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Baltimore County team previews Local Sports: Basketball Previews


Arlington Baptist Eagles

1995-96 record: 3-17.

Coach: Craig Sattler.

Top players: Mike Britton, 5-11, Sr., G; Max Chatra, 6-0,Sr., G; Jose Dernier, 6-1, Sr., C; Joel Jackson, 6-8, Soph., C

Outlook: With three sophomore starters and a stable group of senior returnees, the challenge is whether the Eagles can build continuity. Chatra and Jones are the main scorers but Jackson, a force at both ends of the floor, will get most of the attention.

Beth Tfiloh Warriors

1995-96 record: 8-8.

Coach: Chuck Monninger.

Top players: Adam Abramson, 6-0, Sr., F; Micah Coleman, 6-3, Sr., F; Ben Rombro, 5-9, Sr., G; Sam Ruskin, 6-3, Sr., C-F.

Outlook: Former Mount Hebron coach Monninger has to get used to a new league and a different talent base. Ruskin was last season's leading scorer and rebounder.

Boys' Latin Lakers

1995-96 record: 11-13.

Coach: Hugh Gelston.

Top players: Lance Davison, 6-2, Sr., C; John Glatzel, 6-0, Sr., F; Matt Thanner, 6-1, Sr., F.

Outlook: Gelston originally looked forward to a promising season but several of the expected returnees did not come out. Instead, Gelston is left with what he has, a questionable shooting team with a lot of youth. Davison will become more of a regular in the front court while Jon Singer and Nick Allen will fill the vacancy at point guard.

Calvert Hall Cardinals

1995-96 record: 25-8

Coach: Mark Amatucci

Top players: Juan Dixon, 6-3, Sr., G; Aaron Herbert, 5-11, Sr., G; Antoine Peoples, 6-3, Sr., F; Gary Williams, 6-6, Sr., C; Freddie Biggs, 6-2, Jr., G; Reggie Bryant, 6-3, Soph., G; Delbert Randall, 6-4, Fresh., F.

Outlook: With Dixon, who signed early with Maryland, and Herbert, Calvert Hall may have the area's best backcourt. Biggs and Peoples are solid contributors, but the Cardinals will need production from Williams at the paint. Amatucci is very high on underclassmen Randall and Bryant and feels his team can run with any team in the area, but is lacking in half-court defense.

Carver A&T; Wildecats

1995-96 record: 6-17.

Coach: Russ Harless.

Top players: Hilton Carter, 6-2, Jr., F; Evan Guidera, 5-11, Jr., G; Ian Mattingly, 6-0, Sr., F; Jason White, 5-7, Jr., PG; Gil Wilt, 5-11, Sr., F.

Outlook: Mattingly has the most experience in a struggling, youthful program that hopes to eventually reach .500. New coach Harless can use up to nine players but the concentration will be on improving fundamentals.

Catonsville Comets

1995-96 record: 16-6.

Coach: Jim Rhoads.

Top players: Dave Bortz, 5-8, Sr., G; Jerel Cotten, 6-2, Sr., G; Victor Gray, 6-2, Sr. G; Brendon Mohler, 6-0, Jr., PG; Demone Upchurch, 6-3, Jr., F.

Outlook: Among the returners is a strong nucleus of seniors, which includes Gray, who averaged 14 points a year ago. Although they lack height, the Comets should remain one of the better shooting teams in the county and Rhoads will use as many as 10 different players. With Cotten (220 pounds) providing strength under the basket, the Comets should match up well with a schedule that includes Mt. St. Joe, Gibbons and Edmondson.

Chesapeake Bayhawks

1995-96 record: 0-20.

Coach: Ben Rapheal.

Top players: Ogechi Anyaugo, 6-3, Jr., F; Davis Bilodeau, 6-4, Jr., F; Kenneth Lee, 6-4, Sr., C; Terrance Mandley, 5-10, Jr., G; Jerome Samuels, 6-0, Sr., G; Terrell Wilson, 6-2, Sr., F.

Outlook: Rapheal takes over the varsity job after coach JV last year and with better athletes has the program moving in the right direction. With a balanced offense, the Bayhawks look to score more and Rapheal predicts a .500 record.

Dulaney Lions

1995-96 record: 5-14

Coach: Phil Ressler.

Top players: Tom Bell, 5-10, Sr., F; Rodney Buynum, 5-9, Sr., PG; Bobby Kuener, 6-5, Sr., C-F; Mike Ross, 5-10, Jr., G.

Outlook: The Lions will rally behind playmaker Buynum and an aggressive defense in an attempt to record its first winning season in five years. With a more disciplined group, Ressler hopes it leads to better team chemistry.

Dundalk Owls

1995-96 record: 19-8.

Coach: Andy Pons.

Top players: Ken Estep, 6-2, Sr., G; William Faulkner, 6-0, Sr. G; Gyrard Jones, 5-10, Sr., G; Arthur Rzepka, 6-2, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Owls started 0-4 a year ago before winning 19 of 23 games and advancing to the regional finals, where they lost to Randallstown. Dundalk might struggle early again this year, having lost most of its scoring and possessing little height. Jones and Estep make the Owls strongest on the perimeter.

Eastern Tech Mustangs

1995-96 record: 10-12.

Coach: Todd Wade.

Top players: Devell Engram, 6-3, Sr., C; Rodney Pearce, 6-3, Sr., F; Mike Sampson, 5-9, Sr., PG; Troy Stratemeyer, 5-11, Sr., G.

Outlook: First-year coach Wade acquires a deep but untested team. There is equal ability among the top six players and the offense will focus around Sampson. Several newcomers from a JV program that won the league title a year ago, should provide support.

Franklin Indians

1995-96 record: 10-10.

Coach: Mike Squirrel.

Top players: Demetrius Mitchell, 6-5, Jr., F; Eric Reisenfield, 6-4, Sr., C; Mark Stevenson, 5-11, Sr., PG; Jermaine Veney, 6-3, Sr., G; Dontay Yarbrough, 6-0, Sr., G.

Outlook: The senior-laden Indians have the potential to become one of the county's most improved teams. Mitchell and Stevenson form a good inside-outside combination and the bench will contribute key minutes. If the Indians can score more, a winning record is within reach.

Gwynn Lake Lakers

1995-96 record: 8-8. Coach: Don Graham.

Top players: Pierre Briggs, 6-5, Soph., C; Jason McCullough, 6-6, Jr., F; Terry Garland, 5-10, Sr., G; Lance Guillermo, 5-10, Jr., PG.

Outlook: As the newest member of the Christian Schools Athletic Association, Graham sees this as an up-and-coming program and has the schedule to prove it. Scheduled are games against Carver (City), Mount St. Joseph, Southwestern and Walbrook. Gwynn Lake has a good mix of speed, height and scoring and a solid junior and sophomore class. Garland averaged 27 points last season.

Hereford Bulls

1995-96 record: 3-19.

Coach: Glen Snyder.

Top players: Chris Gilbert, 6-3, Sr., F; Eric Hester, 6-4, Sr., F; Tim Peregoy, 5-10, Sr., G; John Voght, 6-2, Sr., G; Jason Wingeart, 6-0, Sr., G.

Outlook: Four of five starters are back and if experience means anything, the Bulls should be better. With several capable scorers and a lot of versatility, Snyder said the offense won't be limited.

Hickey School

1995-96 record: 13-2.

Coach: Jerry Phipps.

Top players: Andrew Harrison, 6-4, Jr., C-F; Tyrell Henderson, 5-10, Soph., G; Mark Hill, 6-1, Jr., F; Kevin Warren, 6-2, Sr., F.

Outlook: Hickey will rebuild after last season's success and the process will be slow. Phipps has many players who have never played organized basketball. Harrison has a lot of raw talent and could emerge as the leading scorer. Hickey plays a 21-game independent schedule and will host its first holiday tournament.

Kenwood Bluebirds

1995-96 record: 7-13.

Coach: Cal Rumbley.

Top players: Aja Green, 5-9, Sr., G; Chris Bell, 5-10, Jr., PG; Joe Greaver, 6-0, Jr., F; Israel Ray, 6-1, Sr., F; Bobby Tuminello, 6-2, Jr., F.

Outlook: There is experience among the starters, especially Green and Ray, but the Bluebirds are at a disadvantage in size. The play of the backcourt and sound defense will decide how close Kenwood comes to a .500 record.

Lansdowne Vikings

1995-96 record: 12-10.

Coach: Mike Cromer.

Top players: Jeff Baker, 6-1, Sr., F-G; Jason Gibson, 6-0, Sr., G; Mike Keeney, 5-10, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Vikings lost to Pikesville in the league title game a year ago on a last-second shot and Cromer thinks a with stronger inside game, boosted by two transfers, his team can get another shot at the league championship. Beyond Keeney at point guard, the Vikings are thin on guards.

Loch Raven Raiders

1995-96 record: 15-5.

Coach: Gary Horn.

Top players: Steve Allen, 6-4, Sr., C-F; Andy Cole, 6-7, Sr., C; Devin Johnson, 5-7, Sr., G; Scott Kreller, 5-11, Sr., G; Joe Torres, 6-0, Sr., F.

Outlook: The Raiders will have to regroup after losing their entire starting team from a year ago and will be without top player Cole until mid-December. Still, Loch Raven is bigger than usual up front with Torres and Allen, both quality scorers and rebounders to complement Cole.

Loyola Dons

1995-96 record: 20-10

Coach: Jerry Savage.

Top players: Chris Malone, 6-3, Sr., F-G; Ryan Heacock, 6-0, Sr., G; Reggie Gray, 5-9, Jr., G; Mike O'Connell, 6-1, Sr., G; Ryan

Young, 6-3, Sr., F; Brian Cosgrove, 6-4, Jr., F

Outlook: Only one starter (Malone) returns for the Dons, who lost five seniors to graduation, including All-Cat holic League guard Jason Vogtman (Lebanon Valley). Hancock and Gray, reserves last season, will be taking bigger roles, while Cosgrove was the leading scorer on JV last season. Outside shooting and patient half-court offense will be strengths. Savage, the area's winningest active coach, thinks his team will be competitive.

Lutheran Saints

1995-96 record: 8-14.

Coach: Tom Lentsch

Top players: Mike McCoy, 6-4, Sr., C; David Hughes, 6-0, Sr., F; David Kelley, 5-9, Sr., G; Adam Rutkowski, 5-8, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Saints are down to just 10 players and the four senior starters will be relied upon heavily, especially Kelley (12 ppg.), last season's leading scorer.

Milford Mill Millers

1995-96 record: 8-12.

Coach: Ed Smith.

Top players: James Cowans, 5-11, Sr., G; Anthony Jenkins, 6-5, Sr., F; Arthur Lewis, 5-7, Jr., G; Joel Lucas, 6-7, Sr. C; Kevin Smith, 5-11, Sr., F; Anton Word, 6-0, Jr., F.

Outlook: An increase in talent and numbers has Smith thinking the Millers can return to respectability. This is a quick, versatile and more disciplined group with Cowans and Word as impact players. Several newcomers will help, particularly David Boyd, a transfer from Poly. Look for Milford Mill to take advantage of its size in the middle.

McDonogh Eagles

1995-96 record: 10-10.

Coach: Jack McMullen.

Top players: Bob Benson, 6-3, Soph., F-G; Lance Clelland, 6-6, Sr., C; Owen Daly, 6-1, Soph., PG; David Lunn, 6-3, Fr., F; Jay Mayes, 6-0, Fr., G; Justin Wright, 6-4, Sr., F.

Outlook: The Eagles are very young as McMullen will carry a combined nine freshmen and sophomores. There is no scoring leader, but McDonogh has a number of capable scorers, among them being Clelland. The Eagles will need sound defense to keep pace with a schedule that includes Calvert Hall, Poly and Severn and St. Paul's twice.

Mount Carmel Cougars

1995-96 record: 6-14.

Coach: Leon Thomas.

Top players: Shawn Byrd, 6-0, Sr., F.; Adam Herold, 6-3, Sr., F; Keith Rozankowski, 5-10, Sr., G.

Outlook: The starters have been together for three years and Thomas says it's now or never for the Cougars to have its best season. There is depth at every position and the Cougars will get tested early with games against Bowling Brook, Curley and Sparrows Point in the first two weeks.

Overlea Falcons

1995-96 record: 7-14.

Coach: Thomas Gere.

Top players: Dominique Craig, 5-10, Sr., PG; Matt Davis, 6-5, Sr., C; Brandon Reese, 6-5, Jr., F; Dwayne Stokes, 5-8, Jr., G; Franklin Thornton, 6-1, Jr., F; Matt Watson, 6-0, Sr., G-F.

Outlook: The Falcons will be without Davis, who anchors the middle, until February, and All-County PG Earl Badu, transferred to St. Frances, leaving Overlea unsettled in the backcourt. Forwards Reese and Thornton have the height but will need to contribute more offensively.

Owings Mills Eagles

1995-96 record: 6-14.

Coach: Randy Pentz.

Top players: Dwayne Abraham, 6-5, Jr., F; Ed Burnham, 6-5, Sr., F; Tony Crawford, 6-1, Jr., F; Brett Huthes, 6-10, Sr., C; Gerard Johnson, 5-9, Sr., PG; Stewart Mikula, 6-2, Jr., F.

Outlook: Expectations are higher this season and the Eagles could challenge for the Quickshooters Division title with a strong nucleus of returnees and an increase in size. Huthes (11 ppg., 12 rpg.) is a dominant force inside and averaged six blocks a game last season.

Park Bruins

1995-96 record: 19-3.

Coach: Josh Wolf.

Top players: Danny Diamond, 6-1, Sr., F; Keith Ganzenmuller, 6-1, Jr., G; Jeff Mazur, 5-8, Sr., G; Evan Shapiro, 6-1, Jr., F.

Outlook: The Bruins enter this season with a boost in confidence after a 1995 season in which they won 18 straight games before losing to Curley in the MIAA C Conference Tournament. Despite losing three starters, the Bruins have enough to make another run at the conference title, beginning with Ganzenmuller, last season's leading scorer with 18 points a game. The schedule includes games against John Carroll, St. Mary's and two each against St. Paul's and Severn.

Parkville Knights

1995-96 record: 17-7.

Coach: Rick Evans.

Top players: David Beatty, 6-0, Jr., F; Keith Glenn, 6-1, Sr., G; Todd MacCubbin, 6-1, Jr., C; Darren Tucker, 5-10, Sr., PG; Steve Wagner, 6-1, Sr., F.

Outlook: The Knights plan to run as much as possible to make up for a lack in size. Three juniors could start and Parkville has a formidable backcourt duo in Glenn and Tucker. Tucker can both pass and shoot and Glenn is the outside threat.

Patapsco Patriots

1995-96 record: 9-13.

Coach: Eric Watkinson.

Top players: Steve Ammons, 6-2, Jr., F; Andy Capp, 5-10, Sr., G; David Hook, 6-4, Jr., F; Mike Mosmiller, 6-2, Sr., F; Ron Wolf, 5-8, Sr., G.

Outlook: Since Watkinson assumed the coaching duties in 1994, the Patriots have seen an increase in victories in each of the past two seasons. And that trend should continue this year. Despite losing its top two scorers and top rebounder, Patapsco has a stable front line, led by Ammons (17 ppg., 9 rpg.).

Perry Hall Gators

1995-96 record: 1-19.

Coach: Ron Meehan.

Top players: Jon Grieves, 6-3, Sr., C; Chip Harrison, 6-3, Soph., F; Matt Kelly, 6-0, Sr., G; Brandon Phillips, 6-2, Sr., F; Todd Yori, 6-0, Sr., PG; Chris Zorn, 6-3, Sr., F.

Outlook: First-year coach Meehan has a more coachable group and that alone should lead to a positive season. The Gators are strong at both guard positions.

Pikesville Panthers

1995-96 record: 23-4.

Coach: Aaron Heisler.

Top players: Brian Campbell, 6-2, Sr., F; Earl Cox, 6-1, Jr., F; Brian Levy, 5-11, Jr., G.

Outlook: The Panthers were one of the surprise teams in the area a year ago when they advanced to the regional finals and finished with a school-best 23-4 record. But Pikesville faces a reversal of fortune this year, having lost its entire starting team.

Randallstown Rams

1995-96 record: 20-5.

Coach: Kim Rivers.

Top players: Demon Brown, 6-1, Jr., G; Tony Darden, 6-4, Jr., F; Iyeade Edwards, 5-10, Sr., G; Jerry Venable, 6-4, Sr., C-F; Patrick Williams, 5-10, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Rams, 3A state semifinalists a year ago, have run thin on talent, yet with its depth and aggressive style, a run at the Baltimore County title is in sight. The graduation of All-Metro Troy Lewis (Coppin State) leaves Randallstown without a floor leader and proven scorer, but transfers Williams (Carver A&T;) and Brown (Douglass) stabilize the backcourt. Rivers will use a full bench to try and wear teams down. The Rams early schedule includes Woodlawn, Lake Clifton, Walbrook and Southern. "If we can get some confidence from the games with the city teams, we'll be ready for the league games," Rivers said.

St. Paul's Crusaders

1995-96 record: 17-6. Coach: Rick Collins.

Top players: Connor Gill, 6-2, Jr., G; Adair Newhall, 6-3, Sr., F; Mike Satyshur, 5-11, Jr., PG; Justin Singleton, 6-2, Sr., F; Chad Unitas, 6-3, Sr., F.

Outlook: Last year's MIAA B Conference champs have a solid nucleus of junior and senior returnees. Rebounding is key since St. Paul's is small along the baseline. With little help from the bench, the starters will get a lot of minutes, as St. Paul's tries for an eighth trip to the conference finals in 11 years.

Sparrows Point Pointers

1995-96 record: 15-7.

Coach: Russ Linger.

Top players: T.J. Burleson, 5-11, Sr., G; Gary Meninger, 6-2, Sr., F; Derrell Smith, 5-11, Sr., G.

Outlook: Regional finalists last season, the Pointers have three returning starters and their quickness will make up for a lack of height. With Meninger scoring inside and Burleson outside, Sparrows Point is a favorite in the Sharpshooters Division.

Towson Generals

1995-96 record: 9-12.

Coach: Randy Dase.

Top players: Corey Almond, 6-2, Jr., F; Tyree Bizzelle, 5-11, Sr., G; Mark Duffy, 5-8, Sr., G; Frank Roblin, 5-10, Sr., G; Wes Spence, 5-9, Jr., G.

Outlook: The Generals are one of the smallest teams in the county, yet will count on a defense that allowed an average of 52 points per game last season. Dase isn't sure where the scoring will come from, but hopes someone will emerge, possibly Roblin or Spence.

Towson Catholic Owls

1995-96 record: 14-16

Coach: Mike Daniel

Top players: Lafonte Johnson, 5-7, Soph. G; Damian Hocker, 6-6, Sr., F; Michael Daniel, 5-8, Sr., G; Steve Johnson, 6-1, Soph., G; Todd Sykes, 6-4, Jr., F; Deon Carter, 6-2, Jr., G.

Outlook: The Owls could be the dark horse in the Catholic League. Johnson, one of the area's best freshmen last season who was a honorable mention All-City/County performer, returns along three other starters. Towson Catholic should be strong from the perimeter and in the open court, but the lack of an inside presence is a big negative.

Western T&E; Wolverines

1995-96 record: 4-14.

Coach: Art Gamzon.

Top players: John Bullock, 5-10, Sr., G; Taj Doaty, 6-0, Sr., G; Jason Hardison, 6-0, Jr., C; Anthony Hammond, 5-11, Jr., PG; Greg Dailey, 6-0, Sr., F; Johnathon Rush, 6-0, Jr., F.

Outlook: Having spent eight seasons as head coach at Catonsville and winning 100 games and a state title between 1991-1994, Gamzon hopes to bring some of that success to the Cobras. And with more experience and athleticism, Western T&E; figures to show gradual improvement. The strength is in the backcourt, where Doaty and Bullock combined for nearly 30 points a game a year ago.

Woodlawn Warriors

1995-96 record: 18-5.

Coach: Bobby Richardson.

Top players: Billy Epps, 6-5, Sr., C; Damon Gerris, 6-3, Jr., F; Paul jTC Kwajasa, 6-4, Sr., F; Aaron Ragsdale, 6-0, Sr., G; Marcel Smith, 5-9, Sr., G.

Outlook: After last season's strong finish, the Warriors are a confident and more disciplined group under new coach Richardson. There is size and skill in the frontcourt, led by Epps (13 ppg.) and Woodlawn will use a pressure defense to try and create points in transition. Richardson can comfortably go 10 players deep and if the players can adjust to a new coach, and vice versa, the Warriors will be a major force in league.

Preseason Top 20

1. St. Frances (last season's rank -- 1)

2. Lake Clifton (6)

3. Annapolis (7)

4. Calvert Hall (4)

5. Dunbar (2)

6. Southwestern (8)

7. Southern-Balto. (3)

8. Mount St. Joseph's (not ranked)

9. Aberdeen (5)

10. Broadneck (19)

11. Randallstown (10)

12. Arundel (12)

13. Centennial (NR)

14. Walbrook (17)

15. Severn (NR)

16. Woodlawn (NR)

17. Southern-AA (14)

18. Douglass (NR)

19. Towson Catholic (NR)

20. St. Paul's (NR)

Pub Date: 12/03/96

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