Young's bid for No. 400 adds spice to great rivalry

Annapolis coach John Brady says "it would be very appropriate" for Meade coach Butch Young to notch his 400th career win tonight.

"We're archrivals, and they will be pumped up for us," said Brady, whose 10th-ranked Panthers visit Meade for a 7 p.m. game.


"They're always pumped for us, but [tonight] their feet probably won't touch the floor because they can get Butch No. 400 against us. It would be very appropriate."

While Annapolis (8-2) was defeating 4-6 North County, 97-68, Tuesday night, Meade (6-4) was dropping a 51-37 decision at Old Mill (5-4).


The loss to Old Mill set the stage for Young, who has a 27-year career record of 399-207, to win No. 400 at home against the Mustangs' archrival. Annapolis holds a 29-11 advantage over 16 years, but the 11 wins are the most by any team over Annapolis.

Brady (343-63) became head coach at Annapolis in the 1977-78 season, the same year Meade opened its doors with Young as head coach.

Young won the first meeting between the two in 1977-78, and though Brady has had the upper hand since, it has not diminished the rivalry. Brady always has approached Young and Meade with the utmost respect and never taken the Mustangs for granted.

Year in and year out, one or the other has been the Anne Arundel County team to beat. I don't remember a game between the two during the past 17 years as a sure thing because most of the time their meetings have been like a state final.

It never has mattered who was up or down in a given year; there has been no such thing as an underdog when they've met. And last year is a good example of the intensity with which the two coaches and teams approach each other.

After losing both regular-season games and the county title to Annapolis (Annapolis 9-1 league, Meade 7-3), Meade beat Annapolis, 78-71, in the Region IV final.

On the way to a 21-5 season, the Mustangs finished as the state 4A runner-up after taking their third region title in 16 years. Only Annapolis has won more (11) in the state's highest classification during that time.

Yes, two great coaches and two great traditions meet tonight with a milestone on the line. Brady hates to lose, but I have a hunch he will be among the first to shake Young's hand with genuine admiration if Meade gives Butch No. 400 tonight.


Also tonight, 16th-ranked Arundel (7-3), which is coming off a 76-72 upset of No. 7 Southern (6-2), visits No. 20 South River (7-1) in a rare 5 p.m. boys game.

South River has experimented this season with playing the boys game first and the girls game at 7 p.m. The experiment has embarrassed the girls because most of the fans who came to watch the boys left as the final game was getting ready to begin.

South River had good intentions but is expected to go back to the traditional doubleheader of girls first, boys second.

In the Arundel-South River boys game, each team has two prolific scorers. Sean Soyars (24.2-point average) and Bakari Ward (20.3) lead Arundel while the host Seahawks counter with Russell Tongue (20.7) and Corey Davis (18.4).

Soyars had a game-high 32 points in the Southern upset, and Ward had 20. Davis scored 32 in the Hawks' 78-60 romp over Severna Park (2-8) Tuesday, and Tongue added 13.

Southern doesn't catch a breather after the tough loss at Arundel, as the Dawgs play host tonight to No. 14 Glen Burnie (8-1). The Gophers beat 3-7 Northeast, 71-44, earlier this week.


Chatney Howard is expected to play tonight. The county's leading scorer (27.0-point average) had a team-high 19 points for Southern after twisting an ankle in the first period against Arundel on Tuesday.

"He should be OK to play and it seemed to be a lot better in the last period," said Southern coach Tom Albright of Howard, who scored eight points in the final minutes of the four-point loss.

On the private school scene, have you noticed the Saints of St. Mary's, who play at 4 p.m. today at Gilman (8-5)?

St. Mary's boys team is 4-7 overall, but first-year coach Dave Lombardi has led them to a 3-1 record in the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference.

The 3-1 conference record has the Saints tied for second with McDonogh behind Severn (14-2, 6-0) in Division I.

Lombardi's Saints took a 70-60 decision over Archbishop Spalding (4-10, 0-5) on Tuesday, as Kevin Sturm scored 18, grabbed seven rebounds and had four assists.


"I guess, it was a little revenge for the Christmas tournament," said Spalding coach Lee Dove. His Cavs slipped by the Saints, 80-78, in the St. Mary's tournament opener.