Having had very little luck in Metro Conference play the past few years, Good Counsel's enthusiastic coach Joe McCall told his vastly improved team a win over St. John's would gain them instant respectability. The Falcons then went out and beat the Cadets, 72-58, Friday.

The win boosted the No. 12 Falcons to 11-1 entering Tuesday night's game against top-ranked DeMatha.

"We have had a lot of success in the preseason but fell off in the conference," McCall said. "I told the guys this game was an important barometer of just where we were in terms of the top teams in our conference and in the area. We beat the number four team and now take on number one."

Nii-Nelson Richards and Kurt Small are both averaging more than 20 points per game for Good Counsel, which posted its last winning record (18-10) four years ago.


After a handful of so-so seasons and a walk-it-up style of play, Blair has found the magic again. The No. 10 Blazers are 9-0 -- their finest start in years -- and have scored 73 points or more in seven of their games, winning five by 15 or more.

"This is the culmination of three years of work. Our top eight players are seniors and we have that chemistry and willingness to work," said Dave Scaggs, who coached soccer at Woodward for 17 years before Blair became his first varsity basketball coaching position. "Last year's team was on the way {14-9} so I'm delighted with this year's team."

The top benefactors of the Blair's new running style are 6-foot-5 forwards Jevon Thomas (20 points, 12 rebounds per game) and David Vanterpool (18 points). "We aren't overwhelming but we have pretty good size," said Scaggs, who also has 6-5 Ted Ramet at center.

Another Montgomery County team making early waves is Paint Branch. The Panthers are off to a 9-1 start and have held six opponents under 51 points.


Not one, but two good programs: At Madison, the top-ranked girls and No. 4 boys are both 8-0. At Fairfax, both teams are 7-0. West Springfield boys (No. 17) and girls (No. 16) are both 7-1. At West Potomac, the No. 4 boys are 8-0, the No. 9 girls are 8-1. Herndon's boys are 7-1 and its girls are 6-1. The boys at South Lakes are 7-1; the Seahawks' girls are 5-1.

West Potomac's boys are averaging 87 points and scored 117 earlier this season to break the school single-game record of 107. A new girls single-game school record of 132 points was set a couple of weeks later. The girls are averaging 73 points.

At the other end of the spectrum is Rockville, whose boys are 0-8 and girls are 1-5.


Having played organized basketball only two years, Tony Moore, a 6-7 junior at tiny Newport Prep School in Kensington, has made amazing progress and developed into one of the finest shot blockers in the area. Despite a sub-par nine-point effort in Saturday's 24-point loss to The Heights, Moore is averaging 24.4 points, 13.7 rebounds and 6.5 blocked shots for his 5-2 team.