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1998-99 Baltimore County boys basketball previews

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Public schools

Carver A&T; Wildcats

1997-98 record: 6-15

Coach: Russ Harless

Top players: Ronnie Sherrill, 6-4, Sr., C; Wesley Anderson, 6-2, Sr., F; Brandon Morris, 5-9, Jr., G

Outlook: This will be another rebuilding year for third-year coach Harless after graduating nine players. Sherrill, the only starter back, gives Carver adequate size inside.

Catonsville Comets

1997-98 record: 13-11

Coach: Jim Rhoads

Top players: Jason Yachera, 6-3, Sr., F; Stephen Roblin, 5-10, Jr., G; Sam Adams, 5-11, Sr., G; William Augustono, 6-0, Jr., F.

Outlook: The Comets emphasize playing up-tempo. Yachera and Roblin are the only starters back, and Adams, the sixth-man last season, will need to step up. The Comets will be tested early with contests against the Catholic League's Loyola, Mount St. Joseph and Cardinal Gibbons. "What we lack in height, we'll make up in shooting," Rhoads said.

Chesapeake-BC Bayhawks

1997-98 record: 11-11

Coach: Bob Hallett

Top players: Alan Hillenbrand, 5-11, Sr., G; David Thiesen, 6-3, Sr., C; Bobby Sydnor, 6-0, Sr., G; Brian Ross, 6-2, Sr., C; Charles Hawes, 6-4, Soph., F

Outlook: The Bayhawks have average height, and the key will be balanced scoring. "You'll see more discipline offensively than Chesapeake teams of the past [have had]," said Hallett, in his first season there.

Dulaney Lions

1997-98 record: Rod Norris

Coach: 12-10

Top players: Romas Krywonis, 6-6, Sr., F; Colin Stevens, 5-6, Soph., G; Nathan Hopkins, 6-6, Soph., F-C; Steve Will, 6-2, Sr., G-F; Jim Stagge, 6-4, Jr., F; Justin Ferrell, 5-9, Jr., G

Outlook: Norris, who guided the Lions to three more wins last winter than they had the preceding three seasons commbined, looks for continued, gradual improvement behind Krywonis, who averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds last season.

Dundalk Owls

1997-98 record: 8-11

Coach: Kevin Pieser

Top players: Kenneth Turner, 6-0, Sr., G; Vadez Preston, 6-1, Soph., G; Jermaine Smith, 6-1, Jr., F; Melvin Curry, 5-10, Jr., G; Josh Prouty, 6-4, Jr., C; Jayson Cox, 6-4, Sr., F; Jeff Keefer, 6-3, Sr., F

Outlook: The Owls, who lack height, will rely on Preston's scoring and Smith's scrappiness but are working with their third coach in as many seasons. "We're fairly disciplined, and defense will carry them through," said Pieser, an assistant last season.

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1997-98 record: 15-9

Coach: Todd Wade

Top players: Anthony Lawston, 6-3, Sr., F; Reggie Thomas, 6-0, Sr., G; Ralph Henry, 6-1, Sr., C; Wade Henninger, 6-5, Jr., C; Johnathan Hughes, 6-0, Jr., G

Outlook: The Mavericks could be headed for another solid season. However, the late arrival of four players from the state runner-up football team could interfere with team chemistry at the start of the season. One, Lawston, is the Mavericks' most reliable scorer and rebounder. "I don't know how we'll jell, because we're not a full team yet," Wade said. "So we might start slow, but we'll get better as the season goes along."

Franklin Indians

1997-98 record: 4-16

Coach: Mike Thomas

Top players: Jawaun Douglas, 6-3, Sr., F; Corey Lewis, 6-0, Sr., G; Brandon Colfield, 6-4, Sr., F

Outlook: Thomas, the JV coach last season, has a ball-control game plan for the Indians, who will score mainly from the perimeter. Lewis is Franklin's top shooter, and Douglas is the inside presence. "I think if we're disciplined on defense, we'll win some games," Thomas said.

Hereford Bulls

1997-98 record: 14-11

Coach: Mike Kailsz

Top players: Luke Gilbert, 6-5, Sr., F; Brian Davies, 6-0, Sr., F; Will Jackson, 6-0, Jr., F; Rob Bateman, 6-3, Jr., F; Ethan Zell, 6-0, Jr., G; Greg Herwig, 6-0, Sr., G; Steven Goad, 5-11, Soph., G

Outlook: Seven players return, and the Bulls will build around Gilbert, who averaged 20-plus points a game last winter, setting the school's single-season record. "He's very versatile," said Kailsz, in his first season after five as an assistant. "At some point, he'll play all five positions. He's a complete package."

Kenwood Bluebirds

1997-98 record: 17-8

Coach: Cal Rumbley

Top players: Manny Robinson, 5-9, Sr., G; Danny Watson, 5-8, Sr., G; Phil Watson, 6-3, Sr., F

Outlook: Although only one starter returns from last winter's region finalist, the Bluebirds might be able to repeat with an influx of JV players who will make them deeper, quicker and better shooters. "We can go 10 players deep and not lose too much," Rumbley said. With no true center, though, Kenwood could encounter matchup problems.

Lansdowne Vikings

1997-98 record: 14-10

Coach: Phil Bressler

Top players: Andre Loney, 6-2, Sr., F; Chad Gibson, 6-2, Jr., G; Lefty Sammons, 5-9, Jr., G; Brian Hugel, 6-6, Sr., C

Outlook: The Vikings have all of last season's starters back among eight returnees -- and still are a junior-dominated squad. Aggressive defense will be a hallmark. "We're young but experienced," said Bressler, in his second season at Lansdowne. "We'll be stronger and be more mobile."

Loch Raven Raiders

1997-98 record: 8-14

Coach: Brett Kanther

Top players: Cory MacCumbee, 6-3, Jr., G; Dominic Jackson, 6-2, Sr., G; Brian Jones, 6-5, Jr., C; Josh Zambrum, 6-0, Sr., G-F; Ajani Hunt, 6-2, Jr., F; Vernon Keim, 6-5, Sr., C

Outlook: Kanther, Eastern Tech's JV coach the past two seasons, stresses fundamentals and intends to build around MacCumbee's ability to score. "He can be one of the best players in the county," Kanther said. "He can shoot outside, get a lot of points in the paint because he's physical, and can run the point." The Raiders, with only three returning players, will switch to a motion offense.

Milford Mill Millers

1997-98 record: 19-4

Coach: Ed Smith

Top players: Richard Johnson, 5-11, Jr., G; Chad Mickens, 5-11, Jr., G; Aaron Tollerson, 6-0, Sr., F; Jacen Drummond, 6-1, Jr., F; Kevin Smith, 6-0, Sr., F

Outlook: The defending Baltimore County champions lost their starting lineup but still have enough talent to shoot for another title. The Millers might lack height and will try to offset that with quickness. The Millers will receive most of their points from the athletic trio of Mickens, Smith and football quarterback Johnson. "It's a matter of finding a good mix," said Smith, who enters his fourth season.

Overlea Falcons

1997-98 record: 13-11

Coach: Larry Nelson

Top players: Mike Pitts, 6-5, Sr., F; James Jordan-El, 6-2, Sr., G-F; Ryan Pitts, 6-4, Jr., C; Darrin Mahomes, 6-0, Soph., G; Anthony Myles, 5-10, Soph., G

Outlook: New system, new players. First-season coach Nelson, last winter's JV coach, could start two sophomores and two transfers. He'll look for leadership from Mike Pitts, the lone returning starter. A .500 season could be attainable.

Owings Mills Eagles

1997-98 record: 8-13

Coach: Tom Coburn

Top players: Neil Handy, 6-1, Sr., G; Marc Shuster, 5-10, Sr., G; Mike Ellerbee, 6-1, Sr., G-F; Russell Berger, 6-0, Jr., G; Jeremy Kavalsky, 6-1, Sr., F

Outlook: The Eagles will be inexperienced -- Handy and Shuster are the only starters back -- and small, with their strength being quickness.

Parkville Knights

1997-98 record: 5-14

Coach: Marty Keithline

Top players: Earl Smith, 6-6, Jr., C-F; Jermel Hardy, 6-4, Jr., F; Kareem Hayes, 6-2, Sr., F; Bobby Aramideh, 5-8, Sr., G; Norris Goode, 6-1, Sr., F; Craig Jordan, 5-10, Jr., G; Kenny Ashpule, 6-1, Jr., G

Outlook: Parkville might be the county's dark horse in Keithline's second season. The Knights will play up-tempo but will be more balanced by gaining inside help with transfers Smith (Dunbar) and Hardy (Lake Clifton). Another newcomer, Ashpule, averaged points a game on JV.

Patapsco Patriots

1997-98 record: 3-18

Coach: Murray Clarke

Top players: Chad Clarke, 6-2, Sr., G; Calvin Wilson, 6-1, Soph., G-F; Danny Gordon, 6-2, Jr., F; Eric Lloyd, 6-1, Jr., C; Daman Dukes, 6-2, Jr., C

Outlook: Starting center Dukes, one of two returnees, could be sidelined awhile with a separated shoulder as Patapsco attempts to get back to .500 with a majority of its players up from JV. "We'll look to be more of a perimeter team and be more unselfish," said second-season coach Clarke.

Perry Hall Gators

1997-98 record: 7-15

Coach: Ron Meehan

Top players: Dale Seward, 6-5, Jr., F; Robert Johnson, 6-0, Sr., G; Matt Pence, 6-0, Sr., F-G; Mike Ryan, 6-4, Sr., C; Scott Dufel, 6-1, Jr., G; Jaron Taylor, 6-1, Soph., G-F

Outlook: The Gators, who lost a majority of their games last season by 10 or fewer points, expect more positive results. Seward is the eye-grabber with his 36-inch vertical leap. "He's a coach's dream," Meehan said. "He can dribble, run the court, and shoot threes." Taylor, a transfer from Poly, could take some attention off Seward.

Pikesville Panthers

1997-98 record: 10-10

Coach: Craig Amos

Top players: Clement Forgho, 6-4, Soph., G-F; Andrew Brauver, 5-7, Soph., G; Steve Watson, 6-2, Jr., F; Isake Bakaez, 6-3, Jr., F

Outlook: The Panthers will be more agile, which fits Amos' coaching style. Pikesville will also have more size and be able to compete with some teams inside. Bakaez, at 220 pounds, can create excitement. "I expect them to win five-to-seven more games," Amos said.

Randallstown Rams

1997-98 record: 20-5

Coach: Kim Rivers

Top players: Marshall Contee, 6-1, Sr., G-F; Lance Fair, 6-4, Jr., F-G; Jamal Parker, 6-0, Sr., F; Antoine Jordan, 6-2, Soph., G-F; Aaron McCoy, 6-0, Jr., G; Bariki Savage, 6-2, Sr., F; James Jegede, 6-4, Sr., F-G; Anthony Addison, 5-10, Sr., G

Outlook: Though the Rams lost all five starters, Contee and Fair will allow them to reload with speed, not rebuild. "We might not be the team to beat, because we're young," Rivers said. "But by the end of the season, we'll be in line to run at another state championship."

Sparrows Point Pointers

1997-98 record: 15-6

Coach: Russell Lingner

Top players: Donald Green, 5-10, Sr., G; Mitchell Brown, 6-0, Soph., F; Charles Walpole, 6-0, Sr., F

Outlook: Three starters are back, and the Pointers will use their quickness in half-court traps to stay competitive. Green, who plays above his height, is Sparrows Point's top scoring threat after 350 points last season.

Towson Generals

1997-98 record: 8-14

Coach: Randy Dase

Top players: Sam Young, 6-1, Sr., F; Dave Wille, 5-11, Sr., G; Gavin Kimball, 5-10, Sr., G; Mike Williams, 6-0, Jr., F

Outlook: The Generals look to build upon last season's region semifinal appearance with eight players back. Kimball at point will distribute to Young, Towson's top athlete, and Wille, the top outside shooter. "If they don't take us seriously, we could surprise some teams," Dase said.

Western T&E; Wolverines

1997-98 record: 4-15

Coach: Mark Krabitz

Top players: Jason Williams, 6-4, Jr., C; Travis Brooks, 5-6, Sr., G; Marlon Romero, 6-0, Sr., G; Marvin Romero, 6-0, Sr., G

Outlook: Krabitz, JV coach for three seasons, said the Wolverines will mix a large group of JV players with four seniors, playing ball control and keeping teams off balance with presses.

Woodlawn Warriors

1997-98 record: 20-5

Coach: Bobby Richardson

Top players: Arnold Coates, 6-4, Sr., C; Gary Neverdon, 6-3, Sr., F; T.C. Allen, 5-8, Sr., G; Phillip Goins, 5-8, Sr., G; Ishmael Robinson, 6-2, Jr., F

Outlook: Watch out for the Baltimore County runners-up The Warriors return six players, several able to play three positions. The Warriors will play their 12-player roster regularly. "The majority of our points will come from raising havoc on the defensive end," Richardson said.

Private schools

Arlington Baptist Eagles

1997-98 record: 7-15

Coach: Brent Brewer

Top players: Brent Byrd, 6-0, Sr., G; Jason Jones, 6-4, Jr., C; Luke Sattler, 5-8, Sr., G; Paul Thompson, 6-3, Jr., F

Outlook: The Eagles already have improved in winning three of their first four games. Byrd steadies the half-court offense, and Jones and Thompson are a solid in the frontcourt.

Beth Tfiloh Warriors

1997-98 record: 19-10

Coach: Chuck Monninger

Top players: David Coleman, 6-3, Sr., C; John Sarrett, 6-0, Sr., F; David Steinberg, 6-0, Sr., F; Aaron Hollander, 6-0, Soph., G; Yoni Rosenblatt, 6-2, Soph., G; Chanon Wisseman, 5-9, Soph., G

Outlook: Coleman and Hollander are back from a team that won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference, Division II, title. The Warriors, who will try to control tempo, could be again be a team to be reckoned with.

Boys' Latin Lakers

1997-98 record: 13-12

Coach: Trey Gelston

Top players: Jake Aygun, 5-11, Jr., G; Jamie Dave, 6-4, Sr., G/F; Cory Days, 6- 3, Sr., F; Jon Singer, 5-9, Sr., G; Nick Allen, 6-1, Sr., G; Reggie Stalling, 6- 3, Sr., F; Hunter Lochte, 6-3, Sr., F; Mike Thomas, 5-10, Sr., G

Outlook: Gelston takes over from his father, Hugh, who coached the Lakers' varsity for 29 seasons. The younger Gelston, who inherits 11 returnees, including three starters, likes his team's height and shooting. But defense and ballhandling are concerns.

Calvert Hall Cardinals

1997-98 record: 16-16

Coach: Mark Amatucci

Top players: Reggie Bryant, 6-3, Sr., F; Delbert Randall, 6-6, Jr., C; Jared Woodley, 5-11, Jr., G; Tim Knapp, 6-1, Sr., G; Chris Knoerlein, 6-7, Sr., C; Andrew Ross, 6-6, Jr., F

Outlook: The Cardinals came on strong late last season, upsetting St. Frances in the Catholic League tournament before losing in OT to Mount St. Joseph in a semifinal. They should continue to progress with three returning starters. Bryant is one of the area's top college prospects. Amatucci says he'll have an influx young players and will need the experienced players to step up. Rebounding and half-court defense are concerns, but Calvert Hall will be competitive.

Gwynn Lake Lakers

1997-98 record: NA

Coach: Jeff Harshman

Top players: Adam Arbor, 6-2, Sr., G; John Barrett, 6-0, Sr., G; Gary Curley, 5-10, Sr., PG; Joe Ison, 6-5, Sr., F-G; Maurice Simmons, 6-3, Sr., F

Outlook: New coach Harshman attempts to bring the Lakers, who still need a home gym, more discipline and a cleaner image. He has a lot of raw talent, but most players need work on fundamentals. The schedule is a rugged one.

Loyola Dons

1997-98 record: 16-17

Coach: Jerry Savage

Top players: Mike Bosica, 6-3, Sr., G; Tim Hyle, 6-3, Sr., F/G; Erick Case, 6-0, Sr., G; Ryan Seward, 6-1, Sr., G; Matt Murphy, 6-4, Soph., C; Greg Jordan, 5-10, Sr., G

Outlook: Only Bosica, who led the team in three-pointers, started last season. Murphy and Jordan are promising players up from the JV. Lack of size and experience are problems, but Loyola should be a good outside-shooting squad. Savage, the dean of area coaches, always finds a way to make the Dons competitive.

Lutheran Saints

1997-98 record: 3-17

Coach: Tom Lentsch

Top players: Brett Evans, 6-1, Sr., F; Ben Hughes, 5-7, Sr., G; Mike McNieve, 5-9, Sr., G; Jeff Osbourn, 6-2, Sr., F; Jason Schneider, 5-8, Sr., G; William Tittle, 6-4, Jr., F

Outlook: Lentsch expects a higher level of play. The Saints finished last in the league for the first time in school history a season ago. A floor leader must emerge.

McDonogh Eagles

1997-98 record: 22-2

Coach: Matt MacMullan

Top players: David Lunn, 6-4, Jr., G; Owen Daly, 6-2, Sr., G; Bobby Benson, 6-5, Sr., C; T.C. Cosby, 6-1, Jr., F; Jay Mayes, 6-1, Jr., F; Eric King, 5-10, Jr., G

Outlook: The Eagles, with experience and talent, are primed for a repeat as MIAA B Conference champions. Lunn, one of the area's best underclassmen, is one of five starters back. McDonogh lacks consistent outside shooting, but quickness should compensate. The Eagles have a challenging schedule, including a trip to Annapolis and games with MIAA A Conference teams.

Mount Carmel Cougars

1997-98 record: 1-13

Coach: Nick Biscotti

Top players: Eric Augustine, 6-1, Jr., F; Andrew Ganzzermiller, 6-1, Soph., F; Derrick Muchla, 6-0, Jr., G; Joe Ricci, 6-2, Soph., F; Brett Vallecillo, 5-7, Jr., G; Evan Williams, 6-3, Soph., C

Outlook: A rather young team is in its second season, and Biscotti looks forward to better leadership. Muchla (13 points a game last winter) is the top scorer. But the difference could be how Williams and Ricci establish themselves inside.

Park Bruins

1997-98 record: 14-8

Coach: Josh Wolf

Top players: Hal Kronsberg, 5-10, Sr., F; Wayne Hitckok, 6-0, Sr., G; Dan Klein, 6-2, Sr., F; Aaron Rabinowitz, 5-10, Sr., G; Harris Siensod, 5-8, Jr., G; Jon Hillman, 5-9, Sr., F

Outlook: Six players are back for last winter's MIAA C Conference semifinalist. A scorer is needed. Wolf thinks his team will be quick, but height is a problem with no one above 6-2.

St. Paul's Crusaders

1997-98 record: 9-15

Coach: Tony Meyers

Top players: Trey Whitty, 6-2, Sr., F; Doug Mueller, 6-0, Sr., G; Robert Steele, 6-2, Jr., F; Kyle Koch, 5-11, Jr., G; Chaz Wiggins, 5-9, Jr., G

Outlook: Injuries to four starters made Meyers' first season as coach difficult as the Crusaders suffered a rare losing campaign. Whitty and Mueller will provide leadership, and St. Paul's will have more depth and experience. Meyers said defense and rebounding will be crucial for a team that lacks height.

Towson Catholic Owls

1997-98 record: 26-11

Top players: Keith Jenifer, 6-2, Jr., G; Aaron Early, 6-0, Sr., G; Steve Johnson, 6-2, Sr., G; Gil Goodrich, 5-10, Jr., G; Anthony Thornton, 6-6, Sr., C

Outlook: Despite losing All-Metro guard Lafonte Johnson to Dunbar, the Owls still possess a wealth of talent, enough for another run at the Catholic League title. Jenifer is a top underclassman, and Steve Johnson and Thornton are steady performers. Goodrich, who transferred from Cardinal Gibbons, gives the Owls ballhanding and outside shooting.

Preseason Top 20

Rank School, 97-98

1. Dunbar, 25-3

2. Southern-B, 19-4

3. Arch. Spalding, 17-17

4. Annapolis, 21-7

5. Towson Cath., 24-10

6. St. Frances, 19-5

7. Calvert Hall, 16-16

8. Lake Clifton, 13-8

9. Southwestern, 10-13

10. Mt. St. Joseph, 23-9

11. McDonogh, 22-2

12. Broadneck, 13-11

13. Mervo, 20-5

14. Randallstown, 20-5

15. Oakland Mills, 14-10

16. City, 16-12

17. Douglass, 15-10

18. Aberdeen, 21-5

19. Edgewood, 24-3

20. Woodlawn, 20-5

Pub Date: 12/04/98

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