15th Annual Mako Mania Underway

OCEAN CITY- The 15th Annual Mako Mania shark tournament got underway this morning with dozens of boats and teams of anglers competing in the first significant offshore tournament of the summer-long series of events in Ocean City.

With warm water starting to show up in the canyons off the coast of the resort, the early offshore fishing season is starting to heat up just in time for the annual Mako Mania tournament hosted by Bahia Marina. Sharks of all sizes and species are typically the first game fish to arrive off the coast of the resort and this year should be no different.

Over the last two weeks or so, a significant number of makos and other shark species have been caught in the waters off the coast of the resort, signaling the fish are arriving just in time for the annual Mako Mania tournament.

Last year, 44 boats and nearly 200 anglers participated in the annual Mako Mania. First place in the mako division went to angler Tom Perry and the crew aboard “Team Country Wide” with a 293-plus pound mako caught on the tournament’s second day worth $10,895. Second place in the mako division went to angler Mike Frybarger on the “Salty Sons” with a 236-pounder worth $11,973 in prize money. Angler Matt Keller aboard the “Marli” caught took third place in the mako division in terms of weight with a 191.8-pounder, but was first in terms of prize money at $21,926 because of added entry levels. The crew aboard the “Crush ‘Em” was fourth in the mako division with a 176-plus pounder worth roughly $3,100.

While the event is all about fishing, and particularly sharks, as its name implies, the activity on land is no less exciting. Curiosity seekers will cram into Bahia Marina each afternoon during the tournament for a chance to see a potential winning shark raised at the scale in what has become a festival of sorts celebrating the arrival of another summer offshore fishing season.

The event got underway yesterday with a captains’ meeting with the first of three official fishing days starting early this morning. Other fishing days include Saturday and Sunday, and the boats and their captains must choose to fish two of the three fishing days. Mako sharks are the featured species in the tournament although there are also divisions for threshers and bluefish, for example.

Like most tournaments in the area, the conservation of the various species is paramount to success, and to that end, an award and a check for $1,000 is given out for the most shark releases called the W.W. Harman Award. Last year, the crew aboard the “Marlin Magic” took the W.W. Harman Award and earned a check for $1,000.

Decatur Girls Fall to Mardela, 55-33

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity basketball team dropped a tough one to visiting Mardela, 55-33, this week after hanging with the Warriors early in the contest.

Mardela jumped out to a quick, 14-3, lead before most of the crowd found their seats for the “Think Pink” double-header that featured both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams in support of breast cancer awareness on Tuesday. Decatur’s players wore pink socks as part of their regular uniforms and many of the fans in attendance got caught up in the spirit of the event by wearing pink.

Jamie Parker hit a free throw and Leigh Anne Flounlacker buried a jumper from the corner to cut the Mardela lead to 16-6 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Decatur’s Monique Wise finished a tough play in the paint with basket to cut the lead to 16-8 and Flounlacker scored seconds later on a fast break lay-up after a steal to cut the lead to 16-10, but that was as close as the Seahawks would get.

After two Mardela baskets extended the lead to 22-10, Wise scored on a lay-up to cut the lead to 22-12. With 3:20 remaining in the second, Flounlacker scored on a fast break lay-up to cut the lead to 25-14, but Mardela scored the last five points of the quarter and took a 30-14 lead into halftime. The always-aggressive Flounlacker took a beating in the second quarter, hitting the floor several times after hard fouls, and did not start the third quarter. In fact, the tough senior was noticeably absent throughout the third quarter as the Seahawks tried to hang with the Warriors.

After Mardela scored two quick baskets in the third to extend the lead to 20 points at 34-14, Decatur’s Abbey Schorr started to carry the load for the Seahawks. Schorr scored on a lay-up off a nice assist by Kelly Powell to cut the lead to 34-16. Seconds later, Schorr was fouled underneath and connected on a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 34-18. After Mardela scored six straight points to push the lead to 40-18, Schorr converted a basket after a big rebound to cut the lead to 40-20 as the third quarter expired.

At the start of the fourth, Flounlacker was back on the floor for Decatur and gave the Seahawks an immediate lift. The Decatur senior grabbed a big rebound underneath and converted the put-back to cut the Mardela lead to 40-22. Seconds later, Kristina Flakowitz hit a jumper in the paint to cut the lead to 40-24, but the damage had been done. The Warriors scored 12 straight points to extend the lead to 52-24 to decide the issue.

The Seahawks did not quit, however, and made a decent run in the fourth. Flounlacker scored on a lay-up off a nice feed from Kaitlin Hardt to cut the lead to 52-26. Schorr then scored on a free throw, followed by a lay-up seconds later to cut the lead to 55-29. Schorr scored on another lay-up after a long pass from Katie Purnell to make it 55-31. Wise completed the scoring with a jumper from the corner as the clock wound down to cut the lead to 55-33.

Schorr finished the game with 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Seahawks. The loss to Mardela on Tuesday came after Decatur beat Washington, 51-41, last Friday. The Seahawks played Wicomico yesterday in a game played too late to be included in this edition. They finish out the regular season next week with a pair of home games against Kent County and Delmar.