In what coach Dennis Gottesmann called his team's "biggest game of the year," Atholton responded yesterday with a championship-like performance against Howard in a Howard Conference club hockey game at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel.
Atholton scored the first six goals, got a hat trick from Kurt Carter, and contained Howard's top scoring threats, Erik Dickson and Rob Ross, en route to an 8-1 victory over the previously unbeaten Lions.
"We saw this as the championship game for Howard County," said Carter, a freshman at Long Reach.
Atholton cannot play in the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League postseason because it has players from four schools, including Atholton, Hammond and Long Reach in Howard County.
The Raiders (5-1) wanted to make a point yesterday that even though they won't be in the postseason, they are the county's top team.
"We wanted to score early and often, and we did," Gottesmann said.
"They outplayed us, but they got help from at least five posts," said Howard coach Michael Rand. "The difference is their depth. There was nothing I could do to counter that."
Another difference was that Atholton's players were ready. They were at the rink on time. Some Howard players arrived only minutes before the puck was dropped.
"That absolutely made a difference," Rand said.
"They were ready," Gottesmann said of his team. "That was the most intense we've been all year."
Eli Martin, Jason Morstein, Greg Hendrix, Justin Kevan and Bobby Stein added goals for Atholton. Ross scored for Howard.
Here are the Howard Conference standings: Atholton 5-1, Howard 4-1, Mount Hebron 2-1, River Hill 2-1-1, Wilde Lake 1-2-1, Centennial 2-3, Oakland Mills 1-3, Glenelg 0-4-1.
Oakland Mills' boys team established itself as the team to beat with a solid showing in the third county meet of the season Monday at the 5th Regiment Armory.
The Scorpions finished with 116 points, followed by River Hill 80, Glenelg 40, Centennial 33, Long Reach 30, Wilde Lake 26, Atholton 23, Mount Hebron 21, Howard 20 and Hammond 12.
"We used it as a workout, and the kids really ran well," said Oakland Mills coach Sam Singleton. "I'm very pleased."
Judging from Monday's results, it's easy to see why Oakland Mills and River Hill are the top two boys' teams. Out of 13 events, Oakland Mills won seven and River Hill took five. Here are the first-place finishers in each event:
3,200 relay -- River Hill (Mike Styczynski, Zach Heidepriem, Deforest McDuff, Steve Chu) 9: 02.13; 300 -- Kyle Farmer, Oakland Mills, 37.4; 1,600 -- Chu, 4: 52,7; 55 hurdles -- Brandon Hammond, Oakland Mills, 8.1; 55 dash -- Farmer, 6.4; 500 -- Hammond, 1: 14.1; 800 relay -- Oakland Mills (Nehemiah Spence, Jean Brunache, Jeff Johnson, Farmer) 1: 39.9; 3,200 -- Styczynski, 10: 24.8; pole vault -- Tony Pesce, Atholton, 13-8; shot put -- Aharon McKoy, Oakland Mills, 43-1 1/2; 800 -- Heidepriem, 2: 10.9; 1,600 relay -- Oakland Mills (Hammond, Nick Fambro, Brunache, Farmer) 3: 58.4; high jump -- Jason Turnbull, River Hill, 5-10.
Glenelg won the girls competition, although it took only two events. The Gladiators finished with 73 points, followed by Atholton 54.5, River Hill 52, Long Reach 47, Wilde Lake 42.5, Oakland Mills 34, Mount Hebron 31, Howard 30, Hammond 23 and Centennial 16.
Oakland Mills' Danielle Stoddart won three events. She took the 500 (1: 21), 800 (2: 32.62) and combined with Nicole Alpert, Molly Sunderdick and Lan Gardner to win the 3,200 relay (10: 47). Atholton's Michelle Nelson won twice, taking the 300 (45.2) and the 55 (7.4).
Glenelg senior Lori Tvarkunas cleared 10 feet to set a county record in the pole vault. Tvarkunas attended a camp over the holiday in Arkansas and cleared 10-7.
Here are other winners in the girls competition: 1,600 -- Lee McDuff, River Hill, 5: 34.72; 55 hurdles -- Cynthia Nicholls, Long Reach, 8.9; shot put -- Courtney Savoy, River Hill, 34-6; high jump -- Julie Bergin, Wilde Lake, 5-0; 3,200 -- Bridget Baker, Howard, 12: 20; 800 relay -- Glenelg (Lauren Koutrelakos, Melissa Wilder, Christa Vent, Kristin Smith) 1: 56; 1,600 relay -- Howard (Tia Jeffrey, Treva King, Sheena Burton, Sabrina Ourseler) 4: 37.16.
"We went out in the first quarter and did a very good job," said Oakland Mills coach Kim Rosado after her team's surprising 56-41 victory Wednesday night over visiting Long Reach.
Rayna DuBose had 13 points and Heather Romich seven as the Scorpions jumped out to a 23-6 lead. Long Reach trailed 39-30 entering the fourth quarter and cut its deficit to three but could come no closer. DuBose finished with 21 and Romich 15.
Oakland Mills guard Jessica Oster, who tore an anterior cruciate ligament last summer, played for the first time this season and added seven points. Rosado also praised the play of guards Rachel Drake and Stephanie Amponsah.
River Hill's Greeba Outen, who missed the season's first two games because of back pain, did not play Wednesday in the Hawks' 46-35 win against Wilde Lake.
Outen hurt her back again on Monday. River Hill coach Teresa Waters said yesterday she didn't know if Outen would be able to play tonight against visiting Mount Hebron.
Here are the standings, with overall record first:
Glenelg 9-0, 5-0; Centennial 8-1, 5-0; Mount Hebron 8-1, 4-1; Wilde Lake 5-4, 2-3; Hammond 3-4, 2-3; River Hill 4-5, 3-2; Oakland Mills 3-6, 2-3; Long Reach 3-6, 1-4; Howard 1-8, 1-4; Atholton 1-8, 0-5.
Pub Date: 1/08/99