Sophomore Tamera Jackson has played her last game for Long Reach's girls basketball team.
The 6-foot-1 Jackson, who averaged 10 points and six rebounds, will transfer to Riverdale Baptist after completing her final exams Monday. Independent Riverdale Baptist (15-1) is ranked 10th in Washington.
"It was a family decision," said Charles Jackson, Tamera's father. He said "we hated to leave at midseason," but circumstances made it the right time. "It was a tough decision."
The Jacksons' two other children, 4-year-old Alauna and 6-year-old Trey, also will leave their current schools to attend Riverdale Baptist. The family lives in the Howard High district, and Tamera was a tech-magnet student at Long Reach.
"We're going to miss Tamera greatly. She was definitely an asset to our team," said Long Reach coach Shanya Evans, whose squad is 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the county. "The kids are going to have to step up now and play harder and try to take us to a higher level."
Long Reach was ranked in The Sun's preseason top 20 poll but won only two of its first seven games. After a 15-point loss to Oakland Mills on Jan. 6, the Lightning has won two straight.
Because of SAT exams, all boys and girls public school basketball games will be played tomorrow afternoon, not in the morning as originally scheduled. JV games will start at 2 p.m., and varsity at 3: 30 p.m. The only exception will be the boys game between Long Reach at Atholton. Because Atholton is the host of a wrestling match in the afternoon, the JV basketball game will start at 5: 30 p.m. and the varsity at 7 p.m.
Basketball games postponed from last Friday will be played at 3: 30 p.m. (JV) and 5 p.m. Monday. The only exception is Howard at Oakland Mills girls; they will play at 5: 30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Practice and exams
At their regular meeting Wednesday, the 10 high school principals talked briefly about the issue of athletic teams practicing during exam week.
"We didn't fully discuss it, but we are going to revisit the whole issue of exams and practice schedules for next year," said River Hill principal Scott Pfeifer. He said that discussion probably won't take place until the summer.
Principals voted unanimously last August to ban teams from abbreviated school practices during exam week. Academics, they said, come first, and they wanted that made clear.
Athletic directors and coaches acknowledge that academics should be the No. 1 priority but feel a short, organized practice by coaches would be beneficial.
"I think it's a decision that is not in kids' best interest. And I'm talking academically, as well as athletically," said Centennial girls basketball coach Dave Greenberg.
The weather-related school closings before exam week limited teams to one practice (Saturday) over the last eight days. Teams will resume practice today, and tomorrow begin a four-game schedule (tomorrow, Monday, Wednesday, Friday) over the next seven days.
Exam week was scheduled to end today. Howard is the only school completing its exams today. Five schools -- Atholton, Long Reach, Mount Hebron, River Hill and Wilde Lake -- will need Monday to complete the process, and Centennial, Glenelg, Hammond and Oakland Mills will have one exam Tuesday.
That means that players on basketball teams from Centennial, Glenelg, Hammond and Oakland Mills will have exams the day after a basketball game.
"It's just the way things worked out. It's not a desirable situation," said Oakland Mills principal Marshall Peterson, who added that he is "perfectly content to maintain the status quo of no practices [during exam week]."
Playing for first
No. 17-ranked Centennial plays host to No. 8 Glenelg at 3: 30 p.m. tomorrow in girls basketball, with the winner earning sole possession of first place in the county.
"I expect our girls to come out ready to play," said Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar, whose team is 11-0 overall and 7-0 in the league. "I think we'll be mentally prepared and play as hard as we've played all season."
Kris Brust is averaging 20.4 points and 13 rebounds a game for the Gladiators, and Lauren Martin is averaging 15.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists. Stephanie Howell and Heather Young are averaging 9.6 and 8.5 points per game.
Centennial (10-1 overall, 7-0 league) is coming off its best performance of the season, a 43-27 win over River Hill. But that was Jan. 13.
"I don't know what to expect [tomorrow]," said Centennial coach Greenberg, noting that today will be his team's second practice since that game. "It wouldn't surprise me if [the game] was ragged."
Ashley Evans (15.8), Tia Richardson (10.6) and Darlena Hammond (7.4) are the Eagles' leading scorers. Richardson is averaging nine rebounds, and Alexia Vogler and Stacie Tokasz are averaging 3.9 and 3.1 assists, respectively. Vogler, Hammond and Tokasz are averaging four steals a game.
Here are the current Howard Conference standings in the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League: Atholton 6-1, River Hill 3-1-1, Howard 4-2, Mount Hebron 4-2, Centennial 4-3, Wilde Lake 1-4-1, Oakland Mills 1-5, Glenelg 0-5-1.
Pub Date: 1/22/99