Coach of the Year
Scott Robinson Mount Hebron
With Robinson the past five years, the Vikings have improved every season.Built on a stingy man-to-man defense, the Vikings ended the season 22-6 andranked No. 6. With a roster full of multisport athletes, few of whomconcentrate on basketball, Robinson has built one of the area's mostcompetitive programs. Mount Hebron's records during the Robinson era: overall,7-16, 13-10, 17-7, 21-4, 22-3; in Howard County, 4-14, 9-9, 12-6, 15-3, 16-2.
In November, the Vikings came back without three All-County starters, butRobinson fostered a team-first attitude, and the players responded. "This yeartaught me how important team chemistry and cohesion is," Robinson said. "Ifeverybody works together toward one goal, you can obtain results."
Although the Vikings made an early exit in postseason, falling in the Class2A South region championship for a second straight year, Robinson said thatloss did not mar an otherwise fine season.
Player of the Year
LaTonya Blue St. Frances, senior
Whatever the Panthers needed, their smooth, 5-foot-10 point guard provided.
Others posted more impressive numbers than Blue's 12.3 points, 6.5 reboundsand 6.2 assists, but no one else matched the senior's blend of athleticism,skill, leadership, composure, work ethic and determination.
Blue's willingness to contribute whatever her team needed kept her statsdown but boosted her team to the Interscholastic Athletic Association ofMaryland A Conference championship, a 25-3 record and the final No. 1 ranking.
The Baltimore City/County Player of the Year and a repeat All-Metrofirst-teamer, Blue could do it all, but she excelled at defense and passing.
In the 52-37 IAAM A Conference title-game win over Seton Keough, Blue shutout the Gators' top three-point threat. She also scored 13 points and had fiveassists.
"She showed a lot of maturity and senior leadership in contributingdifferent things to different games and putting us on her shoulders andcarrying us," said Panthers coach Jerome Shelton.
"Because of her skills and her ability to create, she was given a lot offreedom to make decisions. She was vital to the overall success of our teambecause of her ability to organize, show leadership and get the ball in thehands of the personnel that could get the job done."
Nicole Dailey Meade, senior
The 6-1 senior forward lived up to her advance billing as a Street &Smith's honorable-mention preseason All-American. That was no surprise for therepeat first-team All-Metro player. Dailey averaged 18.9 points and 12.1rebounds for a Mustangs team that finished 15-10.
Offensively, Dailey could do just about anything, from dominate inside torun the floor. She proved equally impressive defensively. An intimidator inthe paint, she set a school record for blocks for a second straight season.She blocked 93 shots to smash her old mark of 67. In her final game, a 62-50loss to Broadneck in the Class 4A East regional semifinals, Dailey scored 18.Early in the season, she scored 20 and grabbed 16 rebounds as Meade avenged a2000 regional playoff loss to C. Milton Wright. Dailey will play at Mount St.Mary's next season.
Lillian Drumgold Western, senior
The agile 5-10 forward capped off her high school career as the MostValuable Player for the victorious city team at the Baltimore City-CountyAll-Star Game. A second-team All-Metro pick last season, Drumgold averaged 17points and 10 rebounds to lead the No. 8 Doves (18-4) to their third BaltimoreCity championship in her four years.
Drumgold's versatility was especially important to the young, inexperiencedDoves. The senior could play strong inside but also showed good range on herjump shot. In the city final, she scored 10 points in the first quarter tospark the Doves to a 53-51 victory over defending champ Dunbar. She finishedwith 17 points and 10 rebounds. In her fourth straight trip to the state Class4A semifinals, she scored a game-high 20 points and had nine rebounds in a57-46 loss to eventual champ Suitland.
Rayna DuBose Oakland Mills, senior
The 6-2 senior center proved again that she has strong shoulders by puttingthe No. 10 Scorpions on her back and carrying them to a 16-8 season. Thoughoften double- and triple-teamed, DuBose led the Scorpions in scoring in 19games.
She shot 56 percent from the field and averaged 21.8 points. She scored 30or more points three times, including a career-high 40-point effort in a 57-48win over Wilde Lake.
As junior, DuBose didn't try a single three-pointer, but she made 31percent of her attempts from beyond the arc this season. The repeat All-Metrofirst-teamer headed to Virginia Tech also averaged 14.9 rebounds and 4.8blocks.
DuBose, who was a freshman on the varsity when Oakland Mills won the stateClass 1A title, finished her career with 1,591 points and 1,215 rebounds.
Najmah Fauntleroy Arundel, senior
The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year averaged a double double inleading her No. 3 Wildcats (25-2) to county and regional titles. Contributing15 points and 14.1 rebounds a game, the 6-0 forward finished her high schoolcareer as the top rebounder in school history and one of its leading scorers.She also was a ferocious defender, averaging 3.2 steals a game.
Her 1,180 career rebounds smashed the old record of 903 set by ChavonneHammond. She grabbed a season-high 25 rebounds in a regular-season victoryover South River and 24 in the Class 4A East regional final win overBroadneck. Fauntleroy converted a lot of those rebounds, rising to third onthe school's all-time scoring list with 1,249 points.
An All-Metro second-team selection last season, Fauntleroy is headed forDelaware State.
Erin Jaschik Mount Hebron, senior
An aggressive 6-0 center, Jaschik contributed more than just impressivestatistics this season. The senior, who displayed a smooth touch around thebasket, averaged 15.8 points and 10.2 rebounds, but she also proved to be asteadying influence who came through in the clutch as the Vikings enjoyedtheir best season in years.
Jaschik scored a game-high 20 points in a second meeting with Howard Countyrival River Hill, a game that determined the county champion. She scored fourpoints in a late Vikings rally that cut River Hill's 10-point lead to two, butthe Vikings ended up falling, 53-51. Twelve times, Jaschik led her team inscoring, including a season-high 30-point effort against Hammond. She alsoaveraged 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals.
Jaschik, who will play next season at Columbia, finished her career with1,023 points.
Tiffany Jones Dunbar, junior
Jones provided the steadying force behind Dunbar's run to a second straightstate Class 2A championship. The multitalented 5-6 junior point guardcontributed a little of everything statistically for the No. 5 Poets (23-4),but her greatest asset was her leadership. With her composure and keen courtsense, Jones helped a young Poets team rebound from losing the Baltimore Citytitle to cruise through the state tournament.
Jones boosted her 12-point scoring average to 16 points in the statetournament, where she also averaged 4.5 assists. She scored 17 and had sevenrebounds, five steals and three assists in a 54-46 win over Fairmont Heights,the team that knocked then-No. 4 Mount Hebron out of the regional tournament.In the title game, Jones had 15 points and six assists in a 63-36 romp overUrbana.
Jill Marano Arundel, senior
A repeat All-Metro selection, Marano continued to do what she does best -score and help everybody else score. The 5-8 senior point guard averaged 15.9points and 6.7 assists as the Wildcats won their fourth consecutive AnneArundel County championship and made their second straight trip to the stateClass 4A Final Four. She shot 47.5 percent from the field and 42 percent fromthree-point range.
Marano's 1,291 career points placed her second on the Wildcats' all-timescoring list behind Sherice Proctor's 1,331. But the Wildcats' floor leadermade a lasting impression in the assist category, amassing 480 to set a schoolrecord.
A relentless defender, she also averaged 3.4 steals a game.
Marano, the Anne Arundel County Player of the Year after a statechampionship season a year ago, will play next year at La Salle.
Greeba Outen Barlow River Hill, senior
A flashy player who could amaze opponents with her ability to take over agame, the 5-10 senior forward kept the Hawks entrenched at No. 1 for most ofthe season. Athletic and skilled with great court vision, Outen Barlow led theHawks with averages of 18 points and 3.1 assists. She scored 20 or more pointsnine times.
The two-time Howard County Player of the Year and All-Metro first-teamerled the Hawks to the Howard County title, a 23-2 season and the final No. 2ranking. Outen Barlow, who loved to entertain a crowd, was explosive onoffense and aggressive on defense.
Over the past two seasons, she was the main reason the Hawks were 47-3overall and unbeaten in Howard County.
Outen Barlow, who has signed with George Washington, finished her careerwith 1,233 points
Jackie Valderas Seton Keough, junior
The 6-0 junior center emerged as the breakout player of the season.Valderas averaged 12.5 points and 12 rebounds for a No. 4 Gators team thatswept every IAAM A Conference regular-season opponent and finished 26-6. Afterbeing a role player on an exceptionally talented senior-laden team a year ago,Valderas seized the opportunity to shine early this season when Gators pointguard Keisha Blackwell missed several games in December.
Valderas stepped up and carried the Gators, dominating the inside andopening up the perimeter for her three-point-shooting teammates. She servednotice of her arrival early, scoring 27 points and grabbing 15 rebounds tolead the Gators over Mercy in the championship game of Catonsville's CometClassic holiday tournament.