Prep notes - Boys & Girls Basketball

Hancock honors state finalist teams

Hancock honors state finalist teams

February 14, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Washington County Hall of Fame member Dan Kerns looks back on the 1961 and 1964 Hancock boys basketball teams fondly, and for good reason.

The Panthers went to the state championship game both years - in '61 when Kerns was a freshman, and in '64 as a senior - and losses in both title games did little to diminish two remarkable seasons.

"It was just a great time to be an athlete at Hancock," Kerns said Monday, when Hancock honored those two teams at halftime of a victory against Paw Paw. "We surprised a lot of people and gave these 20 guys a lifetime of memories."


Both teams were coached by Jim Brown, who later coached at North Hagerstown and Hagerstown Community College, gaining national recognition at HCC in the early-to-mid '90s.

Kerns and classmate Sheldon Weaver made up an all-freshman backcourt on the '61 team which finished 18-5 and lost to Crisfield in the state final, with Crisfield taking the lead in the final 11 seconds. (Crisfield also beat Hancock in the '64 title game)

"There were two of us that were freshman on the team," Kerns remembered. "Coach Brown had to let some guys go who didn't see things his way, so me and Sheldon got to play."

The '61 team also featured Terry Truax, who went on to play at the University of Maryland before becoming a successful coach in his own right.

The halftime ceremony was the brainchild of football coach Bill Sterner, who in 1988 took part in the 30-year Hancock football team selected by the community.

Sterner talked the idea through with principal Warren Barrett and the idea took shape.

"I feel that we always need to recognize whose shoulders we stand on in our athletic programs," Sterner said. "Tradition, I think, is what helps build programs and keeps you within yourself. Young players need to know that there were great players here before them."

Short takes

  • Southern Fulton's girls clinched their first Sideling Hill conference championship since 1983 with a 43-40 victory over Tussey Mountain on Monday.

    Meanwhile, Will Whiteside scored his 1,000th point for the Indians' boys on Tuesday.

  • Heritage junior Drew Kidd surpassed the 500 assists mark on Tuesday. Kidd is second in the area with nine assists per game, and is also second in steals with 4.9 per contest.

  • In a preview of the Pennsylvania District 3 girls first-round contest in five days, Shippensburg defeated No. 5 James Buchanan 46-44 in overtime on Kristine Koziar's rebound and putback at the buzzer.

  • Berkeley Springs' Andy Omps (23 points per game) and Matt Rockwell (20.5) are the only pair of teammates averaging 20-plus points in the area.

  • Frederick's Curtis Crews leads the area in both scoring (24.5 points per game) and rebounding (10.9 boards per game), and is a major reason why the No. 3 Cadets are 14-6 and came within a point of knocking off No. 1 and undefeated Thomas Johnson last weekend.

  • Smithsburg's Katy Powell, the career scoring leader for the Leopards as well as the Monocacy Valley Athletic League, leads the area in points (23.2) and steals (4.2). Her 23.2 scoring average is nearly four points more than Broadfording's Dee Brown, who's second in the area.

  • Brunswick's Kacie Escamilla (14.8 rebounds per game) and Leah McCallum (12.3 boards per game) are the only teammates to each average double figures in rebounding.
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