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1998-99 Carroll County boys basketball previews


Bowling Brook Thoroughbreds

1997-98 record: 6-18

Coach: Daryl Jackson

Top players: Wydeen Crenshaw, Sr., 6-1, F; Paul Parker, Sr., 6-1, F; Lavar Smith, Sr., 5-10, G

Outlook: Jackson, who had two different teams last season as the result of mid-January graduation, figures to lose only three of his 15 this time, which should bring some continuity. In its holiday tournament, the team defeated Mount St. Joseph and lost to Pallotti. The only returnee is Smith, the team's top scorer at 16.7, second-team All-Beltway League and all-tournament. Jackson will attempt to offset little height with quickness and pressure defense.

Carroll Christian Patriots

1997-98 record: 26-3

Coach: Randy Peterson

Top players: Luke Beam, Sr., 6-2, C; Alan Stevens, Sr., 5-9, G; Rusty Evans, Jr., 6-3, F; Brent Peterson, Jr., 5-9 F/G; Nate Sylvester, Jr., 6-0, F. Bryan Brammer, Soph., 5-10, G

Outlook: The Petersons, father and son, will be leaving after Dec. 11 for a new school in Rockford, Ill. The coach won't be leaving his successor much experience. Beam and Stevens saw some action last season, and Evans, Peterson, and Sylvester were back and forth as JV starters and varsity reserves. Given the team's youth and inexperience, plans call for a half-court, trapping defense.

Francis Scott Key Eagles

1997-98 record: 13-9

Coach: Jeff Cook

Top players: Justin Thomas, Sr., 6-4, F; John Brownley, Jr., 5-10, G; Tavon Saunders, Jr., 5-10, G; Sean Todd, Jr., 5-10, G

Outlook: Thomas is the only holdover although Saunders played two years ago. Brownley and Todd are former JV players, and the squad includes three sophomores up from a 13-1 freshman team. "We have some good shooters, but we will probably struggle early as the newcomers adjust to the varsity level," Cook said.

Liberty Lions

1997-98 record: 1-22

Coach: Scott Kohr

Top players: Mike Reuwer, Sr., 6-7, F; Mike Bowers, Jr., 6-2, G; Jason Bright, Jr., 6-0, G; Marc Falcone, Jr., 6-7, C; Jeremiah Poehlman, Jr., 5-11, G; Tom Warner, Jr., 5-10, G

Outlook: Reuwer brings experience and leadership and likely will produce a lot of what the Lions get. Falcone returns, having been among the county scoring (10.0) and rebounding (6.4) leaders as a sophomore. In the off-season, his offense and shot-blocking improved. Point guards Bowers and Poehlman, who got into a few varsity games last season, are due for more quality time. Bright, a leaper, split time between the varsity and JV and will need time to develop consistency. Warner brings athleticism and a good eye as a shooting guard.

"The chemistry is different than before, and it is fun to work with this group," Kohr said. "We're working on their running, and we need more offensive efficiency in the half-court."

North Carroll Panthers

1997-98 record: 7-16

Coach: Bernie Koontz

Top players: Jason Howdyshell, Sr., 6-3, F; Kevin Knipel, Sr., 5-10, G; Mike Lowe, Sr., 6-1, G; Justin Raynor, Sr., 5-8, G; Chris Wineke, Sr., 6-1, G; Scott Wunder, Sr., 6-5, F

Outlook: Another team hit hard by graduation -- six seniors and all of last winter's starters are gone. Returning, though, are seven players from a year ago, including forward Jemel Hogan, who joined the varsity for the second half of last season. Junior guards Mark Winemiller and Kevin Zander will help. One team strength is expected to be inside play, but several players are being asked to assume new roles, and adjusting will take time. Previous role players who were not counted on for extended play now have care for the ball against pressure, score, and rebound.

South Carroll Cavaliers

1997-98 record: 13-10

Coach: Jim Carnes

Top players: Ben Carr, Sr., 5-11, G; Kevin Damiano, Sr., 5-8, G; Adam Hynes, Sr., 6-2, F; David Keefer, Sr., 6-0, F; John Luster, Sr., 5-11, G; Sam McGrane, Sr., 6-7, C; Dan Tompkins, Sr., 5-8, G

Outlook: McGrane is one of the keys to team success, as he brings averages of 10 points, seven rebounds. Carnes lists rebounding as a concern, and said, "If Sam is in foul trouble, we're in trouble," because the next tallest player is 6-3. Scrimmages have revealed good perimeter shooting, which should produce more balanced scoring.

Westminster Owls

1997-98 record: 16-9

Coach: David Byers

Top players: Billy Bowman, Sr., 6-1, G; Shawn Cook, Sr., 6-6, F; Nick Farver, Sr., 6-2, F; Lucas Geiman, Sr., 6-4, F; Andy Leister, Sr., 6-4, F

Outlook: This is definitely a case of two separate groups, and Byers is faced with the task of mixing and matching for the right combinations. Five seniors -- but no starters -- return from last season's regional finalist, and, as the coach said, "It's their show." The five, headed by Bowman ond Farver, saw varying degrees of playing time. "If you have played at the varsity level, you are more sure of what you can do," said Byers. Of the rest, "We have kids who can play, but none has varsity experience. They played JV and in summer leagues, so we know what they can do. However, there is a different intensity, because you can't teach experience." Still, the seniors are aware of what is expected, and Cook and Leister bring height, and Geiman height and weight (270). "The seniors will have to lead us, not only with their play but their work habits and their intensity. The others will have to come along."

Pub Date: 12/04/98

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