Bucs gain­ing mo­men­tum head­ing into fi­nal stretch

Record Observer - - Sports -

RIDGELY — Though the Mary­land Pub­lic Sec­on­dar y School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion’s bas­ket­ball play­off brack­ets and meth­ods have changed over the years, one thing hasn’t since 1999: Kent Is­land High’s boys have never been ranked No. 1 in a play­off bracket.

Tues­day night, the Buc­ca­neers went a long way to­ward chang­ing that with an im­por­tant 61-45 win over North Caroline. The win not only gave the Buc­ca­neers (13-6 over­all, 12-3 North Bay­side) a reg­u­lar-sea­son sweep of the Bull­dogs (11-8, 11-4), it set a pro­gram record, ac­cord­ing to their coach.

“This win gives us the most wins against North Bay­side teams, in a sea­son,” Kent Is­land se­cond-year head coach Frank Kra­tovil said. “We have 12 this year. We had had 11 a cou­ple of times be­fore, in 2001, and 2006. Last year, that was also a good year for us . ... I think we had 10.”

Park­side (13-6) is still on the in­side track for the top sec­tional seed, though. Hav­ing beaten Kent Is­land 62-56 in De­cem­ber, the Rams need a win Thurs­day against un­beaten Stephen De­catur, or a Bucs’ loss Fri­day at 6:30 p.m. in their reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale at Queen Anne’s. Both must hap­pen for Kent Is­land to take the top seed — but sev­eral fac­tors are in the Buc­ca­neers’ fa­vor.

First, De­catur hasn’t lost to Park­side in nearly two years.

Se­cond, Kent Is­land beat Queen Anne’s by 25 points in their first meet­ing on Jan. 13.

Third, the Lions, who got blown out by North Bay­side-cham­pion Kent County last night, have lost four of their last six. Queen Anne’s only wins since Jan. 26 have come against Class 1A schools with los­ing records — Colonel Richard­son and North Dorch­ester.

“Ei­ther way, no­body [in the sec­tion] has more wins than us right now,” Kra­tovil said. “And all year, it’s been a mat­ter of fin­ish­ing things out. We’ve just got to fin­ish things out.”

Kent Is­land swing­man Tariq John­son’s

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

Kent Is­land’s John VanWie tries to keep the ball away from North Caroline de­fender Tynez Warner dur­ing the fourth quar­ter of Tues­day’s game in Ridgely.

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