Northeast senior Brian Carneal has never taken a golf lesson, but he picked up a tiny tip from watching the PGA Tour on television -- it's called "the claw." Carneal credits the minor adjustment on his putting grip for his first-ever state title.

It took more than just a new grip, though, to shoot a 4-under 68 at Monday's state championship at Clustered Spires in Frederick. Carneal made six birdies to win by one stroke.

"A couple of guys on the [PGA] Tour are doing it," he said. "I heard so much about it. After counties, I didn't make any putts. After I changed, I started making everything so I stuck with it. Other than that, everything was the same. I just went out and played my game."

Carneal wasn't the only one making minor adjustments during the most important match of the season. Sophomore teammate Stephanie Connelly ditched her Callaway golf balls and switched to Pro-V. She then proceeded to win her second straight title with a 2-over 74.

"It makes a lot of difference," Connelly said of the balls. "I hadn't really been playing that great with Callaway. It's a little harder on the wedges."

For Connelly, an All-Met who broke state records for low single round and low two-day total last season, the enjoyment came from the duo's sweep.

"I was more excited for him than I was for myself," said Connelly, this year's county champion. "It's his last year; he shot 68."

Severna Park, the only county team to qualify, finished fifth. Junior Morgan Reich tied for fifth with an 82, and senior Kristin Niland tied for seventh with an 83.

Bond, Amy Bond It was only her second goal of the season, but Annapolis sophomore Amy Bond knew it was a big one. Bond scored the game-winner with less than two minutes remaining in the second 10-minute overtime period, giving the Panthers a 1-0 victory over Northeast in the first round of the 3A East Region playoffs Monday at Annapolis. The quarterfinals begin today.

"It was beautiful; it came right over the top," said Bond, who scored off a corner kick from senior Kelsey Mays. "I just used my thigh to put it in. When I saw her cross, it was coming right to me. I knew I had to get it in."

Bond's goal gave the Panthers their first win this season against a conference opponent and a bit of redemption against Northeast. Annapolis closed the regular season with a 2-1 loss to the Eagles, just three days before the first round.

The Panthers weren't the only ones who had to play an extra 20 minutes Monday to advance to the quarterfinals. Arundel senior James Agorsor scored two goals to lead the Wildcats to a 4-3 overtime victory at Glen Burnie. The Glen Burnie girls also needed double overtime to defeat North County, 1-0.

Third Time's a Charm St. Mary's senior linebacker Scott Wallace has played football for Easton High School and Broadneck, but he has finally found his niche as a Saint. Wallace, who transferred to St. Mary's midway through his sophomore year because of family reasons, made a hard hit that led to the game-winning safety in Saturday's 9-7 win against Curley.

"I saw the gap open up," said Wallace, who finished the game with nine tackles. "I hit the gap -- the guy was in the end zone, and I hit him head-on. I was just happy the team won. It lifted the team spirit up a lot after the loss we had to McDonogh [21-0 on Oct. 18]."

Beard Stays Busy There is more to South River senior Jon Beard's farm than cows and horses. There's plenty of room for a full lacrosse or football game, and Beard, a two-sport athlete, takes full advantage of it.

Beard and his lacrosse teammates play at his house at least once a week all year long and three times a week during the winter. Their dedication has paid off, as the South River Snakeheads won the National Fall Ball Lacrosse Tournament on Oct. 20 and captured the AYLA fall championship Sunday.

"It's just going out there and playing pickup games and having fun with it," said Beard, who scored three goals in a 12-8 win against Annapolis on Sunday.

On Oct. 20, the Snakeheads were one of 21 teams to compete at the first annual Fall Ball National Recruiting Tournament at St. Paul's in Baltimore. The South River team consisted of athletes from Chesapeake, Arundel, Annapolis and South River.

The Commitments Several boys on Severn's lacrosse team have made college commitments: midfielder Mike Biles (Princeton); defenseman Evan Crowther-Washburn (Delaware); attack Will Deane (Delaware); defenseman Doug Lehner (Maryland); midfielder Peter Montaner (Colgate); attack Mike Phipps (Maryland); goalie Kip Turner (Virginia); and defenseman Ben Staines (North Carolina).

Also, Spalding second baseman Keri Lounge committed to play softball for Maryland, and Severna Park midfielder Mitch Belisle will play lacrosse for Cornell.

The switch from Callaway to Pro-V golf balls paid off for Northeast sophomore Stephanie Connelly, who won her second straight state title.Northeast senior Brian Carneal shot a 4-under 68 to win the state golf championship by one stroke on Monday at Clustered Spires in Frederick.