Anne Arundel County boys and girls basketball championships will be decided tonight in a doubleheader at Chesapeake High School in Lake Shore.
The girls final will be between top-ranked Arundel (20-2) and No. 12 South River (18-4) at 5:15 p.m., with the boys title being decided between No. 6 Glen Burnie (20-2) and No. 17 Severna Park (15-7) at 7:15.
County championship games were not played last season because of snow cancellations, and co-champions were declared: Arundel and Severna Park for the girls, Annapolis and Southern for the boys.
The Arundel girls and Annapolis boys each had defeated the team they shared the title with twice during the regular season and were not happy about the co-championships.
This year's Arundel girls swept South River in two regular-season games, the most recent last Friday by 80-53. Arundel took the first meeting, 73-70.
The girls game: Arundel, 16-0 in county league games, is seeking its seventh title since the championship game pitting the regular season's top two finishers began in 1995-96.
Arundel has won in all five finals in which it has appeared.
South River, 14-2 in county action under coach Chiara Lee, is in its second championship final. The Seahawks lost the 2000-01 final to Arundel, 71-52.
Alex McGuire, Anastasia Baker and Janae Butler lead the Wildcats of coach Lee Rogers, while Lindsay Sheppard, Stacy Hunt and Rachel Fry lead the Seahawks.
The boys game: Neither Glen Burnie nor Severna Park has won a county championship. The Gophers are appearing in their third county final; Severna Park is in its first.
The Gophers lost in the inaugural title game in overtime, 87-84, to Broadneck and in 2000-01 to Annapolis, 80-72.
Glen Burnie beat visiting Severna Park Tuesday night in the final regular-season game, 68-58. The Gophers extended their winning streak to 10 games and ended the Falcons' win streak at 10 in the only regular-season meeting between the two.
The Gophers finished 15-1 in league play, the only loss by 61-59 to Annapolis (13-9, 10-6). Mitch Guest, Branden Albert and Delayne Nelson lead the Gophers of coach Mike Rudd.
The Falcons of coach Paul Pellicani were 13-3 in league play and are led by Jim Ledsome, Keith Miller and Dan Regan.
Hart Foundation at work
The Dick Hart Foundation, which raises money to award scholarships to one boy and one girl basketball player each year who exemplify team play and academics, will co-sponsor the county senior all-star games this year with Capital-Gazette Newspapers.
On March 17 at Broadneck, the senior boys and girls all-star games will be played. The foundation is made up of former coaches, students and players of the late Hart, Andover's boys basketball coach for more than 30 years before dying of cancer.
Coaches vote for the scholarship winners. The group also conducts a June golf tournament to raise money for the scholarships.
"This gives us a chance to raise more money for scholarships," said Hart Foundation member John Brady.
Glen Burnie's 20-win season is the first under Mike Rudd in his eight years as coach and the school's first since 1994 (20-5) under Terry Bogle, whose assistant was Rudd.
The Gophers' Mitch Guest, who leads the metro area in scoring average (22.2 points a game), including 23 in Tuesday's win over Severna Park, is nine points away from tying the school record for career points (1,297) set by 1996 grad Desmond Dailey.
After starting 2-5, Annapolis' boys team finished 13-9, its 27th consecutive winning season, a county record boys or girls, under John Brady.
Junior Corey Henderson has scored 36 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in his last two games to enable Arundel to take a 13-9 record into the 4A East region playoffs.
Former Anne Arundel County high school baseball umpire Al Fekays died unexpectedly last week at age 46. Fekays lived in Pasadena.
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