Role players may decide St. Frances-City winner

January 09, 2008|By STEFEN LOVELACE, KATHERINE DUNN AND JEFF SEIDEL

One of the most intriguing games at this week's Basketball Academy will match the No. 5 City boys against No. 2 St. Frances at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Morgan State.

Maryland-bound St. Frances guard Sean Mosley has been scoring at will this season. What some might not know is that the Knights have a standout swing player of their own in 6-foot-6 forward C.J. Fair. The sophomore can do damage on the wing, where he can shoot jump shots over smaller opponents or drive to the basket.

With Mosley and Fair garnering most of the attention, the outcome might come down to how well the role players perform. The Panthers' Anthony Oquendo is a nice scoring option, but St. Frances might be lacking in size, with starting center Greg Lewis slowed by an ankle injury. Panthers coach William Wells said he hopes Lewis can return for tomorrow's game.

City will not be able to rely solely on Fair, and will need to get scoring help, possibly from Adam Johnson, Jordan Lathan and James Carmon.

The game shouldn't disappoint.

"As far as we're concerned, we're young, which is not an excuse and it's time for us to step up and play," City coach Mike Daniel said.

More Basketball Academy -- One of the main draws on the girls side of the event is the competition between Baltimore City and Baltimore County teams that don't usually play each other unless they meet in the playoffs. Western will play Dulaney and Catonsville, and City will face Catonsville. The city teams appear to have the edge with No. 3 Western and No. 7 City, while the county's Dulaney is No. 8 and Catonsville is unranked. Most of the teams are strongest in the backcourt, with Western's Akeema Richards and City's LaShay Taft (both All-Metro players) as well as Catonsville's Shamika Williams. Dulaney's strength is more on the inside with All-Metro forward/guard Danielle Parker, at 6-foot-1. Another interesting matchup will be when Dulaney meets No. 2 St. Frances. Parker, who played two years at St. Frances, will go up against some of her old teammates, including one of her best friends, 6-foot-1 center Kandice Green.

McDonogh softball -- Stacy Berg just returned from Buenos Aires, where she played on the American softball team that won a gold medal at the Pan American Maccabi Games. Berg played in three of the five United States games. She's a junior at McDonogh and played catcher and outfielder for the U.S. team in Argentina. The Americans beat Argentina, 6-0, in the championship game and finished with a 4-1 record, winning their final four games. The Games are held every four years.

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Teams that have played in every Basketball Academy since its inception in 1996 - Western girls, and Dunbar and Lake Clifton boys.Games to watch

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