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SAGE: ANNAPOLIS TO AVENGE DUNBAR LOSS WITH SOUTHERN

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Kim Miller and her teammates at North County High led Prophet Pat's downfall last week. Man, did they make the rage of a sage look bad.

Miscalculating twice on North County girls basketball games, the renowned Prophet went an embarrassing 2-4 last week. The poor showing dropped the Prophet's overall average below .700 for the first time since way back in the fall.

The Prophet goes into this week's six-pack with an overall 110-49record, which on the calculator comes out to a .692 percentage. Thatpercentage would be acceptable for most other prognosticators, but for the Prophet, it's far below his high standards.

Last Friday, the North County girls avenged an earlier 64-43 loss to Old Mill by defeating the Patriots, 62-57. That totally defied the Prophet's three-point pick of Old Mill.

Then, just this Tuesday, the Knights held on for a 58-53 victory over streaking Arundel, which the Prophet had made the one-point favorite.

Miller saw to it that the Prophet got zapped by scoring 40 points in the two games and lifting the Knights'overall record to 13-3.

Broadneck was another school that contributed to the Prophet's downfall, only in its case it was both the boysand girls teams. THe Broadneck boys snapped out of their mini-slump (two losses in a row) by sticking it to Northeast, 74-62, last Friday. The sage made Northeast a one-point favorite.

The Bruin girls also were tabbed to lose to Northeast by a point but rolled, 43-28.

On the positive side of the scorecard, the Prophet hit on the Arundeland Old Mill boys games. Arundel, a one-point pick over Glen Burnie,won, 57-55, while Old Mill came from behind to cover the three-pointspread and nip Southern of Harwood, 75-71.

The Prophet is ready to turn this thing around in serious fashion, so let's roll, sports fans.

Boys basketball

Southern of Baltimore at Annapolis, 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Here we go again, Baltimore's best against Anne ArundelCounty's best. Southern of Baltimore (13-4), ranked No. 2 by The Sun, comes calling at No. 4 Annapolis (15-2) tomorrow night with the host Panthers getting a chance to redeem themselves.

Back on Jan. 19,Annapolis was hammered by top-ranked Dunbar of Baltimore, 80-61, andwill be out to prove it should return to the No. 2 ranking it held before that loss.

Dunbar (21-1) destroyed Southern a week after Annapolis, 81-47. That's a 34-point margin as opposed to the 19 points Annapolis lost by, but those numbers can be deceiving.

Southern is much better than it showed in that Dunbar game or it wouldn't be ranked so high. Just this Tuesday, the Bulldogs outlasted eighth-ranked Cardinal Gibbons (16-8) of Baltimore, 52-47, with John Salley leading the way.

Salley, who had 14 points and 10 boards in the Gibbons victory but only six points against Dunbar, is a 6-foot-7 senior center. He was a Street & Smith preseason Maryland honorable-mention Al-American and is definitely a main concern for Annapolis.

Also, there are 6-6 Kwame Evans, 6-4 Che Evans and slick 5-10 senior guard David Cason. Cason is a great ball handler and shooter as evidenced by the 16 points he had against Dunbar.

Southern is similar to Dunbar, but not as good. Annapolis should win this game, provided it plays its game and Dennis Edwards comes to play. Another factor is how Annapolis played last night at Baltimore Poly.

A bad outing at Poly could affect the play of the Fighting Panthers tomorrow night against Southern. A win at Poly should have the Panthers ready to go for the Southern jugular.

On Monday, Annapolis, in the words of Coach John Brady, played "our best all-around game of the season. All 15 players played well." Annapolis buried Queen Anne's, 110-65, with Edwards bagging 33 and 6-9 senior Jon Holden scoring a career-high 17 points.

Sogoes Edwards, go the Panthers.

Annapolis plus 2 over Southern.

Old Mill at Meade, 7 p.m. Friday.

This game coupled with what happens in the Southern at Annapolis game could determine who ends up top seed with the home-court advantage in the 4A Region IV playoffs.

Annapolis (15-2) holds a slim lead for the top spot over Old Mill (15-3), and all games count (except Christmas tournaments). Even those outside the county count in the playoff race.

The Prophet believesthat the law of averages is going to run out on this Old Mill team. The old saying that "it's better to be lucky than good" applies to Old Mill, and the sage doesn't mean that Old Mill is not a good team because it is.

But Old Mill is also very lucky, winning more games than it had a right to or was expected to. Just this past Tuesday, while Meade (14-4) was downing Glen Burnie, 72-60, Old Mill came back to edge Southern of Harwood, 75-71. Southern led practically all the way until the final few minutes when Old Mill took over.

You can only do that so many times when you are not blessed with great height in this 4A league. The Prophet believes the Patriots have gone to the well too many times and are going to be thirsty from here on in.

Meade will take the rubber match between the two tomorrow night as OldMill's Cinderella season begins to unravel.

Meade plus 1 over OldMill.

Severn at Boys' Latin of Baltimore, 7:30 p.m. Friday

Coach Jim Doyle has done a great job with this young, but seasoned, Admiral team that ran its record to 10-5 Monday with a 77-52 romp over Arlington Baptist of Baltimore County in the Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference.

Jake Mack, a 5-foot-10 sophomore guard, has been on fire lately for the upstart Admirals and popped in 19 points Monday. He is typical of the youth of this team, which is the best Severn basketball team in more than a decade.

Tomorrow they have a chance to move into a first-place tie with host Boys' Latin in Division II of the MSA C Conference. A Severn victory would leave both teams at 6-3 in league play. There is no question that St. Paul's (10-0 Division I and 17-2 overall) is far and away the best team in the C Conference, but Severn can make a strong argument for next best by winningthis one.

The Prophet believes that the Admirals (7-13 a year ago) are ready to get over the hump and win the big one. Look for Mack, fellow sophomores Brad Fowler and 6-3 Chris Pitkin, juniors Jason Moran and Mike Fisher plus senior Brendan Hagerty to put it all together.

Severn plus 1 over Boys' Latin.

Northeast at Severna Park, 7 p.m. Tuesday

This is a must win for the host Falcons, who are fighting for one of the final two playoff spots in 4A Region IV. Severna Park (7-10) moved toward that goal Tuesday night with a 70-58 win over Chesapeake.

There is less pressure on Northeast, which is already in as one of the top seeds in Class 2A Region III. Coach Johnny Barbour's Eagles are 12-5 overall, including Tuesday's 63-48 blitz at Queen Anne's in which Gene Pleyo had 22 points and six rebounds.

Back on Dec. 27 in the Bob Pascal Tournament at Chesapeake High, Northeast defeated Severna Park, 83-72. History repeats itself.

Northeastplus 2 over Severna Park.

Girls basketball

St. Mary's at Spalding, 7 p.m. tonight

The Prophet has some real bad news for the home team Cavaliers. Whatever hopes Spalding had of winning the Baltimore Catholic League will be history after tonight.

Spalding is 12-8 overall, 2-2 in the Baltimore Catholic A Division, and Coach Paul Leimkuhler has done a good job with it, but it is not in the class of this St. Mary's team.

Ranked No. 3 in the metro area, the Saints of retiring Coach Carmine Blades are as sharp right now as the coach's last name. The Saints clicked for their 13th in a row Tuesday night by55-35 over Annapolis, as Randall Goldsborough and freshman Bridget Smith combined for 28 points.

St. Mary's is 16-5 overall and 2-2 inthe Catholic League, a game behind both Notre Dame Prep and Seton Keough (both 3-1). The Saints play those teams next Tuesday and Thursday, so there is no way they will mess up their chances by being upset at Spalding.

The Saints are simply too talented and too deep.

St. Mary's plus 8 over Spalding.

Broadneck at North County, 5:15 p.m. Friday.

All right, girls, who does the Prophet go with in this one? Each of you burned him last week, you know.

Broadneck has come on in the last few games, but North County is stampeding. The Knights of Sally Entsminger look like they finally have found themselves in what has been quite a transition year with Andover and Brooklyn Park combining.

The Brooklyn Park girls were used to winning state championships on a regular basis while the Entsminger-coached Andover teams were always competitive, but not as powerful. It's taken awhile,but after wins over Old Mill and Arundel, it appears that the new girls have adjusted to Entsminger and those who played for her last year have blended in.

As a result, North County has emerged as the county's top 4A girls team, and it gets a chance to prove it tomorrow night against the two-time defending state 4A champion Bruins.

North County plus 2 over Broadneck.

The Prophet to date

Right.. .. Wrong.. .. Pct.

110 .. .. 49.. .. .. .692

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