There is a new era in boys basketball at John Carroll, one that is attracting hundreds of fans to the Patriots' home games.
Under second-year coach Tony Martin, John Carroll is off to a 14-3 start and is ranked 13th in The Sun's poll. Martin, who took Archbishop Spalding from obscurity to national prominence in three seasons during the late 1990s, took over at John Carroll last season and led the Patriots to a 15-22 record, the most wins for the program since 1994-1995.
The Patriots, who play in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference, will move up to the A Conference next season. John Carroll also is gaining some national recognition by playing in high profile tournaments.
Martin, John Carroll athletic director Larry Dukes, assistant athletic director Tim Perry and assistant Patriots basketball coach Anthony Macri have all been instrumental in building the program.
Four top Patriots players, including sophomore forward Isaiah Philmore, who leads the team through 17 games in scoring (18.3 points per game) and is second in rebounding (12.5), have started to attract national recruitment scouting services.
The others are freshman guard Josh Selby, junior guard Mike Maczko, and 7-foot-4 junior center Jakub Kusmieruk. Selby is second in scoring (15.6) and assists (5.2), Maczko is averaging 5.3 points and 5.0 rebounds, and Kusmieruk is averaging 2.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.
"I think that providing a schedule that is going to challenge and help promote what we're doing, is going to continue to attract the best student-athletes to John Carroll," Martin said.
"I've been a firm believer based on what happened at Spalding that a couple of things need to happen to help a program rise.
"One is the full support of the administration, faculty and staff, and at John Carroll, they've been terrific. The second is, I think that in any area you can try to keep the core athletes together in any sport over a number of years, and you can really build a great program because the game is so global that there are great players in every small town and every big city."
Martin labeled the DeMatha basketball program in Hyattsville as the model for all schools to strive for, calling any attempt to reach such heights "an awfully lofty goal. ... I would like to think that maybe the John Carroll school looks back in 20 years and says this is the beginning of something big."
Jones does it all
Edgewood guard Ed Jones did a little bit of everything in last week's game with Aberdeen. The 6-foot-3 senior scored 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, but the Rams fell short as Aberdeen escaped with a 67-59 overtime victory in an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference game.
Jones almost single-handedly kept the Rams in the game early, scoring 13 of the team's 20 first-half points. He then added a number of clutch shots in the second half, hitting long jumpers and slicing through the defense to get offensive rebounds and put-backs.
"He played a great game," Edgewood coach Speedy Pennick said. "He carried us. This is the game I've been waiting for him to play."
Raven Barber added 19 points, 13 of which came in a wild fourth quarter in which the Rams scored 25 points. Edgewood (5-4, 0-1) had scored just 31 in the first three quarters.
Besides Jones and Barber, however, the rest of the Rams managed just eight points.
Jeff Seidel contributed to this article.