Player of the Year

Maurice Barksdale Dunbar, senior, guard

Barksdale scored 23 points to help Dunbar defeat Pocomoke for the Class 1A state title, avenging the Poets' loss to the Eastern Shore school in last year's title game. He averaged 20.6 points, 7.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds for the season.


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Coach of the Year

Mike Rudd Glen Burnie

Rudd's Gophers pulled off the shocker of the basketball season by winning the Class 4A East region at Thomas Johnson in Frederick, 70-69.

Then, the Gophers nearly won their first state semifinal in 42 years before falling to Montgomery County's Magruder in overtime, 67-63.

Glen Burnie, which came into the season with just one returning starter in second-team All-Metro guard Mitch Guest, finished 19-6 and ranked 10th.

"Nobody expected us to do what we did this year," Rudd said.

Thomas Johnson was 23-0 entering the Glen Burnie game, and Patriots coach Tom Dickman, the winningest public school coach in state history with 592 wins and seven state titles, was coaching his final home game before moving on to Hood College.

The Gophers had edged Frederick, 63-60, in the region semifinals.

"I was more nervous before [the Frederick game] because we had gotten that far in four of the last six years. We finally got the monkey off our backs," said Rudd, a Glen Burnie alumnus in his seventh season as head coach.

Glen Burnie had last been to the state semifinals in 1994, when Rudd (93-75 career record) was an assistant coach.

First team

Jermaine Bolden Douglass, junior

When Northern High of Baltimore closed, Bolden transferred to Douglass and fit right in with the No. 7 Ducks (21-3).

In his first game, Bolden scored 37 points as the Ducks opened with 67-66 victory over defending Washington champion, Spingarn in the Baltimore/D.C. Challenge. With seven seconds left, Bolden calmly hit a free throw for the margin of victory.

Bolden, a slick, 5-foot-7 guard, averaged 17.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds for a team that maintained its status as a Baltimore City power despite significant losses to graduation.

Bolden admirably filled a hole in the backcourt, helping the Ducks win their first 18 games to extend their winning streak to 46.

Terrance Breaux Randallstown, senior

A force inside for the No. 2 Rams (22-2), who reeled off their third consecutive Baltimore County championship and the Class 3A North region title, the 6-foot-4 forward was a huge contributor to the team's success.

Breaux averaged 11.8 points and led the team in rebounds with 9.6 per game. His play in the paint enabled the Rams to knock off No. 7 Douglass, 73-70 in the Class 3A North region final.

Breaux had 18 points and eight rebounds in the region final, and 17 points and nine rebounds in a 73-70 overtime loss to Chopticon of St. Mary's County in the 3A state semifinals.

Breaux plans to play football at the University of Buffalo, but has not ruled out playing basketball in the future.

Paul Frazier Mervo, senior

A second-team All-Metro selection as a junior, the 6-foot-4 forward made the Mustangs go. Frazier led his team in scoring with 18.2 points a game and averaged 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

A two-time All-Baltimore City/ County selection, Frazier led the No. 8 Mustangs to a 19-6 record, including a 66-48 rout of Dunbar, which finished the season as the area's top-ranked team. He had 11 rebounds to go with eight points against the Poets.

Frazier had 15 points and eight rebounds in a 49-47 win over No. 12 Walbrook in the Class 4A North region semifinals.

Rudy Gay Archbishop Spalding, junior

Gay transferred from Eastern Tech and became the No. 6 Cavaliers' go-to player.

The 6-foot-7 forward led the team in scoring (13.9), rebounds (7.1) and blocked shots (85).

In his first game with Spalding (26-7), Gay scored 13 of his team-high 18 points in the second half to pace a 56-52 win over highly touted Archbishop Molloy of Briarwood, N.Y.

Gay was named to the All- Baltimore Catholic League regular season and tournament teams and the All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference team.

He had 33 points in a 76-65 win over St. Frances; 29 points, 10 rebounds in a 56-51 win at Eleanor Roosevelt in overtime; and 18 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots in a 61-54 win over Judge Memorial (Utah) for third place in the Alhambra tournament.

Joshua Johnson Annapolis, senior

A flashy left-hander who used his strength, long arms and leaping ability to dominate the boards and deliver basket-rattling dunks, Johnson was the top post player in Anne Arundel County for three years.

He teamed up with guard Laronja Owens to give the No. 5 Panthers (23-2) a potent 1-2 punch. The 6-foot-6 Johnson averaged 19.9 points and 12.6 rebounds in enabling Annapolis to average a county-best 74 points a game.

Johnson grabbed 824 rebounds in his career and had a career average of 11.2 per game. Many of his rebounds resulted in put-backs, as he amassed 1,188 career points. He had 24 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots in his last game, a 73-72 overtime loss at Friendly in the Class 3A East final.

Johnson is undecided on a college.

Tavon Nelson Lake Clifton, senior

Nelson was the major reason the No. 4 Lakers (20-5) won their first Baltimore City championship since the 1994-95 season and their first Class 4A North region crown since 2001.

The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 11.9 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in addition to being a valuable leader.

Nelson had 17 points and nine rebounds as the Lakers unseated defending champion Douglass, 52-49 in the Baltimore City final. He made a pair of free throws with 1.2 seconds left to clinch it.

Nelson accumulated 35 points and 32 rebounds in three victories in the Class 4A North region playoffs, including 11 points and 10 rebounds in a 46-45 win over Mervo in the region final.

He had a game-high 15 rebounds to go with nine points in the Lakers' 71-58 loss to eventual state champion Oxon Hill in a Class 4A state semifinal.

Laronja Owens Annapolis, senior

Owens, 6 feet 1, is an All-Metro guard and the Arundel County Player of the Year for a second straight season.

Over three seasons, Owens has led the No. 5 Panthers (23-2) to 50 consecutive county wins - extending their county run to 76 - and the Panthers went 72-5 overall.

Anne Arundel County's leading scorer (22.4 points per game), Owens amassed 1,624 career points, the second-highest total in school history and the fourth-highest all-time in the county.

He also averaged 5.2 assists and four rebounds this season and led Annapolis with 45 three-pointers, giving him 127 in his career.

Owens will likely attend a junior college in Florida.

Levi Stukes Randallstown, senior

Stukes was the premier player in Baltimore County over the past two seasons.

A two-time All-Metro guard and two-time Baltimore County Player of the Year, Stukes has led the Rams to three straight Baltimore County titles and one Class 3A state championship.

The 6-foot-2 Stukes averaged 24.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists for the No. 2 Rams (22-2) this season.

Stukes, who scored over 1,500 points in his career, had a game-high 33 points in a 73-70 loss to St. Mary's County's Chopticon in the Class 3A state semifinals. It was his third game of 30 points or more this season. Stukes, an inside-outside threat, scored a season-high 37 in an 85-65 win over No. 15 Southern-Anne Arundel in the Wes Unseld Tournament.

Will Thomas Mount St. Joseph, junior

Thomas helped the Gaels win their first Baltimore Catholic League regular-season title in the 32-year history of the league. The No. 3 Gaels (29-5) also won their first BCL tournament title, beating defending champion Spalding, 49-48.

Thomas, a lanky, 6-foot-7 center, won the Jerry Savage Player of the Year trophy and the John Plevyak Most Valuable Player Award in the BCL tournament, becoming the first underclassman to win the MVP award since Mark Karcher of St. Frances in 1996.

Thomas, who was also named to the All-MIAA A Conference team, averaged 16.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. He had 21 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots in a 58-55 triumph over St. Frances.

Thomas, who has been offered a scholarship to Xavier, totaled 28 points, 20 rebounds and five blocked shots in two wins over Spalding, the first time the Cavaliers have been swept in four years under coach Mike Glick.

Second team

Name, School, Class, Position

Mitch Guest Glen Burnie Junior Guard

Jack McClinton Calvert Hall Senior Guard

Kyle O'Connor Mount St. Joseph Senior Guard

Shawn Velazquez Mount Hebron Senior Guard

Paris Carter Lake Clifton Junior Forward

Keon Lattimore Mount St.Joseph Senior Forward

Mike Popoko McDonogh Senior Forward

Will Bowers Arch. Spalding Senior Center

Adrian Gross Southern-AA Senior Center

Holden Plack St. Paul's Senior Center

Note: Teams selected by Pat O'Malley after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches