Basketball teams gearing up for region battles

First-round regional games in boys and girls basketball begin tomorrow. Anne Arundel County boys champion Annapolis and girls champion Arundel, both ranked No. 2, have byes as top seeds in the single-elimination tournaments.

Because Anne Arundel schools are closed today because of yesterday's snow storm, the opening-round games involving county schools had to be pushed back a day.


The Class 3A Annapolis boys (22-1) play in the quarterfinals 7 p.m. Monday against the winner of Northeast (4-18) at Bladensburg (10-10). If the home team from Prince George's, the No. 8 eight seed, wins as expected, Annapolis would be the host of Monday's game by virtue of higher seed.

If the ninth-seeded Eagles pull off the upset, Northeast would play host to the Panthers.


Assuming that the higher seeds win through the 3A East quarterfinals, No. 4 seed Friendly (13-9) of Prince George's would be at Annapolis for Wednesday's semifinal.

It would mark the return of Friendly coach Gerald Moore to the county. Moore is the former Arundel coach who was controversial and fun before leaving Gambrills. Moore has said he would like nothing better than to upset the Panthers and his old nemesis, John Brady.

No. 12-ranked Glen Burnie (18-5), the county boys runner-up, is the top seed in the 4A East and will play Monday against the Old Mill (8-14) at Severna Park (13-9) winner. If the No. 8-seeded Falcons prevail, they would travel to Glen Burnie for a 7 p.m. game Monday. If No. 9 seed Old Mill wins, the Patriots would play host to the Gophers on Monday.

The latter could happen because the 4A East is so wide open.

A possible fourth meeting between Glen Burnie and No. 10 Meade (16-6) can only happen in the region final. Second-seeded Meade is in the lower bracket, which doesn't appear as strong as the upper bracket that includes Glen Burnie.

After Glen Burnie beat Meade in the latter's holiday tournament, the Mustangs knocked off the Gophers twice in regular season.

To make it to the region final, Glen Burnie might have to defeat pesky No. 4 seed Arundel (12-10) in the semis.

For the girls, defending state champion Arundel (22-1), which won its fourth county title in a row Tuesday, will play Monday in the quarterfinals against the winner of today's game between No. 10 seed Meade (12-10) and host and No. 7 seed Severna Park (9-13).


South River (16-7) drew the No. 4 seed in the 3A East. Top seed in that region is No. 1-ranked River Hill (22-1). A pair of top 20 teams from the Washington area, Bladensburg (19-3) and Douglass-PG (18-4), are the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds, respectively.


Pasadena resident Joe Anarino, a former Brooklyn Park All-County and pro pitcher, is celebrating his 30th season as a boys basketball officials. Anarino, who works games in the county, BCL and MIAA, is the tall ref with the ponytail who resembles actor Steven Segal. ... No. 2 Annapolis shot 60 percent in the second half of its 80-72 county boys championship victory over Glen Burnie to finish the game at 51 percent (29-for-57). ... The combined 20 threes (12 by Glen Burnie) in the title game were five short of the county-record 25 by Annapolis/Southern-AA in 1999. ... Annapolis has won 51 of the last 52 games and 42 in a row against Anne Arundel foes.

Tribute to Wittkopp

Anne Arundel high school umpires turned out in force (nearly 30) at Singleton Funeral Home in Glen Burnie over the weekend to pay tribute to their colleague Mike Wittkopp.

Wittkopp died of cancer at age 56. At the viewing, Wittkopp was dressed in his AA umpire shirt and was wearing his cap. His umpire's mask was at his side. "We're really going to miss him," said veteran umpire Jocko Svoboda. "It won't be easy replacing a guy who worked 100 games a year for us."


Wittkopp officiated high school in the spring and youth baseball in the summer and fall. His family asks that memorial contributions be made to the AA Umpires Association, 95 Glenns Rd., Severna Park, Md., 21146.

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