Bucs gaining momentum heading into final stretch
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
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.