You Should Have Seen

Centennial junior Matt Skalka,

boys' basketball

The sharp-shooting guard exploded after a slump of several weeks with 23 points in Centennial's 63-50 win over Long Reach on Saturday. Skalka made four three-pointers and was 11 of 12 from the free throw line as the Eagles handed the Lightning its third loss in four games.

Skalka, who hadn't played a game on the varsity level before this year, hadn't scored more than 20 points in more than a month, dating from his season-high 30 points against North Carroll on Dec. 28.

"Teams realized he is a pretty good shooter," Centennial Coach Jim Hill said. "They are playing him very tight on defense, and he has had to learn to adapt to that situation. [Saturday] he made up his mind he was going to play a little bit."

You Should See

Howard senior Nick Linaburg,

ice hockey

The Lions' steady senior winger has been a consistent force for Howard all season, so it was appropriate Linaburg came through big time Friday. With his team trailing River Hill by a goal with less than a minute remaining and with the Lions' goalie out of the net, Linaburg's second goal of the game forced a tie. Linaburg has a team-high 30 points on the year (17 goals, 13 assists).

"Nick has played tremendously all year long," Coach Michael Rand said.

Linaburg will be counted on when River Hill (5-2-3 overall, 4-2-2 Howard County) and Howard (7-2-1, 6-2) meet for the second time in 11 days in the first round of the Howard County Conference playoffs at 3:10 p.m. Tuesday at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel. The winner will play top-seeded Atholton for the county championship at 4:15 p.m. next Thursday at Piney Orchard Ice Rink in Odenton.

By the Numbers

250 Career victories for River Hill girls' basketball coach Teresa Waters. Waters got her 250th win when the Hawks beat Oakland Mills, 69-45, Monday. She was the coach at Oakland Mills when the Scorpions won the Maryland 1A championship in 1998. Waters has a 90-24 record in five years as River Hill's head coach.

43 Difference in points scored by the Long Reach boys' basketball team against River Hill in the teams' two games this season. On Dec. 16, the Lightning topped the Hawks 83-62. On Feb. 5, the Hawks had the upper hand 48-40. In that game, Long Reach shot 31 percent from the field and scored a season-low number of points.

14 Individual indoor track and field titles won by Howard County athletes at the Maryland 2A/1A Central Region Championships last week, led by Glenelg Katie Pencek's three crowns (500 meters, 800, 1,600) and a pair of titles by Atholton senior Lindsay Grigoriev (shot put, 55 hurdles).