Regular-season finales today put playoffs into focus


Unlike last year, there is no possibility of a divisional tie-breaker in Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference lacrosse. However, today's final regular-season games still have plenty of meaning.

The final playoff berth in Division II will be decided when No. 5 St. Paul's plays at No. 4 Calvert Hall at 3:45 p.m. Each is 5-4 in league play.

Each division winner will meet the second-place team from the opposite division in the semifinals Tuesday The final will be May 17 at 5 p.m. at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Calvert Hall jumped back into the playoff picture by upsetting defending champion Loyola, 11-10, in overtime last Tuesday, and following up with a 5-3 win over Gilman on Saturday. St. Paul's stayed in the hunt by beating No. 3 Loyola, 13-11, Friday.

No. 2 Boys' Latin (7-2) clinched the top seed from Division II last week. In Division I, the top playoff seed will be determined when No. 1 St. Mary's (7-2 league) plays at Loyola (6-3) at 3:45.

Although a Loyola victory would leave each at 7-3, the Dons would take the top seed by virtue of head-to-head results. Loyola nipped St. Mary's, 11-10, in overtime April 13. If St. Mary's wins, the Saints win the division with a better overall record.

In the semifinals, the Loyola-St. Mary's winner will be host to the St. Paul's-Calvert Hall winner, and the Loyola-St. Mary's loser will play at Boys' Latin.

Loyola seemed a favorite in the early going to win its third straight A Conference title and seventh in the past nine years, but the Dons have stumbled badly.

Injuries and illness to key players have been factors. Midfielders C. C. Lagator and Mike Vaughan, attackman Mike Gately and defenseman Chris Dardozzi will miss today's game. There is only a slight possibility that Gately (torn hamstring) and Vaughan (bronchitis) will be ready for Tuesday's first playoff game.

"Last year, the tie-breaker [an 11-8 victory over St. Mary's] was the best thing that could have happened to us. We needed the work," said Dons coach Joe McFadden. "This year, we can really use the week off."

... Rules committees of the National Federation of State High School Associations recently approved some major changes for basketball and wrestling for the 1991-92 seasons.

In basketball, a technical foul against a player will count toward the five fouls that require the player's disqualification.

Also, all technical fouls, against a player or coach, will be added to the personal-foul total to reach the bonus. Since all fouls will be counted, the bonus situation will start on the seventh team foul of each half instead of the fifth. And the number of technical fouls requiring disqualification of players or bench personnel has been reduced to two from three.

A change was made regarding the three-point field goal. As in college basketball, a player fouled while attempting a three-pointer will receive three fouls shots instead of two.

In another major change, officials no longer will penalize teams for lack of action. The old rule was used to keep a team on offense from stalling by standing still.

Wrestling has one major rule change. Wrestlers will be able to win an overtime match on the mat rather than by a decision of the referee or a list of criteria in tournament matches.

... Records, streaks, milestones: Severna Park won its 66th straight tennis match and clinched its fifth straight Anne Arundel County title with a 7-2 victory over Chesapeake Friday. . . . Northeast pitcher Kristy Zulka lost the first game of her high school career at Severna Park, 3-2, Friday. She had been 27-0. . . . Archbishop Spalding's Kerri Endler pitched a no-hitter to down Seton Keough, 8-0, Wednesday. . . . Northeast's Don Shump hit a state-record three home runs as the Eagles beat host Severna Park, 15-1, Friday.

... Overtime: Park's Todd Kerr, The Sun's 1991 MSA C Conference Player of the Year and an all-metro second-team selection, is headed for Hampden-Sydney. . . . Western's girls basketball team will travel to Anchorage, Alaska, for a tournament Jan. 2-4, 1992. . . . Northeast will hold its second annual Alumni Basketball Benefit games Thursday at the school beginning at 6 p.m. A donation is requested at the door, with all proceeds going to the family of cancer-stricken football player Matt Gallagher.

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