St. James notebook - Diggs couldn't savor his moment

February 10, 2001|By MARK KELLER and DAN SPEARSs

St. James notebook - Diggs couldn't savor his moment

St. John's at Prospect Hall's Adama Diggs said he was too caught up in the moment Thursday night to realize he had surpassed a milestone.

With a layup in the second quarter of the Vikings' 59-45 loss to Montrose Christian on Thursday, Diggs passed the 1,000-point plateau for his high school career. But the senior guard had more important things to worry about at the time.

"I wasn't even thinking about it at the time," Diggs said. "I was just worried about getting back and playing defense. I didn't realize that I had done it on that basket."

Diggs has been the key player in the resurgence of the St. John's program the last three years. He is the only holdover from the Stu Vetter era at the Frederick County private school.


"I learned a lot from him when he was there, got a lot of experience," Diggs said.

So it was almost fitting then that Diggs would reach the milestone against his former coach, now in his second year at Montrose.

"Coach Vetter is a great coach. Just playing against him was great," Diggs said. "It was a little more special to do it against him, but I would've rather taken the win."

Private dancer

Thomas Johnson coach Tom Dickman is frankly getting a little tired of hearing the same old public school vs. private school talk.

"It's a little irritating to me at times," Dickman said after the Patriots lost to St. John's at Prospect Hall 80-72 in overtime Friday. "They say we haven't beaten a private school yet this year. Who else has played a private school? That bothers me at times."

Since Thomas Johnson made its first appearance at St. James in 1996, Dickman has said that he wants his teams to play the best available competition to prepare them for what really counts - the Maryland state tournament.

"That's the reason we come up here to play," Dickman said. "So that we can find out who can step up in these situations and see what we need to do to get better."

Incidentally, the Patriots get another shot at their first win over a private school this year today when they face St. James in the seventh-place game.

Rim shot

Oak Hill guard Rashaad Carruth has a tournament-high 10 3-pointers in the Warriors' first two games, and has gone off for 56 points to lead all scorers.

The secret? Those silly orange baskets St. James has got up.

"He says he likes the rims," Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said. "To me, rims are rims. But he's a shooter. They go for those sorts of things.

"He feels comfortable here and he's shot well. And if he shoots like he did in the first two (tonight), we'll be in good shape."

Check the math

Newport coach Chris Chaney knows his team's strength: shooting. Over the first two games, his Tigers have shown he's no dummy.

Newport shot 30-for-52 Thursday against Thomas Johnson, then burned Montrose Christian with a 25-for-44 night from the field. Altogether, that's 55-for-96 - 57.3 percent. From 3-point range, the Tigers are 13-for-29 for 44.8 percent.

Yeah, you're right

Chaney was especially happy by beating Montrose in the semifinals, citing the opportunity to play against Montrose coach Stu Vetter, a coach he's looked up to for a long time. He also mentioned the school's proximity in the metro Washington area and the hope that he has to bring his program to Montrose's level.

Center Ulrich Kossekpa had a much simpler reason to be happy about Friday's win.

"This was very important. Yesterday, we had to win to get here. And we needed to win today to get a chance to play for a championship," said the soft-spoken Kossekpa, a junior from the Central African Republic. "That's why we needed to win."

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