You can take the fans out of high school sports, but you can't take the fun out of the game as long as youngsters are youngsters.
"I'm out there trying to have fun," said Edmondson's Virgil Singleton, who was speaking for everyone involved in the unique doubleheader played at Edmondson yesterday.
The Broadneck boys and girls basketball teams split what is believed to be the first Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association playoff games not open to the public.
Broadneck took the girls game by 42-39 while the Edmondson boys took the second game, 76-58, both games in the Class 3A East Region quarterfinals.
The boys teams cheered for the girls in the first game and vice versa in the second game. The girls teams put on a halftime dancing show in the absence of cheerleaders and step squads.
After an incident with guns during the Dunbar at Edmondson boys game last week, Broadneck and Edmondson mutually agreed to play yesterday without spectators.
Security was tight with only the teams, coaches, referees and other essential personnel from both schools on hand along with the media, including all four local TV stations (2, 11, 13 and 45).
"I was kinda mad because my mother and some of my friends couldn't come," said Singleton, who led the Redskins' boys with game-high totals of 36 points and 12 rebounds.
"But we were fired up, wanted a chance to finish a game with Dunbar."
Edmondson (10-10) travels to Dunbar tomorrow in the 3A semifinals. Edmondson principal Irby Miller said yesterday that the two schools would discuss security today and take every precaution to ensure the safety of everyone concerned.
Ken Kazmarek of No. 9 Broadneck (16-7) said the lack of fans did not in any way deter the performance of his team.
"The environment had nothing to do with it; we don't make excuses at Broadneck," said Kazmarek. "We simply got beat. We tried everything on Singleton. He's a heckuva player. The diamond-and-one, double-team, I don't know what else we could have done to stop him."
Singleton, who scored 27 to lead a 72-60 overtime victory in the Wes Unseld Classic final against Broadneck back in December, hit four three-point baskets and scored 23 of his points in the second half last night.
Broadneck's Jamaine Young (17 points, four boards) matched Singleton's 13 first-half points to keep the Bruins close at the break.
Edmondson took a 32-28 lead into the third period and was only able to push it to six points (50-44) going into the final period, despite three consecutive three-pointers and 13 points from Singleton.
Singleton and Reggie Odell (14 points) combined for 12 points to start the final period as the Redskins took a 62-51 lead with 6:13 remaining. The Bruins never recovered despite 10 points from guard Mike Tasker (21 points) in the closing minutes.
"It was kinda an eerie feeling looking across the gym and seeing the stands up on the wall with no spectators," said Edmondson coach James James. "But with not that many people in here, I didn't have to yell as loud."
Edmondson athletic director and assistant coach Pete Pompey said the situation "was unfortunate because of a couple bums who ruined it for everybody else, but a safe environment was most important."