The Maryland 4A South Region boys' basketball championship, a game that has sold out a 1,500-seat venue for two decades, will be played tonight at a facility with a capacity just more than 700.
The 7 p.m. game, in which No. 4 Oxon Hill and Eleanor Roosevelt will play for a state tournament berth for the fifth consecutive season, will be played at Run 'n' Shoot Athletic Center in District Heights, the home court for Oxon Hill's boys' and girls' basketball teams this season.
Run 'n' Shoot's main court seats 576 and can hold about 130 more in standing-room-only sections.
"It is unfortunate that not all the fans will be able to see two teams that are going to go at it for Year Five now," Eleanor Roosevelt Coach Glenn Farello said. "We played in a venue twice as big last year and had to turn people away."
Since the late 1960s, the region with Prince George's County's largest schools had played its tournament final at 1,500-seat Novak Field House at Prince George's Community College. The county decided to try a venue with more capacity this year, but coaches did not vote for either of two neutral-site options with room for 1,800 fans, 4A South Region tournament director Artie Walker said.
"The coaches had their opportunity to get the site of the game changed, so I'm sure . . . we'll talk about it again next year," Walker said. "There might be a problem because with the limited capacity [of Run 'n' Shoot], but I guess we'll find out. People just better get there early."
Walker asked Oxon Hill Athletic Director Christine Johnson yesterday morning if her school was willing to change to another venue, but Johnson declined.
Run 'n' Shoot "has been our home for the past two years," said Johnson, who said there will be four security guards at the game.
"There's going to be a lot of people here, but it's going to be safe."
Tickets, which cost $4, will go on sale at 5:30 p.m. at Run 'n' Shoot.
New Coach at Paul VI
Paul VI Catholic named Pat McGroarty as its football coach. McGroarty, who spent last year as an assistant coach at Bowie State, replaces Mark Collier, who stepped down in January after one season. . . .
D.C. school officials will decide this morning whether Dunbar senior guard Earl Risby will be able to participate in tonight's City Title Game. Risby has appealed after being ruled ineligible for the game because he received a technical foul and was ejected from the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association title game last Saturday.