Bits & Pieces: Howard County products experience March Madness

After the first weekend of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the field has been trimmed down to 16 teams and all four of our boys with Howard County ties have been eliminated. Eric Atkins (Notre Dame) and Anthony Lee (Temple) were each sent home after the second round, while Henry Sims and Greg Whittington (Georgetown) fell in round three.

Atkins scored seven points in his team's 67-63 loss to Xavier and was at the foul line with a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds. However, on his first attempt of a 1-and-1 with 2.8 seconds remaining, Notre Dame was called for a lane violation that gave Xavier the ball and allowed it to clinch the victory.

In Temple's 58-44 loss to South Florida, Lee played four minutes and registered one block.

Georgetown won its second-round game over Belmont, 74-59, and Sims and Whittington were both key contributors. Sims scored 15 points to go with five assists against the Bruins, while Whittington had seven points and four rebounds.

The Hoyas' season came to end against North Carolina State, 66-63, in the next round, though. Sims was hampered by foul trouble the entire game and scored just four points in 21 minutes. Whittington came off the bench to contribute six points and four rebounds, but it wasn't enough to help Georgetown advance to the Sweet 16.

While they won't be playing in the Final Four this spring, it was a lot of fun watching them play on the biggest stage. Well done, guys, you've done Howard County proud.

Locals power Washington College baseball

It isn't quite the NCAA tournament, but a handful of locals are making national news of their own with Division III Washington College baseball. After jumping out to a 13-1 record this season, the Shoremen have received Top 25 votes by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America for the first time in school history. Their 12-game winning streak ties a school record last set in 1937.

Howard County products on the team include Centennial graduates Shane Mattingly (Sr., RHP), Michael Long (Fr., RHP) and David Kendrick (Fr., RHP), Marriotts Ridge graduates Nick Marinelli (So., 2B/SS) and Patrick Watson (Fr., RHP), Reservoir graduates Steve Cameron (Sr., RHP) and Ben Cameron (So., LHP) and Mt. Hebron graduate Brian Lewis (So., LHP/1B).

Marinelli, who leads the team with 53 at-bats, is batting .340 with 17 runs, four extra base hits, 10 RBIs and six stolen bases. Mattingly leads the pitching staff with 24 innings pitched, two wins, 35 strikeouts, three walks and a .75 ERA.

The team's only loss this season is to seventh-ranked Salisbury, which features Ellicott City's Danny Druzgala (Mount St. Joseph).

Tour de Cure comes to Howard County

I see that a bike ride called Tour de Cure will be coming to Howard County May 5, with a start/finish at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center in Glenwood. It's a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association featuring a set of rides from a 10-mile family fun ride to a 63-mile Century ride through the Howard County countryside. Each rider must raise the required minimum of $200 to fund diabetes research.

You may either form a team or ride individually. The early registration fee is just $15, and $10 more on the day of the event. You may also register online at

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