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TJ enters national rankings

February 20, 2002

TJ enters national rankings

No. 1 TJ 92
S. Carroll 50

SOUTH CARROLL (50)

Beccio 6, Lewis 3, Dahlgren 12, Boone 20, Medlar 9. Totals 22 3-8 50.

THOMAS JOHNSON (92)

Rinehart 21, Gibbs 15, Garner 8, Thomas 19, Naylor 2, Richard 12, Bryant 7, Ledyard 8. Totals 33 16-22 92.

South Carroll1513202-50

Thomas Johnson13242530-92

Three-point goals - South Carroll 3 (Beccio 2, Lewis), Thomas Johnson 10 (Rinehart 6, Gibbs, Richard 2, Bryant). Fouled out - Medlar.



FREDERICK, Md. - The Thomas Johnson boys basketball team grabbed some national recognition with its run through the St. James Invitational Tournament last weekend.

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The Patriots entered the USA Today Super 25 rankings at No. 22 on Tuesday, the first time the team has been ranked in the national poll.

"Over the years, when (former University of Maryland star) Terence Morris played here I thought there were times we might get in but never did," TJ coach Tom Dickman said. "We played Oak Hill to a three-point game in North Carolina one year and didn't make it then."

The Patriots (20-1) made it difficult for the national press to ignore them after becoming just the second public school in the 29-year history of the SJIT to win the tournament championship.

TJ knocked off Montrose Christian of Rockville, Md., and Notre Dame Academy of Middleburg, Va. - both of which were ranked in the USA Today poll this season - on their way to the title.

"I wish the season were over with St. James," Dickman said. "It is neat to see them play at the level they're playing right now. As a coach, that's all you can ask for."

The Patriots wrapped up their 12th Central Maryland Conference title since the league was formed in 1988 with a 92-50 win over South Carroll on Tuesday.

Kevin Rinehart hit three of his six 3-pointers in a 30-2 fourth quarter as the Patriots, who improved to 13-0 in the league, turned a comfortable 62-48 lead after three quarters into a blowout victory.

"We got some turnovers in the fourth, but really we just started shooting a little better and they went ice cold," Dickman said.

Rinehart led all scorers with 21 points. Jermaine Thomas had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, D.D. Gibbs had 15 points and Thomas Richard had 12.

TJ ends the regular season tonight at home against city rival Frederick.

The Patriots are the top seed in the Class 4A playoff bracket and will play the winner of the South River-C.M. Wright first round game in the region quarterfinals on Monday.

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