PRESSURE POINT: For a third straight season, the High Point boys basketball team is relying on a rapid-paced offense and pressure defense to offset a lack of height. Following a season-opening 94-84 loss to Metro Conference power DeMatha, the 1989-90 Maryland Class 4A runner-up opened defense of its Prince George's league title with wins over Bowie, 99-92, and Parkdale, 103-93.
"Everybody in the league is bigger than we are, but I'm not sure that there's anybody quicker," said High Point Coach Ernie Welch, whose team has won 51 of its last 55 games. The Eagles' tallest player is 6-foot-7 reserve Kevin Martin.
BREAKTHROUGHS: Phelps, which restarted its varsity program last year after a hiatus of eight years and finished a nightmarish 0-22, knocked off Maret in its season opener, 53-48.
Yorktown's boys team, loser of 21 straight, scored 100 points in a 44-point win over Marshall in its season opener.
The Northwestern girls team, loser of 23 straight including two this season, Friday edged another struggling team, Suitland, 28-26.
Surrattsville's girls, who had lost 32 straight and 57 of 60, dropped their opener before defeating Chopticon, 38-36. Friday, however, Surrattsville was mauled by Bladensburg, 63-24.
SOPHOMORE SCORES: Sophomore guard Preston Rucker of Canterbury School scored an area season-high 60 points in a 105-29 victory over Key School of Annapolis last week. The 6-foot-1 Rucker sank of 15 of 25 two-point field goal attempts and 10 of 13 three-point tries in 2 1/2 quarters. He missed his only two free throw attempts.
Rucker has also had 42-, 47- and 49-point games and is averaging 42 points for his 6-1 team.
Canterbury first-year coach Chris Chaney, who is 20 years old and a sophomore at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, says Rucker "has a green light to shoot.
"I'm just learning about coaching, but one thing I learned early was to let Preston shoot," Chaney said.
Two other outstanding individual performances this season came in one game as Annapolis's Dennis Edwards scored 52 points and Parkdale's Irvin Church had 43 in Annapolis's 110-101 win.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: No one can accuse Lee's girls team of avoiding the top-notch competition. The Lancers, 24-2 last year and led by All-Met center Zeki Blanding, lost their season opener to Virginia AAA state champion Robinson, 61-58. Lee ran past Chantilly, 68-41, before dropping a 69-64 decision to another Northern Virginia power, West Springfield, Friday night.
It doesn't get any easier for the Lancers, who take on Fairfax (3-0) and Lake Braddock (2-0) -- both on the road -- this week.
CENTURY MARK: Jim Davis, the girls coach at Paul VI, earned his 100th career coaching victory Saturday with a 64-38 win over Osbourn Park. Paul VI is 5-1 this season.