The top-ranked Oxon Hill boys basketball team lost its best player Monday for four weeks. Last night, the Clippers were handed their first loss to a Prince George's 4A opponent when they fell, 92-77, at No. 18 Parkdale.
With Georgetown-bound center Michael Sweetney sitting out because of a sprained right ankle, the Clippers could not stay with the Panthers.
Sweetney originally suffered the injury at practice in late November but was able to start the season with Oxon Hill. He averaged 18 points as the Clippers won seven of their first eight, and he helped lead Oxon Hill to the final of the Stop-DWI Classic in Binghamton, N.Y., last week. But the ankle was not getting better.
"I kept playing on it, and it was getting worse," Sweetney said. "Finally, my mom made me get it checked out."
Sweetney went to the doctor on Monday and was told he has a sprained tendon in the ankle and that he shouldn't play for four weeks. Sweetney said he plans on going back to the doctor in two weeks to see whether he can come back earlier.
"Watching the team play and practice, and not being able to do it with them, is really frustrating," Sweetney said. "I can still shoot around, but that's not good enough for me."
Without Sweetney last night, the Clippers were outrun by Parkdale. The Panthers (8-1) got 30 points from senior guard Shaun Swan and 26 from senior forward Ricky Shields in the win.
"I rested both Shaun and Ricky in the first half and people were like, 'Coach, what are you doing?' " Parkdale Coach Bob Johnson said. "I told them we were going to need them both in the second half. And we sure did. I can't say enough about these kids."
Oxon Hill (7-2), which trailed 38-30 at the half, trimmed its deficit to six midway through the fourth quarter but could get no closer.
ANNAPOLIS 70, SEVERNA PARK 59: Annapolis got its first true test last night at Severna Park. Behind senior forward Thomas Hawkins and junior guard Marcus Neal, the fourth-ranked Eagles passed.
Hawkins had a game-high 24 points and Neal added 20 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals to lead Annapolis in an Anne Arundel league game. Annapolis (8-0, 3-0) had won its first seven games by an average of 28 points.
"We started the season blowing teams out of the gym, so now people expect that every night," Neal said.
Severna Park (5-3, 2-1) trimmed a 14-point first-half deficit to 51-47 on a two-foot shot by 6-foot-5 junior forward Trevor Quinn with 1 minute 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Quinn, who had a team-high 19 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks, hit a five-foot bank shot to pull the Falcons to 55-50 at the end of three quarters.
But Annapolis responded with a 10-3 run over the opening 4:08 of the fourth quarter, sparked by two three-point plays by senior Marcus Johnson (15 points), to take a 65-53 lead.
Annapolis shot 54 percent (19 for 35) in the first half, but led just 46-39 because Severna Park got easy layups off the Panthers' press. The Falcons shot 15 for 32 in the first half.
"I thought we were too casual at first," Annapolis Coach John Brady said. "They were just beating our press too easily. We weren't getting back on defense."
-- Nathan Max