Mid-shore preps for new hoops sea­son

Hol­lis takes over for the Lions, who open at De­catur; Bai­ley at C-SD after strong run at Eas­ton

Record Observer - - SPORTS - By DAVID INSLEY dins­[email protected]­dem.com

Marty Bai­ley’s last stint as a head bas­ket­ball coach ended in March,

2015, when the Eas­ton High boys’ pro­gram he played for from 199497, and coached for eight sea­sons, lost at Wi­comico in the play­offs.

On Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m., Bai­ley gets his first shot at re­venge against Wi-hi, though he’ll be do­ing it with a new pro­gram.

In May, Bai­ley was an­nounced as the new boys’ head coach of Cam­bridge-south Dorch­ester, re­plac­ing Vic Burns, who ran the show for four sea­sons. The Vikings open their 2018-19 sea­son at Wi-hi, which is still led by Butch Waller, the win­ningest pub­lic school coach in state his­tory and the man who knocked Bai­ley’s War­riors out in 2015.

For the Vikings’ new leader, though he’s only 20 miles or so from his roots in Tal­bot County, it’s a whole new world. The Cam­bridge-eas­ton ri­valry, which goes back in some spor ts more than 100 years, has seen its share of heated bat­tles on the hard­wood. Now, Bai­ley will see things from the other side of the Chop­tank River.

“I’m still learn­ing a lot of their names,” Bai­ley said Nov. 27 after a prac­tice. “Cam­bridge has al­ways had ath­letes. But we’re putting in a whole new sys­tem, and ... we have no chem­istry right now. We’re learn­ing all over how to play with each other.”

Bai­ley said turnout was in the mid-30s. “We’ve got about 15 for var­sity right now, and ... we’re down to 16 on jayvee. I’m hear­ing they usu­ally don’t have a big turnout, but they showed up this year.”

Be­ing with a smaller Class 1A team at C-SD changes much of the per­spec­tive for Bai­ley, too. Eas­ton, a 2A, faces dif­fer­ent op­po­si­tion in the post­sea­son than the Vikings. Some things, Bai­ley said, may re­main the same in terms of which teams are the ones to beat. how­ever.

“I’ve been out three years, but I’d I think it could be Kent (County) as the top 1A for the North,”

Bai­ley said. “They’re get­ting a lot back. Over­all... it could be Eas­ton again. They’ve got their sys­tem in place, they’ve got ex­pe­ri­ence, got a player, La­mont Pow­ell, who trans­ferred over to Saints Peter and Paul, com­ing back, I heard. They’ve got a good mix of re­turn­ers and new guys.

“But, us? I told them yes­ter­day, we’re not sure who we’re start­ing, we’ve got no clue,” Bai­ley added. “We’re gonna have to fig­ure that out to­gether.”

Eas­ton, which won the divi­sion last win­ter but lost to Wihi by 49 points in the Bay­side Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship in late Fe­bru­ary, hopes to go after an­other di­vi­sional crown.

The War­riors also want to ad­vance beyond a first-round play­off game, where they lost by dou­ble dig­its last sea­son to North Caro­line, a team it had swept dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son.

Head coach Sobaye Scott, whose Kent County squad has earned three North Bay­side crowns and a con­fer­ence ti­tle in the last seven years, said, “I think Eas­ton will be pretty good. They got a lot of re­turn­ers.”

“We’ll be all right,” Scott said of his team. “It’s a re­build­ing year. We lost a lot, but I’ve got a younger class . ... As long as they lis­ten, we’ll be all right.”

Then there’s North Caro­line.

The Bull­dogs started slow last sea­son, get­ting blown out on the road by Stephen De­catur, and suf­fered a few more reg­u­lar-sea­son stum­bles dur­ing the 2017-18 cam­paign.

But once every­one got healthy, the ride be­came much smoother.

The Bull­dogs won nine of their last 11 reg­u­lar-sea­son con­tests, and hit their stride as Fe­bru­ary ended, with dou­bledigit play­off wins over Queen Anne’s County and Eas­ton.

On the road against 22-0 Wi-hi in the sec­tional fi­nal, North Caro­line made his­tory with a 78-66 win, Bull­dog head coach Steve Perry’s first against Waller, to ad­vance to the re­gional fi­nal. North Caro­line won that, too, open­ing with a 15-2 run and even­tu­ally

thump­ing Har­ford Tech, 8251 for the 2A East ti­tle. Rolling over River Hill in the state semi­fi­nals, North Caro­line led in the fi­nal against Lake Clifton for more than

24 of the game’s 32 min­utes. But a late surge boosted the Lak­ers, who won 63-55 and de­nied the Bull­dogs their first state ti­tle in 31 years.

Now with­out stars such as guard David Bai­ley, big man Ja’mion Franklin, and point guard Joey Adams, who scored nearly 200 points in his team’s six-game play­off run, Perry must do a lit­tle re­build­ing. But he doesn’t sound too wor­ried.

“I’m gonna let ev­ery­body talk,” Perry said. “We’ll be OK. It might take some time.

“I guess ev­ery­body’s got Eas­ton . ... We’ll see what hap­pens,” Perry added. “We start off with a tough sched­ule. It’ll be a good test for my young kids.”

Kent Is­land, which con­tended for the North ti­tle two sea­sons ago but fell off last win­ter, and Queen Anne’s County, which changed head coaches twice in the off­sea­son, the sec­ond time on Nov.

19, just 16 days be­fore the sea­son starts, are also hop­ing to con­tend. Kent County, a peren­nial threat to win the divi­sion for nearly a decade now, will also be in the mix.

It’ll be an ex­tra-long grind this year, as the sea­son, which usu­ally lasts around 13 weeks, gets ex­tended a week due to sched­ul­ing con­flicts for the state tour­na­ment. The 201819 cam­paign, from open­ing night to the state fi­nals, is 100 days in length.

“This is go­ing to be the long­est reg­u­lar sea­son in the his­tory of the Bay­side,” Colonel Richard­son head coach Brad Plutschak said. “The state had is­sues get­ting both Tow­son (Univer­sity) and Univer­sity of Mary­land avail­able for the tour­na­ment, so they pushed ev­ery­thing back an ex­tra week. We moved some games be­cause of it, so I don’t think there are any three-game weeks this sea­son at all . ... I know we moved some games from early in the year, to late Fe­bru­ary, be­cause of it.”

The Gun­ston School hopes to build on an ap­pear­ance in the Eastern Shore In­de­pen­dent Ath­letic Con­fer­ence play­offs last year, the first, head

coach Jim Mee­han said in at least a decade.

Saints Peter and Paul, a Mary­land In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion squad which made the C con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship two sea­sons ago, as­pires to con­tend again.

Here’s how the Mid-shore’s boys’ bas­ket­ball teams look head­ing into the 2018-19 sea­son, which starts for the pub­lic schools on Dec. 6 for ev­ery team ex­cept Kent County.

Cam­bridge-sd Se­niors Keyshawn Pot­ter (G), Tranell Clan­ton (C), Jyquan Far­rare (G), Alex Clay­ton (C), and Davion Ralph (G) are back for an­other sea­son. Join­ing them are ju­niors Lo­gan Mid­dle­ton (G), Da­juan Jack­son (G), Malik En­nals (G/F), and Davon Lin­der (C).

Ve­jon Ash­ley, the only sopho­more on the team, will also be in the mix from the back­court; it will be his sec­ond year on var­sity.

Colonel Richard­son Three-year var­sity play­ers Lorenzo Turner, a se­nior, and ju­nior Diante Dick­er­son will an­chor the Colonels. Se­niors in­clude guard-for­ward Ha­ley Mal­don­ado and Ro­mar Jones, for­wards Sam Arnold, Devonte Dou­glas, and Dakota Wil­son, and guard Cur­tis Lee.

Eli Stull and fel­low ju­nior guard Rakai Jones will do bat­tle along with post man Carter Fer­gu­son and util­ity play­ers Jaylin Dun­can, and Jachaun Wil­son.

Colonel opens at Wash­ing­ton in Princess Anne.

Eas­ton

Dionte Hyn­son’s squad tips off at Mardela. Five play­ers from last sea­son will wear the or­ange and black on var­sity: Dante Hall (Sr. F); Mar­quii Thomp­son (Jr. G); Alek Riedel (Sr. G); Di­et­rich John­son (Sr., C); and Jae­don Cop­per (Sr. F).

Com­ing into the var­sity for the first time are Grant Cop­per (So., F); Nyzhier Youmens (Jr., G); Nick Walker (Jr., G); Dionte Hyn­son II (So., G); La­mont Pow­ell Jr. (Sr., G); Tyler Voshell (Jr., F); Robert Beck­ett (Jr., G); Drew Shaw (Jr., F); Daqwan John­son (Jr., F); and Chris Kamin­skas (Jr., F). Gun­ston Mee­han’s self-pro­claimed “very, very young” pro­gram in­cludes nine on var­sity or ju­nior var­sity who are ei­ther

fresh­men or sopho­mores.

Fresh­man guard Jude Smith, will be joined by class­mate An­drew Baugh­man (wing), se­nior cap­tain Wil­liam Gib­son on the wing, swing man Max Brady, a sopho­more, and sopho­more Colin Ward, a for­ward.

Cotter Buck­ley (Jr., Wing), Ash­ton Sea­man (Fr., Wing), Kyle Jack­son (Fr., C), and Jimmy Zhao G/F) will be ro­tated off the bench. Jack­son, at

6-foot-4, will be an im­por­tant el­e­ment in the paint, but has a hand in­jury and may miss the first few games of the sea­son.

Kent County

Scott’s squad will fea­ture ris­ing star Jayshaun Free­man, with 2020 class­mate Nytre Greene join­ing him in the back­court. Tyreek Valen­tine, a 6-6 ju­nior, will jump cen­ter, with class­mate Sam Braver at power for­ward, and pos­si­bly se­nior Corey Robin­son in the

3-spot to round out the start­ing lineup.

The rest of the ros­ter in­cludes se­niors Jaden Wil­son (F), Dar­ius Jones (F), Taek­won Dug­gins (G), and Deon­tez Cann (G); and ju­niors Pey­ton Tay­lor (G), Ryan Argo (G), and Corey Wil­son (F).

Kent County opens its sea­son on Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Po­comoke.

North Caro­line (18-6) Three ju­niors, guards Mon­treyse Deshields and J.B. Brown, plus post player Ken­dron Way­man, form the nu­cleus for the re­tooled Bull­dogs.

Join­ing them will be, among oth­ers, fresh­man guard Vi­dam Bonds, sopho­more guard Lee Fitch­ett and guard­for­ward Chris Curler, and se­nior paint men Corey Hall and David Ross.

North Caro­line vis­its Cr­is­field to start the sea­son.

North Dorch­ester Robert Smith’s fourth sea­son as head coach sees an in­crease in in­ter­est; more than 30 kids tried out, giv­ing the team more depth than in pre­vi­ous years. His­tor­i­cally, Smith said, the Ea­gles have drawn as few as 16.

The start­ing five looks to be Dion­i­sio Polk (Sr., PG), Jy­heim Cop­per (Jr., SG), Rasaan Ma­son (Sr. G/F), Elex­ion Jones (So. F), and Mar­quise Parker (Sr., F).

Adding depth will be ju­niors Gary Pledger (F), Bran­don Jones F), Jaonte Sin­gle­ton (F), Jor­dan Ir­win (G), La­mon­tre Crum­ble (G), Todd Lehman (F), and Ja­heim Cam­per (G); and se­niors Lavonte Scott (G), Stephen Lay­ton (F), and Javonte Hol­land (Sr. F).

The Ea­gles open at Park­side.

Queen Anne’s

Jeff Hol­lis takes the helm for this sea­son; he last coached dur­ing the 2016-17 sea­son at Saints Peter and Paul, lead­ing that squad to the con­fer­ence fi­nal.

The start­ing five for the Lions looks to con­sist of Tavion Gross (Jr. PG), Nick Dunkerly (Sr. G), Hugh Mee­han (So. SF/G), Thomas Mur­ray (Sr. F), Jor­dan Dozier (Jr. C).

A deep bench in­cludes se­niors Bran­don Peo­ples (G), Charles King (F), Colby Helms (G), Jy’meir Gib­son (F); ju­niors Devrin Turner (F) and Xav­ior Jones; and sopho­mores Sy’rus Mac­gowan (F) and Jack­son Wil­liams (G).

The Lions travel to Stephen De­catur open­ing night. Saints Peter and Paul Gary Gould’s squad fea­tures three fresh­men, guards Bren­dan Sann and Kyler Krew­son and for­ward Eli­jah Sher­man; sopho­more cen­ter Dy­lan Wanichko; ju­nior guards Gun­ther duhoff­man and Ja­cob Satchell; and se­niors Max Mckin­non (F), Ja­cob Prince (G/F), Sam Warpin­ski (C), and Con­nor Quade (G/F).

In Wed­nes­day’s sea­sonopen­ing 65-57 win over Holly Grove, duhoff­man had 24 points and six as­sists; Satchell added 18 points and eight re­bounds. Sann scored nine points, while Quade chipped in seven, and Wan­ickho tal­lied six more.

The Sabres’ next game is Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Sev­ern School, a MIAA B-con­fer­ence team.

St. Michaels

Mike Mur­phy takes over the pro­gram this year; the Saints, he said, have not won a boys’ var­sity hoops game in seven years, and he’s hop­ing to change that.

Four play­ers — Tris­tan Ree­side (Jr., G/F), Ed­die Robin­son (Jr., C), Caleb Bird­well (So., G), and Austin Parch­man (So., G) — re­turn. Join­ing them, among oth­ers, will be se­niors Jack Vener (G), Benny Rieck (SF), and Beck­ett Mesko (PF), as well as upand-com­ing fresh­man point guard Joey Cole.

Vener, Ree­side, Rieck, Mesko, and Robin­son look to be the start­ing five. St. Michaels opens at Snow Hill.

Edi­tor’s note: In­for­ma­tion was not avail­able from Kent Is­land.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Nick Dunkerly, above look­ing for an open­ing against Eas­ton’s Ryan Farr last sea­son, is a key re­turn­ers for the Queen Anne’s County High boys’ bas­ket­ball team.

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