Century boys basketball coach George Wunder knew it was only a matter of time before senior Bennett Foelber heated up from the field. Even Wunder, however, couldn't have envisioned his guard's recent torrid streak.
Through the weekend, Foelber had averaged 27.3 points over his past three games - about 10 points over his previous scoring average. Included in the surge was a school-record 38-point effort against Thomas Johnson, in which he hit 16 of 31 shots from the field, including four three-pointers.
"I think his confidence is growing, and some of his teammates have kind of taken the pressure off him," said Wunder, who also has gotten increased production from forward Steven Rice and guard Dustin Mercer. "That's allowed him to just go out there and play his game."
After struggling a bit over his first several games, Foelber, 6 feet 5, has showed his versatility by scoring consistently from all over the court. If not driving to the basket or spotting up to hit threes, he's posted up on smaller guards or converted from the free-throw line.
And his production couldn't have come at a better time for the Knights, who have just four regular-season games remaining until the playoffs, after last night's game against North Carroll.
"He's definitely going to help us make a run," Wunder said. "Going into the playoffs with his play is going to make everyone else around him better. I know Bennett's going to get his, but since he's in that zone he's creating more opportunities for other guys on the team."
A good example was a recent game against Francis Scott Key. With the Eagles shading Foelber with two defenders, Rice was able to get more open looks at the basket, and finished with 16 points.
Foelber, who Wunder believes will be a shooting guard at the next level, is currently exploring several possibilities for college, including Salisbury, York, McDaniel, Hood and Widener.
Games on cable
As the county's cable television franchise transfers from bankrupt Adelphia to Comcast, the future of Adelphia's weekly high school telecasts on cable Channel 3 remains uncertain.
Adelphia recently entered into a settlement with the Carroll Cable Regulatory Commission that spells out several options that would satisfy the company's local origination obligation, which includes coverage of high school sports. Among the options, the company could continue to provide 20 hours of local origination programming, or pay a yearly amount to the Community Media Center in Carroll County, which would then produce its own local programming.
The details of the arrangement are still being worked out, and a final decision may not be known for several months.
"It's not a given. Nothing is set in stone," said Kristy Hall, Adelphia's regional counsel. "But local sports should be able to be covered in one way or another, whether its Adelphia or the Community Media Center or Comcast."
A spokesman for Comcast said that it is still in the process of evaluating the situation.
Housman still out
Liberty's Eric Housman, a 6-3 forward averaging 19 points per game, is expected to remain out of action with a sprained ankle for another week, Lions coach Steve Johnson said.
The senior had missed five games through Monday.
Johnson said that seniors Spencer Slieght, Ryan Liberatore and Leroy Wheatley "have kind of stepped up and filled the void scoring-wise," since Housman's departure.
He said that 6-4 forward Jason Smith, the team's leader in both scoring and rebounding, has felt the biggest impact, often finding himself double- and triple-teamed.
In his third game back after missing three weeks with mononucleosis, Winters Mill guard Jimmy Dorsey showed on Friday why he still may be the best overall player in Carroll County.
The junior, who had led the county in several statistical categories prior to his illness, finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and four steals to lead the host Falcons to a 56-41 win over Liberty - a team that had handed them a 10-point upset loss with Dorsey out of the lineup.
"It feels good to be back and playing," Dorsey said. "I'm about 95 percent. I had mono, so it's probably not going to all come back in one week. But I'm hoping by playoff time I'll be 100 percent."
Dorsey had scored just five points in his first two games back, but immediately began contributing in other ways.
"Even if he doesn't score a ton, he makes everybody better with the passes, the rebounds, the steals and the defense," said Winters Mill coach Dave Herman. "It's going to take a while to get the timing. He missed three full weeks of practice. He's working hard to get the timing back and the stroke back."
A first for Liberty
Nich Hruch (high jump) and Alex Paczynski (500) each won individual events, and Liberty also scored victories in the 1,600 and 3,200 relays to capture the Class 2A-1A West indoor track and field championship last weekend.
The Lions (76.5 points), held off Smithsburg (67) and Winters Mill (43) to take its first regional crown.
Poolesville won the girls meet with 80 points, followed by Winters Mill (54) and Liberty (51).
The state meet is scheduled for Feb. 20 in Prince George's County.