It may still be too early to determine the impact of the three-point shot on the outcome of basketball games in the high school ranks, but it is apparent more points are being scored.
A number of players have used the three-point goal to their advantage and the threat of the shot from 19 feet 9 inches has spread defenses and allowed other players to score more points inside.
No fewer than 35 players in the Washington area were averaging at least 20 points going into this week.
The area leader is Parkdale guard Henry Hall, who has more than 40 three-point goals and averages 37.8 points a game. Hall has 53- and 51-point games to his credit. Hall's chief competitor for the scoring lead is, ironically, his friend Oxon Hill junior forward Michael Tate (32.3).
Lake Braddock forward Hubert Davis is next at 29.9. The remaining top 10 scorers are Laurel's Ray Slater (29.6), Ron Keyes (27.8) of Potomac (Va.), Loudoun Valley's Chris Leonard (27.5), Forestville's Eric Moore (26.3), T.C. Williams' Stacy Coleman (23.7), Northwestern's Jay Bias (23.1) and H.D. Woodson's Henderson Mosley (23.0).
Nineteen other players are averaging at least 20 points. Tate is the leading three-point shooter with 45. McLean's Kevin Blake has 41 three-pointers and is averaging 21.5.
Despite their outstanding seasons, Hall and Tate play for teams struggling to make the playoffs. With the exception of Davis and Leonard, who play for teams in first place in their respective leagues, the other scorers play for teams in contention for league titles.
Potomac (Md.) center Shelley Steward is the top girls scorer at 26.8. Blair's Tracy Wyche is next at 25.4, followed by Parkdale's Lisa Allen (25.0), Laurel's Dee Dee Taylor (23.2), Eleanor Roosevelt's Cindy Lenart (22.6), Rockville's Debbie Shockley (22.3), Coolidge's Corinne Carson (22.0), Douglass' Karen Ferguson (21.9) and Whitman's Jenny Eagleton and Bladensburg's Karen Chrisp, both at 21.5.
Shockley is the leading girls three-point shooter with more than 30 to her credit.
All of the girls play for teams in contention for championships.
John Brooks, who turned a poor football program around at Northwestern, resigned as head coach this week. Brooks took over a team that had won only four of its last 40 games and compiled a 20-20 four-year record. The Wildcats were 6-4 last year, including a big win over perennial power Friendly.
Joe Giraldi, an assistant to Brooks the past two seasons, was named head coach.
Brooks, an art teacher, will continue as the school's athletic director while he pursues a graduate studies curriculum in administration.
"I enjoyed coaching, but I had to make a choice, either coach 20 years or aspire to go higher," Brooks said. "Coaching is tough and it was beginning to wear me out a bit, but I felt in the four years I coached, we did a lot of positive things and turned the program around. And we sent a number of kids to college.
"You have to give yourself the option to grow professionally. I just felt it was time to seek other goals. Right now, my goal is being an administrator."