For Seton Keough and St. Frances, basketball season's not over yet


April 01, 2009|By From Sun staff reports

It's two weeks into spring, but the winter sports season is still going for three area basketball teams. The No. 2 St. Frances boys and the No. 1 Seton Keough and No. 2 St. Frances girls will polish off their seasons with appearances in the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational this weekend at Georgetown Prep's Hanley Center.

St. Frances is one of only two schools with boys and girls in the tournament; the other is Virginia's Oak Hill. Jerome Shelton, the Panthers' athletic director and girls basketball coach, welcomed the chance to play in such a high-profile event, the first of its kind.

"It just speaks to the level of success that we've had in both programs, and I think it gives us an opportunity to display the talent and the physical gifts that our players have," Shelton said.

The Panthers boys (33-4), who won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League titles, will take on St. Benedict's from New Jersey at 4 p.m. Friday in a game that will be aired on ESPNU. Among the others in the eight-team boys field are Oak Hill, the No. 1 team in the ESPN Rise Fab 50, Findlay Prep from Nevada, No. 2 in the Fab 50, and Montrose Christian.

Two of the other teams are familiar to the locals: Riverdale Baptist and Oak Hill. Riverdale Baptist, The Washington Post's No. 1 team, has beaten No. 3 City, No. 5 Western and No. 7 Arundel, as well as Oak Hill. Oak Hill defeated Western, 59-53, at the Breezy Bishop Showcase in December.

The Panthers girls (26-3) will meet Riverdale Baptist on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., followed by Seton Keough (23-8) vs. Oak Hill at 6:30, with both games on ESPNU.

"The competition and the exposure are great, and it gives us a chance to play against a top-notch opponent in an environment that I think is going to be very exciting, so I'm looking forward to it. If you win, you play again on television. If you lose, you're finished," Shelton said.

The boys competition continues Saturday, with both finals on Sunday, girls at 12:30 p.m. and boys at 3.

Katherine Dunn

Big lacrosse Friday

The MIAA A Conference opens league play Friday, and two of the best games will be in Anne Arundel County.

A rivalry game gets the day started when No. 10 Severn visits No. 8 Archbishop Spalding at 4 p.m., and then No. 3 St. Mary's will get an immediate test when it plays host to No. 1 Gilman in Annapolis at 7 p.m.

"It's a huge game, but every game in the MIAA is," St. Mary's coach Matt Hogan said. "It's certainly an interesting way to start out in the MIAA, but what better way? There will be a lot of energy and electricity out there."

Both teams have standouts. St. Mary's is led by attackman Nick Doub, midfielder Mark McNeill and defenseman Jason Gonos, while the Greyhounds counter with midfielders Jack Doyle and Greg McBride, attackman Marcus Holman and defenseman Harry Prevas.

Both teams also have depth.

"There are some matchups that are good for us and some matchups that are good for them. It's which team better exploits them," Hogan said.

Glenn Graham

Flights of poetry

The Dunbar baseball team, like the football team, seems to be rolling to victory after victory. The Poets are dominating their competition with double-digit victories, the latest an 18-2 romp over Reginald Lewis that brings them to 4-0.

"We have a veteran team, and it seems like it is all coming together for us," Poets coach Don Gilbert said.

Seniors Chris Boynton (outfield) and Andrew Stokes (pitcher-catcher) are the four-year starters anchoring the team. Stokes led the state in hitting two years ago and was in the top 10 last season. This season, he's hitting a little better than .400. Boynton is batting .583, going 7-for-12 with 13 runs, 13 steals and four walks.

And those two aren't even the team's leading hitters. Those honors go to junior outfielder Josh Milton, hitting .778, and sophomore Marvin King (pitcher-catcher), who is batting better than .600.

"It really is a nice nucleus," Gilbert said. "And it's not going anywhere. I think we really do have this program rolling now."

Sandra McKee

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