Ninth-ranked Broadneck (13-4, 11-1) can virtually clinch a berth in the first true county championship boys basketball game on Feb. 20 when it plays host to No. 6 Annapolis (14-4, 9-3) tonight at 7:30. A Bruins victory all but assures them of the South Division title.
To clinch with a victory over Annapolis would be very sweet for the Bruins. The game is sold out and no tickets will be sold at the door.
"We want to win the county championship. That's our first goal," said Jamaine Young, the Bruins' leading scorer (19.2 points per game) and rebounder (9.1).
Annapolis, a 73-65 winner in overtime in its Jan. 3 meeting, would need a total collapse by the Bruins to tie for first.
If Broadneck wins tonight, the Bruins would have to lose to No. 18 Arundel (12-6, 9-4), Severna Park (5-13, 1-11) and Chesapeake (6-11, 3-8), and Annapolis would have to win its last three to tie.
If Annapolis wins tonight, the Panthers, who are 17-5 in their history against Broadneck, would have to get help from Arundel.
The Wildcats, whose chances are remote after Tuesday's 59-58 loss to No. 20 Southern (11-7, 8-5), play host to the Bruins Tuesday and could force the county to go to its tiebreaker by upsetting Broadneck, whom they lost to, 64-47, earlier.
Annapolis also would have to win at North Division-leading Glen Burnie (14-3, 9-2) Monday, at South River (3-15, 1-11) Tuesday and home Thursday over Southern to tie Broadneck at 13-3 and invoke the tiebreaker.
According to county coordinator Rick Wiles the tiebreaker criteria are: (1) best record; (2) best record in division play; (3) best overall percentage, nonleague games included except holiday tournament games; (4) head-to-head; (5) flip a coin.
If things go the Panthers' way, Annapolis would win by virtue of only two division losses (both to Arundel) while Broadneck would have three.
The tiebreaker also could affect the North Division where Glen Burnie and No. 16 North County (11-7, 8-4) are neck and neck. The Gophers visit Old Mill (8-10, 6-6) tonight, play host to Annapolis in a makeup Monday, North County Tuesday and Meade (8-10, 5-7) Friday, and have a makeup with Chesapeake (6-11, 3-8).
After a visit to Northeast (5-13, 1-11) tonight, North County travels to Glen Burnie and plays host to Old Mill Friday. The Knights also have a makeup with Meade.
Glen Burnie has yet to lose within the division (losses to Broadneck and Southern) while
the Knights have dropped two in the division, to Meade and Glen Burnie.
Things are not looking up for North County, however. Coach Brad Wilson has lost a couple players, including his best inside player, 6-foot-4 junior Richard Allen to academic ineligibility.
Ryan Dacey's six three-pointers Tuesday in Annapolis' 92-65 romp over Severna Park broke two school records set by two-time county Player of the Year (1991-92) Rob Wooster.
Dacey now owns the single-season mark for threes with 57 (Wooster had 56) and career with 104 (Wooster, 103). Dacey had two threes as a sophomore and 47 his junior year while Wooster had none as a sophomore and 47 and 56 his last Player of the Year seasons.
The county season record for threes is 86 by Glen Burnie's Mike Thibeault in 1989-90.
* Spalding's Stephanie Paxson became the county's 35th girl to crack the 1,000 career points milestone with her 21 points in a 54-45 loss to St. Frances Wednesday. Paxson now has 1,011 points. Glen Burnie coach Patty Dages, a 1983 Brooklyn Park grad, holds the county record of 2,262 points.
Four first-team All-County football players and a second-teamer, plus a 1994 All-County performer, signed national letters of intent this week.
The first teamers from this year are: running back Jihad Morris, Severna Park with Marshall; offensive lineman Braxton McNeil, St. Mary's with Morehouse College; defensive back Damion Moss, Meade with Howard; and place-kicker V.J. Impallaria, North County with Bowie State.
Meade's Elijah Thurmon, a second-team tight end, will join Moss at Howard.
Rocky Newton, a 1994 All-County defensive back at Glen Burnie, is headed to Northern Illinois University. Newton played at Hargrave Military Academy, a post-graduate school, last fall.
In the ring
Local boxing promoter Scott Wagner, a co-owner of Michael's Eighth Avenue with his father, Michael Wagner, signed a lease Wednesday to open a gym.
Scott hopes to fulfill the longtime dreams of local pro and amateur boxers with a first-class gym in a 7,000 square-foot warehouse on Penrod Court near Michael's.
"We're shooting for April 1 to open, but we want to do it the right way," said Scott, who added that the gym will have showers and lockers.