Hammond takes detour Bears on road to face Loch Raven


Expect Hammond to have some extra motivation against Loch Raven in tonight's Class 2A, Region II boys basketball semifinal in Towson.

The third-seeded Bears, first-round winners over Patapsco on Monday, say that both top seed Overlea and second seed Loch Raven didn't earn their first-round byes.

Snow had been forecast all week for last Friday -- the day on which Overlea was scheduled to play Milford Mill (18-2) and Loch Raven was scheduled to play Sparrows Point (15-4).

Both Overlea and Loch Raven would have been underdogs in those games. Loch Raven already had lost to Sparrows Point this season. Milford Mill is ranked 13th; Overlea is unranked.

Many other Baltimore County teams either moved their games ahead to Thursday or postponed them until Saturday. Overlea and Loch Raven did not. They waited, apparently to see what Hammond did that Thursday against Howard. The Bears lost.

Had Hammond beaten Howard on Thursday, coupled with Overlea and Loch Raven losses Friday, coach Jack Burke's Bears could have earned the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

But because of the Howard upset and Overlea's and Loch Raven's decision to forgo playing Friday's snowed-out games, the Bears were stuck with third seed, no bye and only one certain home game.

Had either Loch Raven or Overlea lost its final unplayed game, the Bears would have earned the second seed, a first-round bye and a chance for at least two home games.

Where the Bears play is significant. They are 10-1 at home and only 4-7 on the road.

There is no Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association rule that says those games had to be played.

Barr recovered

Oakland Mills basketball player Chad Barr, one of the team's top scorers, has recovered from a bout of severe dehydration that required hospitalization.

Barr, who was averaging nearly 13 points, scored four points in Monday's Class 2A, Region II opening-round playoff loss to Hereford.

The Scorpions were 6-4 in the county and still in the running for their sixth straight league title until Barr was forced to miss three of the last four regular-season games. Oakland Mills lost two of the three games without Barr.

Barr's problem started after a loss to Centennial on Feb. 17.

"I felt sick the next day and couldn't play against Glenelg," Barr said. Oakland Mills lost that game.

He played the following night against Mount Hebron -- Oakland Mills' third game in three days -- and he scored 14 in a victory.

"But I sweated a lot and didn't get the fluid back in me," Barr said.

On the following Tuesday, he awoke with a fever and blacked out twice at home before he was taken to the hospital.

"They put four IV fluid bags in me and sent me home, but I was sick all week," Barr said. He missed the Scorpions' final two games, against Hammond and Atholton -- both losses.

Don't foul Centennial

Douglass coach John Nash was angry about the officiating after his team beat Centennial on Monday.

"It was nothing but home cooking," said Nash, who had a technical foul called against him for complaining to officials for failing to stop play when one of his players fell to the floor with a rebound.

Centennial went to the foul line 27 times -- 10 more than Douglass.

But that was a normal advantage for the Eagles, whose aggressive, attacking style draws a lot of fouls.

For the season, Centennial went to the line 595 times, making 392 free throws (66 percent). Centennial's opponents went to the line 374 times.

That's one reason the Eagles were 17-6 and league co-champions -- their first boys basketball championship since the school opened in 1977.

Wildecats are hot

Sixth seed Wilde Lake (12-11) eclipsed the .500 mark with its upset of third seed Sparrows Point in the Class 1A, Region II basketball playoffs Monday.

The season was filled with disappointment for the Wildecats, who were a preseason co-favorite with Centennial to win a county title. Dissension among the players contributed to Centennial's 6-8 league record.

But coach Paul Ellis' Wildecats have won five of their past six games and finally resemble the team they were supposed to be.

Deon Wingfield has been spectacular for Wilde Lake during the six-game stretch, averaging 28.0 points, 15.5 rebounds and almost four blocked shots.

Tonight, Wilde Lake will be try to upset second seed Milford Mill, the school that eliminated it from last year's regional playoffs.

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