Hoops friends foes on court

Henry Sims and Sean Mosley are rivals once the season starts

Boys Basketball

December 05, 2007|By Stefen Lovelace | Stefen Lovelace,Sun Reporter

Off the basketball court, Henry Sims and Sean Mosley have become good friends.

Sims, a 6-foot-11 center from Mount St. Joseph, and Mosley, a 6-4 guard from St. Frances, are two of the best players in the metro area and have built a friendship after attending many of the same high-profile basketball camps the past three summers.

"We eat together, sit and talk about games and joke around," Sims said of their bond at camps. "We're the only two people that know each other from the same area, so it was kind of just natural to happen."

When they step on the court, however, that friendship is put on pause.

"We'll joke around, walk by and say, `You ready to take that L?' " Sims said. "But when the ball goes up and that clock starts, there's no friendships after that."

Sims and Mosley are seniors, and their success in high school and summer camps has led them to big-time college basketball programs.

Sims will attend Georgetown, and Mosley will go to Maryland.

In their final high school season, they share the same aspirations: to win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League championships.

"Since my freshman year, I always wanted to win the BCL and MIAA, so that's my goal this year since I haven't achieved it the last three years," Mosley said. "Off the court, we're closest friends, but on the court, we're always enemies."

The Panthers won the BCL during Mosley's freshman season, but St. Frances never has won the BCL and A Conference crowns in the same season during his high school career.

Sims' Gaels won both titles during his sophomore season, and also captured the A Conference title when he was a freshman.

Mount St. Joseph has set the standard in boys basketball, winning a state-record 38 games two years ago and the BCL title three of the past five seasons.

How far Mount St. Joseph can go this season depends greatly on Sims.

"I think Henry has something to prove to himself," Gaels coach Pat Clatchey said. "He played on championship teams his freshman and sophomore years, and now this is it for him. He's a senior and he should be an impact player for us."

To get the title, Mount St. Joseph will have to get through a Mosley-led St. Frances team that has been a major thorn in the Gaels' side the past three seasons.

The Panthers denied the Gaels from winning a third consecutive BCL title in 2005, upsetting them in the tournament semifinals.

Last season, St. Frances beat the Gaels twice, with the first victory ending their 20-game league winning streak.

Mosley was instrumental in last season's wins, averaging 19 points per game against Mount St. Joseph.

"Sean comes with more fire in those games," Sims said. "He has more hunger and motivation when he plays us."

Stopping Mosley has been a difficult task for any team, including Mount St. Joseph.

"I think Sean will go down as one of the better players to ever play in the BCL and the MIAA," Clatchey said. "The thing I respect about Sean is his toughness and versatility as a player. He's a really tough matchup on the high school level because of his combination of size, athleticism and skill level."

Mosley fully expects Sims to be just as determined as he is.

"Henry improved a lot throughout the years he's played at St. Joe," Mosley said. "He has the same mind-set I have this year: just win."

Sims and Mosley want to finish their high school careers on a high note, meaning this season's games between the Gaels and Panthers will be among the most anticipated of the season.

"It's sort of like the game of the week. You can bet on that one," St. Frances coach William Wells said.

Added Sims: "This year, me and him are going nose to nose. We're the two best players, so that's going to be a great game for everyone.

"I highly recommend people attending that game."

stefen.lovelace@baltsun.com

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