Second-ranked Flint Hill opened its high school basketball season by romping to a 67-31 victory over St. Maria Goretti of Hagerstown in the first day of competition in the Nike/James Kenner Tip-Off Tournament last night at Georgetown's McDonough Arena.

Eighth-ranked Mackin was scheduled to play ninth-ranked McKinley in the second game, but McKinley never showed up. With McKinley a no-show, Goretti will not play today. Instead, Mackin and Flint Hill will play at 2:45 p.m.

According to McKinley Athletic Director McKinley Armstrong, a decision not to play was made on Friday by the school's administration. He said communication problems with the office of Otto Jordan, Interhigh superintendent of physical education, in getting clearance to play Saturday prompted that decision. But Eddie Saah, commissioner of the tournament, said he was not informed, and had no indication that McKinley was not going to play.

"In 13 years of running summer leagues and organized basketball, I've never been associated with something like this," said Saah. "It's beyond words. They didn't call; I had to get someone to call them . . . They signed a contract and I'm going to hold them to it. I fronted $1,500 myself and tonight we had to refund a lot of money . . . It's embarrassing . . . "

Reached at home last night, McKinley Coach Charles Perry said, "We had an eligibility problem {clearance} and the administration did not want to go along with us playing. And Otto Jordan did not know about the tournament."

Asked why he didn't inform Saah that his team was not going to play, Perry replied, "We were still working up until the last minute . . . . We thought that we could get it cleared up by Saturday monrning, but we couldn't."

With its convincing win, Flint Hill has 52 straight victories, just three short of Carroll's area record 55-game winning streak.

Flint Hill was led by 6-foot-7 junior Arron Bain (21 points, 11 rebounds), point guard Reggie Chambers (six points, seven assists, four steals) and Ronny Thompson (10 points, five rebounds, five assists, four steals).

DeMatha 69, Maret 67:

Jerrod Mustaf tipped in a shot with two seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 59 and top-ranked DeMatha (2-0) went on to defeat Maret in overtime at Maret. Mustaf had 24 points and 21 rebounds.