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December 19, 1997     Cape Gazette
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December 19, 1997
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, December 19 - December 25, 1997. 43 The National Tournament Tourney travel logistics mirror an NFL weekend By Dave Frederick LEWES-The late comedian Robin Harris joked that in Comp- ton East Los Angeles the cost of living was going up while the chance of living was going down. "The school of Dominquez, ranked number three in the nation, is the safest place in the neighbor- hood no question about it," said Tournament Director Bobby Ja- cobs. "Basketball is viewed as an educational tool. Like most big time programs that travel to the Slam Dunk, the philosophy at Compton Dominquez is that expe- riences outside the classroom are not an adjunct to those inside: They are better." Dominquez, this year's tourna- ment favorite, will be traveling to Florida this weekend for a three- day tournament in Fort Myers as will last year's defending Slam Dunk champion Saint Patrick's. "There's a chance of the number three and four teams in the nation meeting in Florida and then com- ing to the Slam Dunk for a grudge match," Jacobs said. "That would be awesome." Coach Russell Otis in his 1 lth season (256-52) will arrive in Bal- timore on the 26th and be picked up by Mills bus service of Milford and delivered to Brighton Suites Hotel on the boardwalk. Later that evening the "Compton Connec- tion" will be shuttled back and forth to the BayCenter in Dewey" Beach for the pre-tournament banquet. Cal Whetzel of Californial a professional arranger of mon- strous events, handles the nuts and bolts of travel itineraries, but it's Jacobs who punches in the num- bers like a computer systems ana- lyst programming a deep space probe. "Dominquez alone will eat up about $22,000 dollars in travel money," Jaeobs said. "And all that money comes from corporate sponsorship." Jacobs was reared "up the road a fur piece" from Cape's Little Big House in the town of Milford, Delaware. This year the Bucca- neers vill make their first appear- ance in the tournament, facing host Cape at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 26. "The entire town of Mil- ford is buzzing about the tourna- ment," Jacobs said. "Coach Sam Williams said some of his kids have already started to pack and they live 15 miles from Lewes." Bobby Jacobs no longer has to sell the Slam Dunk Tournament. He may be the most recognized little white guy at high school tournaments and gyms across the country. 'q'eams want to come to the Slam Dunk because 'of the competition but more importantly because of the first class treat- ment," Jacobs said. "I travel the country watching games and talk- ing to coaches and athletic direc- tors. The toughest place for deal- ing with the state association and athletic directors is right here in Delaware. We need to be more progressive." That Bobby Jaeobs is a vision- ary personality when it comes to the Slam Dunk Tournament is not open to dispute. He is Da Man! A CAT scan of Bobby's brain to see how he does what he does may be scarier than looking into a kalei- doscope while under the influence of LSD. This year Dale Brown, a TV an- alyst and former LSU coach of Shaquille O'Neill, will speak at the banquet. In the past Red Auer- bach, Lou Carnesecca and Frank Leahey have been on the dais. How Bobby Jacobs gets these high profile basketball legends to downtown Dewey Beach in the winter time is simple. "I pull their number out of my Rolodex and call them," Bobby laughs. It's Cape versus Milford to open the tournament at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 26. Thirty-eight games later at 9:15 on Tuesday, Dec. 30, the championship of the Slam Dunk will be decided. The cost to bring Compton Dominquez to Lewes is worth the chance that they may be the number one team in the coun- try at the end of the season. And maybe Milford will win its opener and get an extended vacation. Bob Bowden photo Shawn Hampton of St. Frances in Baltimore slams for two during last year's Slam Dunk To The Beach tournament. Many of nation's top teams coming to Slam Dunk Slam Dunk To The Beach will again fea- ture many of the top high school basketball teams and players from around the country. The tournament will include for the first time national powers Dominguez from Compton, Cal.; Top 10-ranked Saint Ed- ward from Lakewood, Ohio; and Top-25- ranked Paintsville, Ky. Returning Top 10 and defending Slam Dunk To The Beach champion Saint Patrick from Elizabeth, N.J. will be joined by Top 20-ranked Rice of Manhattan, N.Y. Three other nationally ranked teams include Dunbar and Saint Frances from Baltimore and new Top 10 east coast power Newport School of Kens- ington, Md. Here are quick profiles of every team par- ticipating in this year's tourney and their 1996-97 records. A.I. DuPont- (!4-10) - Gregory Williams begins his third year leading the hopes of A.I. DuPont. The Tigers will be young, but their disciplined attack has the potential to help them gain a berth in the Delaware state playoffs. Di Hayman and Sherman Shehon will pace the attack. Freshman sensation Chris Saylor could help make the difference. Look to the Tigers to challenge for the Blue Hen Conference title. Atlantic CRy (N.J.)- (22-8) - Talent-rich Atlantic City looks to return to the Group Four finals with a veteran cast. Five of last year's top eight players return for Coach Morris Griffin. Shawn Deveney, a 6-8 se- nior center, will draw much attention from opponents as well as college coaches. Rashad Kirkland is also back to keep the Vikings on a steady course to the playoffs. Brandywine - (9-14) - A representative from Delaware's BI Hen Flight A Conference, Brandy- wine will rely on its experience and height to get the job done. Coach loe Rapczynski has legitimate rea- sons to believe this will be a successful season for the Bulldogs as 6-10 Reggie Okosa and 6-8 Tahron Briscoe will lead the way. Calvert Hall (Md.)- (2%8) - The Cardinals, with one perfect season under Coach Mark Amatucci (34-0 in 1981-82), could be in the hunt for another with their uptempo style and overall team quickness. Leading this year's hopes are three-year varsity standout Fred- die Biggs and highly gifted Reggie Bryant, the top-re- turning scorer with 11 points a game. Calvert Hall competes in the highly competitive Baltimore Catholic League. Cape Henlopen - (19-5) - Ed Waples takes over the highly successful program at Cape Henlopen and in- herits some gold nuggets. The Vikings return two starters, including Olin Bolden and O.J. Wilson. With several newcomers showing promise, the Vikings hope to remain among Delaware's elite programs. Chambersbnrg (Pa.) - (22-8) - Shawn Shreffier takes over the reins of the Trojans basketball program and hopes to maintain the school's proud tradition of excellence. Shreffier will have a lot of talent and depth to keep the Trojans on track. Top 500 senior Cody Carbaugh and team leader Alex Hart are a pair of standouts who will be counted on to provide firepower and scoring. Dunbar (Md.)- (18-7) - Four starters are back to so- lidify the Poets' potential to crack a national Top 25 ranking. Coach Lynn Badham welcomes back Nation- al Top 25 junior Timothy Lyles and team stalwart Ja- real Brown among returning starters. The defending East Regional State Class 3-A champions will be deep in talent and long on ability. Dominguez (Ca.) - (30-4) - The Dons are aiming for a "three-peat." Winners of the last two California state titles, Dominguez returns its top two scorers in 6- 4 Jason Thomas and 6-8 Top 15 senior Tayshaun Prince, and a host of promising newcomers. You can bet Coach Russell Otis, with over 250 victories to his credit, will keep the Dons on task. Easton (Md.)- (21-4) - Easton is coming offan out- standing season and all indications point to another for the Warriors. That's because the high scoring War- riors, who averaged 84 points a game last season, will have their main weapon back in Marty Bailey. Add Terry Brooks (17 points) to-the arsenal and the picture becomes clear that Easton is loaded. Germantown Academy (Pa.)- (23-5) - The Patriots had a banner campaign last season and Coach Jim Fen- erty is understandably excited about this year's prospects. With talent, experience and team quickness as strengths, the Patriots will be a force to be reckoned with again this season. Top 150 senior Chris Krng is the player to watch. Gonzaga (D.C.)- (30-5) - The Eagles captured the tough Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title last seasori and return three mainstays. Veteran Coach Dick Myers; who begins his 31st season as one of the nation's most successful coaches, is rightfully enthusi- astic about the Eagles' bid to repeat. AI Elliott, Tom McCloskey and Pat Mitchell h01d the key to this year's aspirations. Hodgson Vo-Tech - (24-3) - The Eagles unexpect- edly lost the Delaware Player of the Year in Lloyd Price, but Coach Lou Bender is looking to Qiyd Miller and Shawn Harrison to pick up the slack. They are more than capable and will get support from transfers Curtis Carson and Troy Childress. Indian River, (! 1-12) - Pat Kelly brings the Indi- ans to the Governor's Trophy with the sole purpose of taking the hardware back to Frankford. He may get his wish because he will have a talented and prolific scor- er in Dartez Major (who had a 50-point game last sea- son) and an aggressive and versatile rebounder in Justin Blake. Lebanon (Pa.) - (25-1) - With three consecutive years of 22 or more victories, the Cedars are looking to keep the string intact and claim another trip to the state championship game. Coach John Barnhart will have three starters returning to avenge the only blemish on last year's outstanding effort. Both Mike Bechtoid and Pat Daly averaged double figures last season. Loyola (Md.) - (21-10) - The Dons and Coach Jer- Continued on page 46