Baltimore County public schools girls basketball previews

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Catonsville Comets

1997-98 record: 19-8

Coach: Mike Mohler

Top players: Carol Schmoeller, 5-7, Jr., G; Danni Packer, 5-9, Soph., F; Kara MacLeod, 5-10, Jr., F; Tina Tacka, 5-6, Jr., F/G

Outlook: The Comets lost just two starters from a team that pushed Milford Mill in the regional playoffs. Still with only one senior, 5-10 C Jessica Bateman, the Comets are young even though they have seven players back who saw significant action. They also have two freshman who could contribute right away. Look for the Comets to again rank among the Hoopster's Division's top teams.

Carver A&T; Wildcats

1997-98 record: 1-21

Coach: Paul Milam

Top players: Ashley Hull, 5-7, Sr., G; Tiedra Walker, 5-10, Sr., C

Outlook: The Wildcats may not be ready to contend for the Sharpshooters Division title, but they should at least win a few more games. Three starters return, including Hull (15 ppg). With five players up from the JV, Milam said the team has improved in quickness and ball-handling.

Chesapeake Bayhawks

1997-98 record: 7-15

Coach: Karen Brown

Top players: Crystal Carter, 5-7, Fr., G/F; Victoria Drummond, 5-4, Sr., G; Chanel Murray, 6-0, Sr., C; Geneva Grant, 5-10, Jr., F; Theresa Moody, 5-6, Sr., F

Outlook: First-year coach Brown is optimistic that the Bayhawks will improve on last season's mark. Three starters return and Brown said she is looking to go eight or nine players deep. Brown said her players have the fundamentals, they just need to be fine-tuned.

Dulaney Lions

1997-98 record: 17-4

Coach: Nancy Woodside

Top players: Bridget Fitzsimmons, 5-10, Sr., F; Katie Kilgalen, 5-8, Sr., G; Ashley Gansert, 5-6, Soph., G; Val Anderson, 5-11, Jr., C; Katie Curran, 5-11, Jr., F

Outlook: The Lions return all but one starter and should be a more versatile team. Fitzsimmons provides the leadership for a team that enjoyed a breakthrough season last year. With more experience and more confidence, the Lions have an effective running game and a more balanced offense. The Lions likely will give Milford Mill its best challenge for the Hoopsters Division title.

Dundalk Owls

1997-98 record: 4-18

Coach: Fred Hammett

Top players: LaRhonda Garrett, 5-9, Jr., F; Sarah Crouse, 5-5, Jr., G; Monica Gladysz, 5-11, Soph., F; Dawn Shifflett, 5-7, Jr., F

Outlook: The Owls lost three starters, but Hammett expects them to improve because they have more athletic players. Garrett, Crouse and Shifflett have been to camp and their dedication is rubbing off on the rest of the team. Although the Owls don't have the power to contend with the top teams in the Hoopsters Division, they could improve their record.

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1997-98 record: 8-14

Coach: Dave Scrivener

Top players: Elisha Carter, 5-4, Sr., G; April Stevenson, 5-4, Fr., G; Leilani Jones, 5-8, Jr., F; Constance Gregory, 5-9, Jr., F; Lynnear Johnson, 5-5, Jr., G

Outlook: With athletic ability and quickness to make up for the lack of size, Scrivener expects his team to move toward .500 in the county's Hoopsters Division. Veteran Carter, who should reach the 1,500-point mark in midseason, brings back impressive numbers (21 ppg, 4.5 spg, 3.5 apg). The juniors are solid and Stevenson has great potential.

Franklin Indians

1997-98 record: 13-10

Coach: Tim Malone

Top players: Missy King, 5-7, Sr., F/G; Sarah Molinaro, 5-6, Jr., G

Outlook: Although they lost three starters, the Indians do return seven players, including four other juniors, 5-7 G Kameia Newton, 5-5 G Shawntaye Adams, 5-9 F Tasha Keller, 5-9 F

Tanisha Keller, and a sophomore, 6-0 C Candace Harper. Malone, who moves up from JV, expects to win as many games as last year based on experience and strengths in defense and rebounding.

Hereford Bulls

1997-98 record: 20-5

Coach: Trinette Tucker

Top players: Jodi Anderson, 5-10, Jr., F/C; Tara Clarke, 5-10, Jr., F/C; Gina Allen, 5-6, So., PG; Jackie Harper, 5-7, Sr., F; Paige Nichol, 5-5, Jr., G

Outlook: The defending Sharpshooters Division champion Bulls look to be in good shape despite the loss of two starters. With the addition of Nichol, a point guard from Conn., to compliment Allen, who started at the point as a freshman, Hereford will be a guard-oriented team, complete with plenty of ball-handling ability, speed and outside shooting ability. The key is likely to be how the team does boxing out and rebounding.

Kenwood Bluebirds

1997-98 record: 5-16

Coach: Robin James

Top players: Jessica Todd, 5-7, Jr., G; Charlena Shrieves, 5-9, Sr., F; Gloria Faniyi, 5-8, Sr., F; Tominik Williams, 5-8, Soph., F; Tylisa Morris, 5-4, Soph., G

Outlook: It looks like another rebuilding season for the Bluebirds in the Sharpshooters Division. Kenwood has just two starters back and is laden with underclassmen. There is hope for the future, however, with seven promising sophomores up from a good JV squad.

Lansdowne Vikings

1997-98 record: 17-6

Coach: Terry Lathroum

Top players: Sarah Grimes, 5-9, Sr., G; Amy Cousins, 5-8, Sr., G; Dawn Johns, 5-9, Sr., F; Jen Leishear, 5-5, Jr., G

Outlook: The Vikings lost most of their height but return three starters to a team that contended in the Hoopsters Division. This year, almost everyone is in the 5-8 to 5-9 range, but with balanced scoring, good depth and lots of hustle, first-year varsity coach Lathroum hopes to make up for the lack of height.

Loch Raven Raiders

1997-98 record: 8-13

Coach: Ken Witts

Top players: Anne Mobley, 5-5, Sr., G; Ashley Froman, 5-5, Sr., G; Laura Palazzi, 5-4, Sr., G; Erica O'Donnell, 5-11, Sr., C; Meghan Keeny, 5-9, Jr., F

Outlook: The Raiders return every starter and that could translate into a better season. With seven returning players, experience should help compensate for the lack of height. This is an athletic group -- all five starters played on the county championship soccer team -- and Witts expects to crack .500 in the Hoopsters Division.

Milford Mill Millers

1997-98 record: 24-5

Coach: Pam Wright

Top players: Chante Alexander, 6-1, Sr., F; Mandy Clark, 5-8, Jr., G; Quante Toney, 5-5, Sr., G; Danielle Carter, 5-10, Sr., G; Tamika Rodgers, 5-9, Soph, F

Outlook: The Millers have won three straight Baltimore County crowns and nothing should stop them from adding a fourth. With the addition of exceptional guards Clark and Toney, who transferred from Woodlawn and Gwynn Lake, respectively, the Millers have one of the area's best backcourts. They also have the county's top inside threat in Alexander, who has signed with James Madison. The Hoopsters Division Millers could end up in the Top 5.

Overlea Falcons

1997-98 record: 1-20

Coach: Jody Ferguson

Top players: Nicole Lunn, 5-4, Sr., G; April Johnson, 5-3, Soph., G; Sara Johnson, 5-6, Jr., F; Sherita Gilyard, 5-11, Sr., F; Shannel McConnell, 6-0, Sr., C

Outlook: The Falcons remain inexperienced in the Hoopsters Division although Ferguson said they should be able to run with anyone. There is strong leadership in Lunn and plenty of determination, but Ferguson will be looking for steady improvement.

Owings Mills Golden Eagles

1997-98 record: 6-15

Coach: Lisa Meyer

Top players: Bess Caplan, 5-7, Sr., C; Jere Christian, 5-6, Jr., F; Allison Sherman, 5-1, Jr., G; Ellen Snowden, 5-3, Soph., G

Outlook: In a rebuilding season in the county's tough Hoopsters Division, the Eagles will stress defense and putting down a solid foundation of basic skills. Lack of height and quickness is a concern, so the Eagles will have to rely on hustle and keeping the turnovers down.

Parkville Knights

1997-98 record: 14-8

Coach: Nancy Gross

Top players: Stephanie Curnoles, 5-7, Jr., G; Tiffany Vaughan, 5-9, Jr., F; Emily Anastasia, 5-10, Jr., F

Outlook: The Knights face a rebuilding season and Gross is still looking for leaders to emerge. Still, the Knights have speed and depth and the youngsters seem to fit in well. It doesn't hurt to add two freshmen with AAU experience. This team could improve quickly and if it does, it could stay near the top in the Hoopsters Division.

Patapsco Patriots

1997-98 record: 4-12

Coach: Tony Maggard

Top players: Becca Woods, 5-10, Sr., G; Sarah Hughes, 5-8, Sr., F; Emily Fishell, 5-5, Jr., F; Amy Sibiski, 6-1, Soph., C

Outlook: Maggard moves up from JV along with three of his top five players. The Patriots lost four starters and return only two girls with varsity experience. Although they have athletes from other sports, the Patriots have four girls on the roster who have never played basketball.

Perry Hall Gators

1997-98 record: 12-12

Coach: Linda Caccavalla

Top players: Nicky Pugaczewski, 5-5, Jr., G; Mandy Fisher, 5-7, Jr., G; Lorrie Budd, 6-0, Jr., C; Leslie Heiderman, 5-8, Jr., F; Robyn Scrivani, 5-10, Sr., G

Outlook: The Gators graduated only two seniors and this group has a unique team unity since most have played together since eighth grade. They have a balanced inside-outside game and good speed. With a lot of depth, Caccavalla will be looking for a more uptempo game this season in the Hoopsters Division.

Pikesville Panthers

1997-98 record: 14-7

Coach: Kenneth Lane

Top players: Jasmine Carmichael, 5-8, Sr., F/C; Lori Parson, 5-8, Jr., F/G; Ify Osefo, 5-7, Sr., G; Joy Garrett, 5-9, Sr., C; Lauren Misler, 5-8, Sr., F

Outlook: The Panthers are one of the favorites in the Sharpshooters Division after consecutive third-place finishes. Parson, who led the county in scoring (23.7 ppg) last season, is one of four returning starters. Osefo, who averaged 7.0 rebounds per game at point guard, may move to forward.

Randallstown Rams

1997-98 record: 8-17

Coach: Anthony Knox

Top players: Manikka Little, 6-2, Sr., C; Patrice Little, 5-9, Jr., F; Monique Mason, 5-7, Jr., F; Shay Pleasant, 5-4, Jr., G; Nichelle Smith, 5-5, Jr., G

Outlook: The Rams have the potential to make a big move in the Hoopsters Division, but they need to be consistent. They have depth including three sophomores with AAU experience -- 6-2 C Teresa Fallin, 5-7 G Crystal Gibson and 5-5 G Shanel Knox. They also have height and experience. They could move toward the top of the division.

Sparrows Point Pointers

1997-98 record: 7-12

Coach: Crista Alexander

Top players: Jessica Kalwa, 5-7, Sr., F; Stacy Berger, 5-7, Jr., G; Carrie Kraemer, 5-7, Jr., F; Keli Stevens, 5-8, Jr., C

Outlook: After slipping to seven wins last season following a 12-8 campaign two years ago, first-year coach Alexander is hoping for a .500 record. The Pointers have just one senior and are comprised mostly of sophomores. Alexander is hoping to utilze the team's speed by playing an up-tempo game.

Towson Generals

1997-98 record: 23-3

Coach: Bev Snyder

Top players: Lindsay Buchanan, 5-8, Sr., G; Jessie Ramer, 5-8, Jr., G; Bria Martin, 5-9, Jr., F

Outlook: The Generals likely will fall back toward the pack in the county's Hoopsters Division after losing four starters from the Class 3A state championship team. Buchanan is the lone returning starter while Ramer and Martin both saw a lot of action last year. Three freshmen with AAU experience should provide a boost.

Western T&E; Wolverines

1997-98 record: 15-8

Coach: Heather Dewees

Top players: Jaqueline Pundt, 6-0, Soph., F; Jen Scalow, 5-3, Sr., G; Candace High, 5-4, Jr., G; Vateya Jackson, 5-8, Jr., F; Shannon Chase, 5-5, Soph., G; Raven Johnson, 6-5, Soph., C

Outlook: The Wolverines figure to be in the thick of the Sharpshooters Division race. Four starters return, although the team is still relatively young, and may be a year away from dominating the division. One concern is the availability of Pundt, who tore two ligaments in September.

Woodlawn Warriors

1997-98 record: 17-5

Coach: Dave Schreiner

Top players: Stacie Allen, 5-10, Sr., F/G; Stephanie McPherson, 5-8, Sr., F/G; Chernell Sumpter, 5-5, Sr., G; Tiffany Reynolds, 5-9, Jr., C; Tiffany Stanley, 5-7, Soph., G

Outlook: The Warriors lost eight players from last year's team that contended for the Hoopsters Division title. Allen and McPherson are the only starters back and they will be surrounded by youngsters, including three freshmen. Schreiner said this team has the potential to come together quickly.

Pub Date: 12/08/98

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