Casey Johnson, Chapelgate. Johnson might be the county's best-kept secret. Playing for the Yellowjackets in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference, there wasn't much fanfare surrounding the sophomore.
But the sophomore stat-filler was one of the top performers in her conference and could arguably start on any of the top teams in the A Conference. Playing every position on the floor, she is as versatile as they come.
Johnson averaged 15.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this season — including a 38-point, 14-rebound performance in a win over Oldfields. In just two seasons, Johnson has scored 716 points.
"Casey means a lot to the team as a player and person," said Yellowjackets coach Kortnie Smith. "As a player she is very unselfish even though she leads the team in points per game. This year she stepped up to be more of a leader and constantly encouraged her teammates. There were a lot of games this year that we would not have won if not for her."
Zelor Massaquoi, Reservoir. Massaquoi, a junior, is arguably the best all-around player in the county. An undersized post at 5-foot-5, she was the only player to average a double-double each night she stepped on the court. Her 12.8 points per game average was good enough for second in the county among active players and she was her team's top rebounder with 10.2 boards per contest.
A Player of the Year candidate, Massaquoi was the heart and soul of the Gators. When the team needed a bucket or had to clamp down on defense to make a stop, Massaquoi was the one to get it done.
"She brought a fire and passion to the game that is a little less common in girls basketball," Reservoir coach Kyle Sullivan said.
Massaquoi willed her team to a pivotal comeback win over Glenelg in the Hall of Fame game with a career-high 29-point and 11-rebound effort.
"She was willing to sacrifice scoring opportunities to get her teammates involved, ultimately leading to her being the team leader in not only points and rebounds but also assists," Sullivan said. "She accepted challenges both offensively and defensively and loved the opportunity to silence critics."
Anna Mitchell, Centennial. There are many words that could be used to describe Mitchell's game, but the best would probably be consistency.
The sophomore scored in double-digits in 16 of her team's 23 games despite attempting just two 3-pointers all season. But it isn't just her ability to get to the rim at will that she prides herself on — her biggest strength is rebounding.
Mitchell finished fourth in the county with 9.7 boards per game and enjoyed each one that she brought down.
"Anna is a dynamic player who is a game-changer on both sides of the ball whenever she is on the court," Eagles coach Bobby Macheel said. "She is already a great rebounder, and I can't wait to see her develop over the next two years as she continued to polish her offensive and defensive fundamentals."
Traonna Thomas, Oakland Mills. Simply put, Thomas could fill up a stat sheet in a hurry. After missing all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee, it took a few games to get her legs under her. But by season's end, the Player of the Year candidate proved why she is one of the league's top performers.
The senior guard went on a tear late in the campaign and that carried over into the postseason. She averaged 21.3 points in three Class 2A South Region playoff games — including 20 in the first half against defending-champion Calvert — and helped lead the Scorpions to the regional semifinals.
"Traonna's quiet presence goes unnoticed when she steps on the court but her actions speak loud enough," coach Seth Willingham said. "She is a player and teammate that will be impossible to replace."
Not only a terrific scorer, Thomas led Oakland Mills in points (308), rebounds (229), three-pointers (30) and steals (121). Thomas will play at Chesapeake College in the fall.