They have a new coach and Tommy Polley is gone, but Dunbar is still Dunbar -- a very good boys basketball team.
The fifth-ranked, new-look Poets (2-0) come to the Capital City to face the third-ranked Panthers (2-0) at 7: 30 tonight on Riva Road. Last year, the Panthers posted their first win in five tries over the Poets by 60-58, and two 6-foot-7 forwards who played key roles in the triumph are back.
Germaine "Boo" Diggs and Brian Barber each scored 10 points for the Panthers and combined for 17 rebounds. It will be important for the pair to control tonight's game in the paint.
Last year, Barber's turn-around jumper in the paint with about two minutes left gave Annapolis the lead for good at 56-55. The Towson State-bound Barber is coming off Tuesday's 83-54 rout of Patterson in which he scored 23 and pulled down 12 rebounds.
Diggs has scored 41 points in his first two games for the Panthers.
"I don't know a lot about Dunbar this year, but I expect them to be pretty good," said Annapolis coach John Brady, who takes a career record of 398-74 into the game. "Let's face it, they're always good."
Lynn Badham has replaced Paul Smith as Dunbar coach, but Badham is no stranger to the Poets' winning ways. Badham was an assistant to Bob Wade when the latter coached the Poets back in the '80s.
Brady says a limited number of tickets will be sold at the door but suggests that fans come early because the game should be a sell-out.
Bruins on the road
No. 10 Broadneck, the county's other top 10 boys team, visits Washington-area power DeMatha at 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow in Hyattsville. Coach Ken Kazmarek's Bruins opened their season Tuesday with a 54-42 loss at No. 4 Calvert Hall.
Kazmarek is hoping his players take better care of the ball against the Stags, or it could get ugly.
"We had 20 turnovers at Calvert Hall, and eight of them turned into direct scores -- that was the difference," said Kazmarek. "You can't turn it over against a team like DeMatha, and they're going to jump in our throats. "They're [DeMatha] all 6-1 or 6-2 in the backcourt, 6-5 or more in the post, and everybody is built like a 19-year old."
Like Annapolis does, Broadneck schedules as many quality teams as it can get, knowing it will only make the team better. Annapolis plays host to DeMatha in January.
DeMatha will come to Cape St. Claire next season when the Bruins will be playing in their new gym.
Broadneck is playing its boys and girls home games at Anne Arundel Community College this season.
The county's two rookie public school boys basketball coaches got their first wins this week. Congratulations to Glen Burnie's Mike Rudd, whose Gophers beat the Key School Obezags, 73-60, on Tuesday.
No. 12 Arundel presented V.J. Keith with his first on Wednesday by 60-40 over Patterson. Keith, a four-year assistant at Broadneck before taking the Arundel post, was obviously influenced by Kazmarek. The Wildcats have gone from a run-and-gun team under Gerald Moore to a Broadneck-like slow motion, methodical offense.
Erik Lipton, Arundel's All-Metro (in both the Baltimore and Washington areas) quarterback, has decided not to play basketball in his senior year. He had been practicing with the Wildcats but college visits for football apparently were going to interfere.
Broadneck's Jason Smith, The Sun Male Athlete of the Year for 1994-95, is considering leaving Rutgers, where he is on a football scholarship. "Jason is disappointed with the football situation and is considering transferring to a Division I-AA school so he won't have to sit out a year," said Kazmarek, Smith's former coach.
John Downs, a second-team All-County guard last year at Annapolis, is playing for Mitchell Community College in Statesville, N.C.
Severna Park resident Mark Teixiera, an outstanding baseball player, is a junior on No. 7 Mount St. Joseph's 13-player deep basketball team.
Set your VCRs for Bill Frey's Sports Talk show on Jones cable TV 22 this weekend (5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) for a discussion of county basketball with Annapolis boys coach John Brady and Meade's Phil Popielski on the girls. Frey and Jones 22 did an excellent job producing a high-school football game of the week this fall and plan to start airing a county basketball game of the week.
Pub Date: 12/13/96