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Baltimore City girls basketball previews

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Public schools

Carver Bears

1997-98 record: 6-10

Coach: Ayanna McClean

Top players: Brooke Campbell, 5-11, Soph., G; Melissa Richardson, 5-8, Sr., F; Nicole Webb, 5-9, Jr., F; Barnetta Berkley, 5-2, Sr., G

Outlook: First-year coach McClean played for Breezy Bishop at Western and also was an assistant to her for three years and wants to instill in the Bears what she learned, strong fundamentals and discipline.

City Knights

1997-98 record: 13-7

Coach: George Petrides

Top players: Danise Gayles, 5-10, Sr., G; Jessica Shipley, 5-8, Jr., G; Anne Phillips, 5-11, Sr., C; Hattie Carpenter, 5-11, Sr., F; Amanda Evans, 5-6, Jr., G

Outlook: The Knights, who have won 13 games in each of the past three seasons, again should be one of the city's better teams. City has three starters back but must offset about 40 points a game lost to graduation.

Douglass Ducks

1997-98 record: 3-12

Co-coaches: Shelah Irby and John Robinson

Top players: Latarsha Bowie, 5-6, Jr., G; Shanay McClellan, 5-6, So., G; Dwania Lamb, 5-8, Sr., F

Outlook: It's a rebuilding season, with only three players back and most newcomers having never played competitive basketball.

Dunbar Poets

1997-98 record: 16-7

Coach: Wardell Selby

Top players: Keisha Wills, 5-10, Jr., C; Tierra Little, 5-5, Soph., F; Tiffany Jones, 5-6, Fr., G; Constance Simms, 4-11, Sr., G; Toni Kennedy, 5-6, Fr., F/G

Outlook: Selby, in his third season, should see Dunbar's improvement from 2-14 two season ago continue. Wills (16.7 points, 11 rebounds a game) is the leading returning scorer and one of several veterans. Add to the mix several skilled newcomers -- including Gwynn Lake transfer Jones -- and the Poets could be a sleeper.

Edmondson Redskins

1997-98 record: 10-11

Coach: Elise Collier

Top players: Connie McCullough, 5-6, Jr., F; Karen Kennedy, 5-0, Sr., G; Teree Boyd, 5-5, Soph., F; Shanita Whitehurst, 6-1, Soph., C; Kimberly Terrell, 5-3, Jr., G; La-Quita Shepherd, 5-5, Sr., G/F

Outlook: The Redskins, who fell short of expectations last season, have four starters back. McCullough was last year's leading scorer (11 a game) and rebounder (15).

Forest Park Foresters

1997-98 record: 5-15

Coach: Darrin Baker

Top players: Chanea Moore, 5-8, Sr., F; Sheena Montague, 5-10, Soph., C; Charnell Halloway, 5-6, Fr., G; Vanee Johnson, 5-5, Fr., G

Outlook: Baker is counting on the experience of Moore, a transfer from St. Frances, to help lead a young team. Montague is the one returning starter.

Lake Clifton Lakers

1997-98 record: 10-6

Coach: James Monroe

Top players: Sheronda Bailey, 5-11, Sr., F/C; Tyesha Smith, 5-6, Jr., G; Sheneka Lewis, 5-6, Sr., G; Shekona Lewis, 5-6, Sr., G; Faith Moore, 5-7, Soph., G; Danielle Alexander, 5-8, Sr., F

Outlook: With a senior-laden squad and all five starters returning, Monroe expects improvement. He hopes for an up-tempo game. A go-to player is still needed, though.

Mervo Mustangs

1997-98 record: 15-5

Coach: Nancy Havranek

Top players: Tobie Ashley, 5-7, Soph., G; Camella Boyd, 5-11, Soph., F/C; Shalynn Harrison, 5-11, Soph., F/C; Takisha Robinson, 5-5, Jr., G

Outlook: With three freshman starters last season, Mervo was a surprise region finalist, success that will not be unexpected this time. Returnees include Ashley, who averaged 17 points a game.

Northern Vikings

1997-98 record: 5-11

Coach: Sean Dunn

Top players: Ghorpu Woah-Tee, 5-11, Sr., F; Lauren Owens, 5-3, So., PG; Kimberly Ragin, 6-2, Fr., C; Jazma Brown, 5-7, Jr., G; Shaunte Montgomery, 5-7, So., G

Outlook: Expectations are high for this team, which lost often, but was competitive last season, and why not? They return their leading scorer, Owens; their leading rebounder, Woah-Tee; and their best defender, Brown.

Northwestern Wildcats

1997-98 record: 17-4

Coach: Wayne Jackson

Top players: Latrice Gilbert, 5-1, Jr., G; Dawn Toomer, 5-5, Soph., G; Jessica Bordley, 5-9, Jr., F

Outlook: Only two starters return for what could be something of a rebuilding year that Jackson expects to start slowly.

Patterson Clippers

1997-98 record: 5-17

Coach: Ed Brzozowski

Top players: Nicole Scott, 5-2, Sr., G; Delcina Smith, 5-4, Soph., G/F; Latoya Carter, 5-10, Sr., C; Adisha Richardson, 5-7, Jr., F; Amelia Dosis, 5-3, Sr., G

Outlook: Brzozowski, JV coach for six years, succeeds Derek Maki, who stepped down after 14 seasons. Guard-heavy and lacking height, the Clippers look to be rebuilding.

Poly Engineers

1997-98 record: 16-9

Coach: Mark Sawyer

Top players: Ravin Chase, 5-11, Soph., F; Jamilah Rideout, 5-4, Sr., G; Mia Thomas, 6-0, Jr., C; Jasmine Jennings, 5-4, Soph., G; Tia Wilson, 5-8, Jr., F

Outlook: Graduation cost the Engineers four starters, but they still figure to be competitive. Sawyer expects his team to get a lot of points off defense, which he always preaches. Poly's inside game should be strong.

Southern Bulldogs

1997-98 record: 1-13

Coach: Bill Parker

Top players: Sherry Brown, 6-0, Fr., C; Sheronica Collins, 5-6, Soph., G; Betty Carter, 5-0, Soph., G; Lakeisha Nelson, 5-7, Soph., F; Jennifer Hoover, 5-6, Jr., F

Outlook: Only one player has varsity experience, so the Bulldogs seem likely to have another tough season.

Southwestern Sabers

1997-98 record: 2-10

Coach: Arlene K. Scott

Top players: Jennifer Stewart, 5-5, Jr., G-F; Karin Banks, 5-5, Jr., G-F; Patricia Bryant, 5-7, Jr., G-F; Lisa Young, 5-3, Jr., G-F

Outlook: The Sabers return just four players, all juniors, which bodes well for the future but means this season may be another struggle.

Walbrook Warriors

1997-98 record: 9-11

Coach: Vanessa Marion

Top players: Dena McGriff, 5-8, Sr., F; Samone Smart, 5-0, Jr., G; Lavern Alston, 5-9, Sr., F; MiShaun McFadden, 5-10, Sr., C; Jimea Barner, 5-5, Sr., G

Outlook: Former Gwynn Lake players McGriff and Barner, a former All-Metro player, should provide scoring, and three Warriors starters are back.

Western Doves

1997-98 record: 25-3

Coach: Artie Uhlich

Top players: Delena Deshields, 5-7, Sr., G; Latia Few, 5-4, Sr., G; Crystal Falline, 5-11, Sr., C; Joy Gorham, 5-8, Jr., F; Melanie Harrington, 6-1, Sr., C

Outlook: In his first season last winter, Uhlich guided the Doves to the Class 4A state semifinals, where they were a point short after a last-second shot was waved off. With a solid nucleus, Western is favored to get another opportunity at a state title. Point guard Deshields leads the Doves' balanced offense, which includes outside shooter Few and inside specialist Falline.

Private schools

Bryn Mawr Mawrtians

1997-98 record: 12-6

Coach: Jim "Snuffy" Smith

Top players: Theresa Sherry, 5-7, Jr., F/G; Jodi Eipper-Mains, 5-11, Jr., C/F

Outlook: Smith, a veteran men's college coach, faces rebuilding in the Association of Independent Schools A Division with his first high school girls team after losing two key players to transfer and injury. His roster includes seven freshmen and sophomores.

Catholic Cubs

1997-98 record: 9-11

Coach: Michael Brown

Top players: Allison Merkle, 5-8, Sr., G; Molly Cumberland, 5-9, Sr., F; Dana Czawlytko, 5-8, Sr., F; Megan McAuliffe, 5-3, Fr., G; Laura Dantoni, 5-7, Fr., F

Outlook: The Cubs are young but have more experience this season with the addition of two Amateur Athletic Union-tempered freshmen. With five solid players and senior leadership, Brown expects to do better than last season, although the Cubs still are not ready to challenge for the AIS A Division's top spot.

Friends Quakers

1997-98 record: 15-7

Coach: Judy Turnbaugh

Top players: Jessie Adkins, 6-1, Sr., C; Anouk Erni, 6-0, Jr., F; Allison White, 5-8, Soph., G; Ashley Bastinelli, 5-7, Soph., G; Karleena Tobin, 5-7, Fr., G

Outlook: Three returning starters -- Adkins, White and Bastinelli -- provide a solid foundation for the Quakers, an AIS A Division tournament semifinalist last winter. The younger Quakers have AAU experience and should be ready for most of their competition.

Greater Grace Crusaders

1997-98 record: 12-9

Coach: Jennifer Lynch

Top players: Nicole Gorham, 5-4, Soph., G; Meredith Stevens, 5-6, Fr., G; Katie Colby, 5-8, Jr., C; Joanna Hadley, 5-6, Jr., F; Danielle Benoit, 5-4, Soph., G; Melanie Jipson, 5-6, Jr., G

Outlook: The two-time defending Maryland Christian Athletic League champions have four starters back and are favored to win a third title. Leading is Gorham, who averaged 15 points last season. Stevens is expected to make an impact offensively.

Institute of Notre Dame

1997-98 record: 1-19

Coach: Herb Hoelter

Top players: Ann Parker, 5-10, Jr., F; Kim Breitenother, 5-4, Jr., G; Jessa Karko, 5-10, Jr., F; Nia Mobley, 5-11, Fr., F; Jayme Otto, 5-10, Fr., F; Jessica Lader, 5-6, Sr., G

Outlook: The Indians appear to have the young talent to begin rebuilding. Hoelter, a first-year coach who assisted at Park last year, faces considerable inexperience, and having Breitenother sidelined for a week with a sprained ankle doesn't help.

Mercy Magic

1997-98 record: 22-10

Coach: Mary Ella Marion

Top players: Jamie Vogtman, 5-11, Sr., C; Ashlee Courter, 5-9, Sr., G; Kaitie Schuyler, 5-6, Jr., G; Abby Pyzik, 5-5, Jr., G; Becky Wilson, 5-11, Sr., F

Outlook: The Magic returns all five starters from last year's runner-up to Seton Keough in the Catholic League tournament championship. Led by two-time All-Metro pick Vogtman (17.4 points, 10 rebounds a game), the Magic should make another run at the top, especially after the emergence of Schuyler and Pyzik in last year's tournament.

Pompei Lions

1997-98 record: 5-12

Coach: Steve Palazzo

Top players: Tiffany Capparella, 5-6, Sr., G; Jenifer Denk, 5-8, Sr., G; Alicia Lewis, 5-5, Sr., F/G; Kim Prager, 6-0, Sr., C; Toni Santana, 5-4, Sr., G; Jennifer Wegrocki, 5-7, Jr., F

Outlook: Palazzo said this will be the best team in his six years at Pompei. Some players have been together since eighth grade, and all of the seniors have played together since ninth, which should translate into an excellent team game. Independents, the Lions will go after titles this season at tournaments at Mount Carmel and Maryvale.

Roland Park Reds

1997-98 record: 22-4

Coach: Scott Buckley

Top players: Betsy Gaines, 5-6, Sr., G; Meghan Kelly, 5-4, Sr., G; Elizabeth Ryan, 5-8, Sr., G; Kelsey Twist, 5-10, Soph., F; Stasia Thomas, 5-9, Sr., F

Outlook: The Reds should pick up right where they left off last season. With four returning starters led by All-Metro Gaines (16 points and four rebounds a game), the AIS A Division runner-up again will tackle one of the area's toughest schedules. Twist, however, may miss the first two weeks with a sprained ankle.

St. Frances Panthers

1997-98 record: 17-13

Coach: Jerome Shelton

Top players: Latonya Blue, 5-11, Soph., F; Shanell Watson, 5-3, ,, Jr., G; Tiffany Jackson, 5-7, Jr., G; Charity Lee, 6-0, Jr., C; Kia Coady, 5-4, Fr., G

Outlook: The addition of Blue, who played at Gwynn Lake last season, as well as a load of freshman talent, should boost the Panthers into Catholic League contention.

Seton Keough Gators (AIS team)

1997-98 record: 14-11

Coach: Debbi Pearson

Top players: Tess Romiti, 5-4, Sr., G; Allison Thompson, 5-6, Sr., G; Stephanie Roscher, 5-3, Sr., G; Katie Purper, 5-9, Jr., C

Outlook: With Romiti, Roscher and Purper back, the defending AIS B Division champs have experience. Lack of height and depth are concerns, but the top four are solid and should keep the Gators competitive in the B Division.

Seton Keough Gators (Catholic)

1997-98 record: 18-10

Coach: Jim Stromberg

Top players: Denise King, 5-8, Jr., G; Sarah Walsh, 6-1, Sr., C; Nikki Brown, 5-6, Jr., G; Meaghan Allan, 5-5, Jr., G; Laura Stromberg, 5-10, Jr., F; Itxaso Mallaviabarrena, 6-1, Sr., G

Outlook: The defending Catholic League tournament champions lost four seniors who were part of regular-season or tournament titles for the last four years. Even so, the Gators should remain among the league's contenders. Transfer Mallaviabarrena, the youngest member of the Spanish junior national team, adds strength to a backcourt led by King.

#

Preseason Top 20

Rank, School

1., McDonogh

2., Roland Park

3., St. Mary's

4., Arundel

5., Meade

6., Western

7., Seton Keough

8., Mercy

9., John Carroll

10., Milford Mill

11., Arch. Spalding

12., Glenelg

13., Centennial

14., St. Frances

15., Francis Scott Key

16., Long Reach

17., Liberty

18., River Hill

19., Dulaney

20., Woodlawn

Pub Date: 12/06/98

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