4A showdowns pit Anne Arundel vs. Calvert

In Wednesday's "Sidelines," I wrote that the late Jerry Mears coached Arundel to its only state basketball championship in 1965.

"You did it again," said Pennington Hebron on the phone Wednesday.


I sure did. Mears didn't take over as coach until 1966 and William Crow, who coached 10 years in the county before moving to Massachusetts, led the Wildcats to the '65 title.

It's Anne Arundel vs. Calvert County in the Class 4A East Region boys basketball playoffs tonight.


Top-seeded Arundel (19-3) plays host to No. 4 seed Calvert (16-7) and No. 3 seed Annapolis (19-4) travels to No. 2 Northern (20-2). The winners meet Friday at the home of the highest seed for the region title and the right to play at College Park next week.

Eleventh-ranked Annapolis eliminated sixth-seeded Glen Burnie, 59-50, on Monday with the Northern coaches looking on. It was the Panthers' third straight win this season over the Gophers, last year's region champion.

Calvert beat fifth seeded North County (13-10) by 87-83 to earn a trip to Gambrills to face the Wildcats.

Around here, everyone is hoping for an Annapolis at Arundel final Friday. The two teams split during the regular season with each winning on the other's court, and they tied for the county 4A title at 13-1 in league play.

The last time Anne Arundel County did not send a team from the large-school division to College Park was 1967, two years after Arundel won its only state championship under the late Jerry Mears.

Annapolis has not won a region title since 1991, while Arundel hasn't won one since 1975. Panthers coach John Brady has been to Cole Field House 11 times in 17 seasons, more than any other coach in county history, and Annapolis has been there 22 times, more than any school in the state.

Brady won a state championship in 1990 and the late Al Laramore was coach of the Panthers' only other state title winner 1974.

To get back to Cole for the first time in four years, the longest drought in Brady's tenure, the Panthers have to win the next two on the road. That will be no easy task.


Northern defeated Annapolis, 73-58, in the Cap City Classic during the holidays and beat Severna Park, Old Mill and Glen Burnie on the way to the No. 2 seed.

Ranked No. 18 by the Washington Post, Northern is very athletic and well coached by Rick Weber. The Patriots trailed Annapolis, 36-30, at the half in the Cap City, but used tenacious pressure to outscore the Panthers, 43-22, in the second half and win going away.

Leon Wiseman led the Patriots and all scorers with 32 points.

"We will definitely have to play well and I'm not worried about their officials either," said Brady. "We haven't gotten good officiating at home most of the season, so what's the difference?"

Arundel and Calvert have not played, but the Wildcats are on a roll with nine wins in a row since losing to Annapolis.

Top-seeded Broadneck (20-2) plays host to Northern of Baltimore in a 3A East semifinal tonight. Fifth-seeded Northern eliminated Poly, 84-82, in overtime while No. 8-ranked Broadneck had a bye.


Broadneck's gym only holds about 900 and its doors will open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. tip-off. There are no advance ticket sales and assistant athletic director Tim McMullen said, "It will be first come, first serve."

After disposing of Southern, 76-58, No. 3 seed South River (15-8) travels to Queen Anne's High to play No. 2 seed Cambridge-South Dorchester in tonight's 2A East semis.

Notes and quotes

Annapolis coach Brady said that senior point guard Teshawn Cooper "is our MVP, we wouldn't be where we are without him."

Cooper, who played all 32 minutes in Monday's victory over Glen Burnie, averages 10 points and seven assists.

* Glen Burnie coach Terry Bogle said he was "very proud of this bunch. They've had a lot of ups and downs, but had a lot of class and gave us quite an effort. They hung in there."


* How about the tournament that Severn's Alhamisi Simms had at Washington's Sidwell Friends School?

Simms led the No. 12 Admirals (22-8) to the championship with 68 points in three games, including 32 in the 91-84 victory over National Christian Academy in the final. The 6-foot-2 senior sank 20 of 22 from the foul line, grabbed 27 rebounds and had 16 assists.

"Misi has drawn attention from about six schools," said Severn coach Wayne Fowler.

Simms is being recruited by St. Joseph's (Pa.), Navy, Delaware, University of California, UNC-Wilmington and Notre Dame.

Teammate Jay Lonnie Booth, the Admirals' point guard, is considering Lebanon Valley and Goucher.

Northeast to honor Lentz


The baseball field at Northeast High will be named after Harry Lentz on April 17, the school announced yesterday. Lentz, who has been at the Pasadena school for 30 years, has been fighting cancer since the fall and hopes to coach this spring.

St. Mary's adding sports

St. Mary's athletic director Carmine Blades announced yesterday that the Saints will field varsity baseball and softball teams for the first time in 1996.

The baseball team will play in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference and the softball team in the Baltimore Catholic Softball League.

The Saints will be interviewing for coaches for both teams and anyone interested should send their resume to Blades at the Annapolis school.