Pikesville team courts title despite having to play away

The Baltimore Sun

If you looked strictly at the Pikesville tennis team's championships in the Baltimore County league the past half-century, you would think nothing could stop the Panthers.

They have won 40 of the past 42 Baltimore County championships, including 13 straight. But No. 41 just became a lot harder.

That's because Pikesville no longer has a home court. Of its four tennis courts, two have been condemned, forcing the Panthers to play most of their home games on the road.

"We've had to convert three of our four home matches into away matches, and we're kind of vagabonds at the moment," coach Jerry Dresner said.

Luckily the Panthers' lineup is still stacked with talent, making the absence of a home court a small issue. They've started the season 4-0 and have great players for both boys and girls.

Juniors Paul Burgin and Andrew Lutz lead the Panthers in singles. Burgin, who plays No. 1, was second in both the county and the region (IV) last year; Lutz, who plays No. 2, was third in the state in doubles the past two years.

Lolita Kachay is the No. 1 player for the girls and was second in the county and third in the region last year. Meher Kachwala plays No. 2 and won the county championship at No. 2 singles last year.

"I have 23 players, so it's impossible to really run a practice on these courts," Dresner said. "But I won't really know until the county tournament if it has had a major effect."

City lacrosse -- The City lacrosse team remembered last season's defeat to defending Baltimore City A Division champion Walbrook well. The Knights lost last season's game, 10-3, and felt that they weren't given respect by the Warriors. "They beat us pretty bad last year, and they let us know it," City coach Anthony Ryan said. "We brought that with us. These guys felt they could beat the A Conference champs this year." The Knights defeated Walbrook, 4-3, last Tuesday and followed that with a 14-2 thumping of Edmondson on Friday. Last season, the Knights' sole losses came from Walbrook and Edmondson. The wins extend their record to 5-1 and 4-0 in the division. Ryan said the strength of this year's team is its defense, anchored by seniors Troy Marble and Justin Mack. Attackmen Julian Polillo (15 goals) and John Thompson provide the scoring. Midfielder Nick Hazell is captain, and Ryan says that "he's like having a coach on the field."

Archbishop Curley basketball -- Guard Brandon Carroll has accepted a partial scholarship with Wilmington. Carroll averaged 20 points per game this season and helped lead the Friars to a 19-8 record and a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference semifinal appearance.

St. Paul's girls -- The Gators will dedicate their new artificial-turf field Saturday before the lacrosse team plays North Harford at 11 a.m. The field is named for Rosalind R. Levering, the first headmistress in 1959.

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