who has a 3.7 grade point average and is looking for a business career once his college days are over.

As far as basketball in college is concerned, the Hawks' star believes he'll have to settle for a career at the Division III level.

Under construction

"We'll be the nomads for a while," said Bel Air athletic director Phyllis Hemmes last week as she looked ahead to five years without a practice field for the two sports she coaches, field hockey and softball. "They started putting the fences up Wednesday to begin construction on the infrastructure for the new Bel Air High School they're building."

Hemmes said it will take three years to complete the new school at the site of the present Bel Air High, and then another two years to get the new athletic fields ready to play on.

She said the school will use Kelly Field and Tollgate Field, which are located a mile from the school, as interim practice sites for field hockey, softball and lacrosse until the new fields are ready.

bfree7066@hotmail.com

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