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HITTING .670, PROPHET WARMS UP FOR SWING AT PLAYOFFS

A stunning upset by those first-year Knights of North County and Coach Paul Shea in boys lacrosse kept the Prophet from ringing up an outstanding week in high school predictions.

The Prophet ended up 4-2for the week, remaining at a more-than-respectable .670 (154-76).

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North County posted a colossal 7-6 victory over Annapolis in the state 4A-3A boys lacrosse semifinals Tuesday at Annapolis. The Prophet took the Panthers by a goal because they were home and because North County had taken the regular-season meeting between the two, 7-4.

The Prophet hit on his other three stick picks with Annapolis (one-goal favorite) defeating C. Milton Wright of Harford County, 9-4, in the 4A-3A quarterfinals, and North County (one-goal pick) over Broadneck, 5-4, to set up the semifinal with Annapolis.

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The St. Mary's Saints of Coach Jim Moorhead came through as predicted with a 6-4 victory at Boys' Latin of Baltimore in the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference semifinals. The Prophet said the Saints would advance to the championship game by a goal.

The rage of a sage went 1-1 inbaseball, hitting Arundel's 7-0 triumph over Broadneck but missing the Meade 7-6 upset of Severna Park. Arundel was tabbed a two-run favorite to eliminate the Bruins from the 4A Region IV playoffs.

The Prophet said that Severna Park would knock out Meade by two runs and that LaPlata of Charles County would slip in the back door as the fourth seed.

By upsetting Severna Park, 7-6, Meade tied LaPlata in playoff points, but LaPlata got the berth because of a better overall winning percentage against Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association teams.

In fairness to the Prophet, as usual no one fromeither school bothered to tell him the game had been changed to Joe Cannon Stadium on Friday night. Had the Prophet known that, he would have picked Meade because the Mustangs live closer to Cannon Stadium,would have been all revved up to play in the new park and needed it more than the Falcons, who already had qualified for the playoffs.

With the spring season winding down, this will be the Prophet's lastbig week of the year. Lacrosse concludes this weekend, and only baseball and softball will be left for next week's crystal ball.

Boys lacrosse

St. Mary's vs. St. Paul's

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MSA A Conference championship, 5 p.m. Friday at University of Maryland Baltimore County.

CoachJim Moorhead's Saints are right where they expected to be -- in the MSA A Conference championship -- but they didn't expect to be opposite St. Paul's. They expected perennial defending champion Loyola to bethere, but St. Paul's had other ideas.

While St. Mary's (12-3) was disposing of Boys' Latin (13-3), 6-4, Tuesday, St. Paul's (11-4) stunned 7-4 Loyola, 11-9.

On April 30 at Weems Whelan in Annapolis, the Saints handled the Crusaders rather easily, 10-6. It won't be as easy this time, but the Saints will do it again and take their first MSA championship.

St. Mary's has only been in the MSA for six years and missed on three other occasions to advance to the title game. In the first six years of Moorhead's 12-year tenure at the Annapolis school, the Saints were an independent and ended up ranked No. 1 in area polls three of those years as unofficial metro champs.

Now it'sthere for the taking with nemesis Loyola nowhere to be found. GoalieChris Brown, who had 11 saves against Boys' Latin, will sparkle again, and senior leader Rob Chomo, still nursing that right hamstring injury, will reach back for that something extra and shine in his finalgame as a Saint. St. Mary's plus one over St. Paul's.

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North County vs. Dulaney

MPSSAA 4A-3A Championship game, noon Saturday at UMBC.

Six times in 14 years at Andover High, Coach Paul Shea led his Archers into the state championship game. And six times, including last year's 5-1 loss to North Harford in the 2A/1A title game, they came up short.

Now in his first season at North County High, Shea hasthe Knights (15-1) knocking on the door, this time in the elite 4A/3A title game against three-time defending state champion Dulaney (12-0) of Baltimore County.

After that second win over Annapolis, the Knights truly have earned a shot at the title. Can they do it?

Goalie Tim McGeeney has told the Prophet they will, but as much as the Prophet wants them to, he doesn't believe they will. Dulaney raced outon a pretty good South Carroll team Tuesday by 8-2 at the half and coasted to a 9-3 victory.

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The Gary Schreiber-coached Lions are likea machine with too much firepower. North County's only chance is forMcGeeney to have the game of his life in the cage. And even then, will the Knights be able to score one more than the Lions? Dulaney plustwo over North County.

Girls lacrosse

Chesapeake vs. Severna Park

MPSSAA 4A/3A Championship: 2 p.m. Saturday at Catonsville Community College.

Defeating defending state 4A/3A champion Severna Park (13-1) a second time in the same season is a tall order for CoachJim Buchan's Cougars (14-0).

Chesapeake moved into the finale forthe first time with its 19th win in a row, dating back to last year,by a whopping 18-5 over Perry Hall of Baltimore County on Tuesday. Severna Park ripped top-seeded Dulaney, 14-6, to earn a rematch with the Cougars.

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On April 19 Chesapeake brought the host Falcons' 57-game winning streak to a screeching halt, 17-16, in overtime. Pulling it off on enemy turf told the Prophet that this Cougar team was for real and has what it takes.

Diane McBee, who had eight goals in the Severna Park victory, and mates will get it done in a classic and leave no doubt as to who had the best girls stick team in the county andstate in 1991. It's their year. Chesapeake plus one over Severna Park, possibly overtime.

Softball

Old Mill at Chesapeake

MPSSAA4A Region IV semifinals, 3:45 p.m. today.

The host Cougars are loaded for bear, with Amy Jakubowski cranking it up on the hill and Becky Thiele swinging the hot bat. Look for Chesapeake (16-3) to have toan easy time against the Patriots (13-6). Chesapeake plus two over Old Mill.

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Severna Park at Glen Burnie

3:45 p.m. today

This Severna Park team (14-4) is erratic and tough to gauge, while the Gophers might have to play without star infielder/hitter Michelle Ackerman. Ackerman has a bum left knee and is questionable for this game.

Coach Bob Broccolino's Gophers will take it despite the injury because they have managed to do that all season.

Glen Burnie plus one over Severna Park.

Bonus pick: Chesapeake will win the Region IV title by a run because the Gophers will need a 100 percent Ackerman to win.

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Baseball

LaPlata at Arundel

,4 MPSSAA 4A Region IV playoffs, 2:45 p.m. Friday.

The Charles County visitors (11-5) are going to get hammered in Gambrills tomorrow. Jeff Beard will pitch the win for the Wildcats (16-4) and get plenty of offensive support. Then the Arundel seniors will head to their prom knowing it can't be a latenight with a 1 p.m. regional championship facing them Saturday. Arundel plus three over LaPlata.

Severna Park at Old Mill

3:45 p.m.Friday.

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Both these clubs are dangerous with gloves on, which could make this a wild one. Severna Park (13-5) took the only meeting between the two this season by 7-5 April 12, but that was at Severna Park. This one is at Old Mill (14-6), where the Patriots are extra toughcome playoff time.

Old Mill plus one over Severna Park.

Bonus pick: Left-hander Zach Collins will get the job done and Arundel willtake the Region IV title Saturday afternoon in Gambrills by at leasta run over Old Mill, probably more.

2A Region III playoffs.

MPSSAA

The state could save a lot of time and energy by skipping this regional and just putting Northeast (20-0) in the state 2A semifinals. The Eagles are not only the best team in 2A but arguably the bestteam in the state and will breeze through this regional against weakPrince George's County opposition.

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Northeast regional winner, no sweat!

The Prophet to date

Right Wrong Pct.

158 78 .670



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