Everybody is entitled to a bad outing. Just ask my man, Jim Palmer. The Hall of Famer had one Monday and retired again.

So, when the Prophet has one, give him a break. The rage of a sage had a brutal time of it in last week's boys and girls state basketball playoffs, but he's not ready to quit.

No, the Prophet is a long way from retiring. In fact, some of hisclose friends have called him "Severna Park's oldest teen-ager."

The Prophet was a lousy 2-4 last week, and the Old Mill girls especially made him look bad. Old Mill, who the Prophet said was "a year away" with its underclass-dominated team, won it all.

Old Mill was tabbed to lose its Class 4A semifinal to Largo of Prince George's County by two points, but instead the Patriots buried their foe by a lopsided 68-40. The Prophet was right on the other semifinal for a 10-point Springbrook romp over Frederick, as the former rolled, 68-35.

With Springbrook ranked third in the D.C. area at 24-1 and with 112 wins in five years, the Prophet figured it was a done deal that the BlueDevils easily would take the 4A championship and that the experiencein the Final Four would help the young Patriots come back to win it next year.

Well, apparently Stacy Himes and her host of sophomore teammates didn't believe that because they grew up awfully fast. Old Mill went out and roared to a 20-point halftime lead against Springbrook and held on for a thrilling 53-51 victory and the Patriots' firststate championship since 1986.

The Prophet doesn't mind looking bad when it means one of the county teams comes through, and he takes off his turban and salutes those Patriots for their fantastic 24-2 season.

On the boys' side, the Prophet was convinced that Annapolis would repeat as state 4A champion, but, unfortunately for them, theirsemifinal game was decided in the final seven seconds by a Prince George's County referee. And yes, the invisible foul the striped man called on Delmore Howard of Annapolis benefited Parkdale of Prince George's in its 62-60 victory.

Parkdale's star player, Irvin Church, had the ball with seven seconds to go, when the Prince George's ref called a touch foul on Howard that nobody else saw. Not only did the Prophet not see it, but Springbrook assistant coach Bob Cilento, who resides in Crofton, said, "I agree with what you wrote. I didn't see the foul. It was a bad call."

The mystery call put Church on the line for a one-and-one, and he sank both for the margin of victory. At the other end, Dennis Edwards' attempt to tie it up saw him get hammered by Church with no call made as the buzzer went off.

Annapolis was the Prophet's pick by two points, but instead it lost by two. Actually, the fact that both teams call themselves Panthers had the Prophet's satellite predictor in a tizzy the day he made the picks.

Hispicking machine kept saying Panthers by two, so you can understand what happened there. And, really, the state tournament at Cole Field House should be named the Prince George's County Tournament because there is no question that any game that goes down to the wire will result in strange calls that always go the way of Prince George's County.

Parkdale went on to win it all Saturday night, 68-54, over Springbrook, and despite the fact that Annapolis didn't repeat, the Prophetwas happy for the winner's 63-year-old Ken Freeman.

Freeman, a real gentleman, won his seventh state championship (had won six others at Fairmont Heights in late '60s and early '70s) and his 18th overall.

"I won 11 others back during the '50s and '60s when black schools played only black schools (during segregation) and the national high school book put an asterisk next to our titles," Freeman told the Prophet at Cole Field House last week.

Springbrook's boys did give the Prophet a "W" by defeating Quince Orchard in the semis by more than one point, 72-67.

With the 2-4 week, the Prophet ended the winter season with an overall record of 130-60, dating back to the fall. So, he will take a percentage of .684 into the spring season.

It is the Prophet's goal to crack the 70 percentile by the end of the school year, and with his favorite sport of baseball coming up, that should be a piece of cake. The sage will take a week off for St. Patty'sDay and be back fresh for baseball, softball and that other sport they play with a crab net, gloves and helmets.

The Prophet to date

Right Wrong Pct.

130.. ..60 .684

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