Coach Bob Lane of Friendly High School's girls basketball team doesn't worry about seniors LaTonya McConico or Wanda Lanham forgetting about the plays in a crucial situation. Of course, the ninth-ranked Lady Patriots haven't had many tight spots, enjoying a 20-2 season and coveting a Maryland AA State title.

McConico, a 5-foot-11 guard, is averaging 15 points and 16 rebounds a game and 3.67 in the classroom. She has signed with Radford.

Lanhan, a 5-5 point guard who is headed for George Washington, averages 13 points and five assists and has a 3.96 grade point average.

"That is the most impressive thing about them, their ability to balance their athletic skills and academic standing," Lane said. "Both take advancement courses and that intelligence spills onto the court. I have never had to tell either of them twice to do anything."

No one needs to tell McConico what to do when the ball is up for grabs after a missed shot. An aggressive three-year starter, she set a single game rebounding record in the IAABO Tournament, getting 27 against Paint Branch. She is equally as adept on either backboard, is tough inside and enjoys the contact, thus the nickname "Moses," for Bullets center Moses Malone.

Lanham is the smooth, water-bug type of guard who handles the ball well, can score from outside and likes to play defense.

"Wanda is as fundamentally sound a point guard as anyone around and LaTonya just has the knack for rebounding," said Lane, whose teams have won two Region titles in his eight years as coach. "When they play well, we play well."

Friendly has clinched the Prince George's AA title and is top-seeded in the Region playoffs that will begin this week.

"I think this team is a little better than last years' team," Lane said. "We have other players who can score; we are pretty balanced."

Cordell Gill, an assistant football coach under Bob Hardage at Annandale the last 15 years, was named head coach at Falls Church. He replaces Dudley Johnson, whose team was 0-10 last year.

Gill, a former all-Met player at Theodore Roosevelt, played at Indiana University and was on the team that played Southern California and O.J. Simpson in the Rose Ball. A counselor, he takes over a Falls Church program that has not had a winning season since 1978.

"I'm not a messiah," he said. "We'll start with being competitive and build from there. I've been happy at Annandale and I decided, if I wanted to do anything else different, I wanted to be in charge. I was looking into being an adminstrator or a head coach.

"Fran {Bedont, new athletic director at Falls Church} called me over for an interview and I accepted. The program has been down a while and we're going to see what we can do to build a competitive attitude."

With area playoff races heating up, a number of defending state or area basketball champions have either ended or are on the verge of ending their seasons.

Dunbar, which has played in either the city title game (it defeated DeMatha last year, 91-85) or preliminary game four times in the last six years, finished 11-14 overall and 7-13 in league play. The Crimson Tide build its offense around 6-foot-6 soph Donald Ford.