Malcolm Delaney Towson Catholic, senior
After a 64-59 victory over rival Mount St. Joseph in early February that clinched a league title, Delaney talked about the big difference in his play as a senior.
"Last year I went away from the ball a lot [in crucial situations]," he said. "I didn't take it upon myself to help the team out more. So, this year I promised my team that I would thrive under pressure."
Delaney did just that, and his change in approach helped turned the top-ranked Owls into a powerhouse.
The 6-foot-3, Virginia Tech-bound guard went from a player who would appear to get rattled by a bad call or a mistake to a steady, poised leader.
With Delaney leading the way, Towson Catholic went 32-5 and captured the Baltimore Catholic League and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championships, going undefeated in both leagues.
"Malcolm came into this season really focused and was a steadying influence all season long," Owls second-year coach Josh Pratt said. "He was our leader."
Delaney, a repeat All-Metro first-team selection, led the Owls in scoring (19.5 points) and assists and (4.5) and averaged 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 steals. His alley-oop passes to Donte Greene were crowd-pleasers.
He shot 54 percent from the field, including 56 percent from three-point range (79-for-140) and 82 percent from the line. Delaney, who will play for the U.S. team in the 34th Capital Classic at Comcast Center on April 5, finished with more than 2,100 points in his four-year career.
Kim Rivers Randallstown
Rivers has built a power at Randallstown, winning five state championships in 13 years, the past three in succession, including this year's Class 2A title over Fairmont Heights (65-60) of Prince George's County.
Rivers, a New York City native who was an NAIA All-American at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., in 1988 and later played three years professionally in Melbourne, Australia, before becoming a physical education teacher at Randallstown, honed a young team into a champion this season.
"It was probably my best coaching job because we didn't have a go-to player like a Levi Stukes or Johnny Higgins," said Rivers, who is the All-Metro Coach of the Year for the first time. His five state titles are the most of any active coach in the state.
"It was a young team that really came together, and I credit my staff for their help," he said.
Rivers' No. 3 Rams (24-3) won the Baltimore County championship, 67-56 over Woodlawn, and shot 70 percent from the field in an 86-70 win over Douglass in the 2A North regional final.
The Rams started only two seniors. "It was very gratifying the way they came along, especially after losing two games at the Basketball Academy in January," Rivers said.
Rivers' 13-year record is 292-46, a winning percentage of .864, the highest among active coaches with 12 or more years of experience. His teams have won 20 games in a season 12 times.
Tommy Brenton River Hill, senior
Brenton closed out a brilliant three-year varsity career by leading No. 9 River Hill (23-5) to its first boys basketball state championship in its first title game.
The 6-foot-4 senior forward, who worked hard on his game over the summer by playing Amateur Athletic Union basketball with the Delaware Sure Shots, developed into one of the metro area's best all-around players.
In the team's 62-53 victory over Mervo in the Class 3A state semifinals, Brenton scored 30 points and was 16-for-20 from the foul line. Then he scored 28 to lead the Hawks to a 60-51 win over Bethesda- Chevy Chase in the state final, going a state-record 19-for-20 from the foul line.
For the season, Brenton, The Sun's Howard County Player of the Year, averaged 20.9 points, shooting 51 percent from the field and 71 percent from the line. He also averaged 10.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals and had 30 blocks.
Devin Brown City, senior
Brown, a multi-talented 6-3 guard, was the only senior starter for the 20-5 Knights. His leadership enabled coach Mike Daniel to lead the team to its best season since 1999.
Brown, who is the first player from City to be named first-team All-Metro in more than 30 years, averaged 20.5 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Strong on his drives to the basket, Brown also is an accurate shooter from the perimeter and solid on defense. When the game was on the line, Brown was the player the Knights always turned to.
Brown, who has qualified for Division I with his SAT and 3.40 grade point average, will play for the Baltimore Stars in the seventh Charm City Challenge on April 1 at Towson Center.
Darrell Bryant Randallstown, senior
Bryant has been a major contributor and leader on three consecutive state championship teams at Randallstown. The 6-4 senior forward is strong and athletic, has good leaping ability and is court-savvy.
His 16 points and 12 rebounds led the Rams to a 60-55 victory over Wicomico in the Class 2A state semifinals. He had seven points and a game-high eight rebounds before he fouled out in the 65-60 championship win over Fairmont Heights of Prince George's County.
Bryant, who has a football scholarship to James Madison, averaged 12.9 points to go over 1,000 career points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.1 blocks. He also led the team in taking charges with 27.
Bryant will play for the Baltimore Stars in the Charm City Challenge on April 1 at Towson Center.
Braxton Dupree Calvert Hall, senior
Dupree used his 6-8, 250-pound frame to jam the middle, block shots, set up transition baskets and put back missed shots by the Cardinals.
Committed to the University of Maryland since his junior year, the senior was dominant down the stretch, recording double doubles in his last eight games.
Ranked in the rivals.com top 20 for centers going into this season, Dupree improved his statistics from last season in the major categories.
Dupree, who averaged 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds as a junior, lifted those numbers to 21 points and 13 rebounds this season, finishing his three-year career with 1,345 points.
In addition, Dupree went from 3.5 blocks per game in 2006 to five blocks this season. Dupree will play for the U.S. All Stars in the April 5 Capital Classic at Comcast Center.
Donte Greene Towson Catholic, senior
The 6-9, 220-pound senior forward helped the No. 1 Owls to undefeated seasons in both the Baltimore Catholic League and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
Greene, also an All-Metro first-team pick last season, will play in the McDonald's All-American game next Wednesday at Louisville.
His offensive repertoire includes a host of NBA-like dunks and a soft, smooth touch from outside.
Greene, who committed to Syracuse before his junior season, finished his four-year varsity career with more than 2,200 points.
This season, Greene averaged 18.3 points, shooting 51 percent from the field and 86 percent from the line.
Greene also averaged 7.2 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 3.2 assists and 2.1 steals.
Dino Gregory Mount St. Joseph, senior
Gregory, The Sun's Baltimore City Player of the Year, was a force inside and also stepped up his outside game this season, leading the No. 2 Gaels to a 25-8 record.
With the Gaels' inexperienced backcourt this season, Gregory, a 6-8 senior, was called on to do more on offense than dominate in the paint. The Maryland-bound forward responded, increasing his scoring average from 9.8 points last season to 14.4.
Gregory's offensive repertoire included an array of dunks and dazzling hook shots, and he also had the ability to jump to the top of the backboard.
He made only one three-pointer in his career, and it came at the buzzer in regulation as the Gaels went on to defeat St. John's of Washington in overtime.
Gregory averaged 8.5 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 1.8 assists and had 27 steals. He will play in the 34th Capital Classic on April 5 at Comcast Center.
Sean Mosley St. Frances, junior
The 6-4 junior forward once again was a force for the Panthers in the Baltimore Catholic League and MIAA A Conference. Named to the All-Metro team for the third consecutive season, Mosley also was named to the BCL and MIAA all-league teams.
Mosley has drawn interest from a number of Division I schools because of his ability to post up, three-point range, defense and court sense. He also exhibited leadership qualities that his teammates responded to.
As a sophomore, Mosley averaged 18.5 points and six rebounds. He raised those numbers to 21 points and eight rebounds this season. He has more than 2,000 points for his career.
Mosley also went from three assists and two blocked shots per game last season to six assists and 3.5 blocks. He also averaged four steals.
Henry Sims Mount St. Joseph, junior
One of the Gaels' twin towers along with Dino Gregory, the lanky, 6-10 junior center became a force this season after seeing limited time as a sophomore.
Sims, who started the season ranked eighth at his position by rivals.com for the class of 2008, refined his main offensive weapons - his jump-hook, turnaround jumper and dunks.
He led the Gaels in rebounds at 9.9 per game and was second to Gregory in blocks with 2.5 a game. Sims also averaged 11.1 points and 1.6 assists and had 33 steals.
Sims shot 51 percent from the field and 66 percent from the line. He has not yet made a college commitment, and he will be a featured player at the national showcases this summer.
Omar Strong Douglass, junior
The 5-9 junior guard was the catalyst of a Ducks team that won its first 20 games before finishing 22-2 and falling to eventual Class 2A state champion Randallstown in the North regional final.
Randallstown coach Kim Rivers said it was imperative for his team to keep Strong from penetrating off his dribble in order to defeat the Ducks in the regional. It may have been the only time all season that a team was able to stop Strong, who was scoreless in the first half, but got loose for 19 in the second half.
Strong was tough for most opponents to defend because of his quickness, athleticism, accuracy from the perimeter and pull-up jumpers.
He averaged 19.8 points, 4.3 assists and two steals in his second varsity season.
Josh Morgan-Green, St. Mary's, Junior Guard
Lateef Williams, Annapolis, Senior Guard
Tione Womack, Randallstown, Soph. Guard
Garrett Blackstone, Glen Burnie, Senior Forward
Aric Brooks, St. Frances, Senior Forward
Kim English, Randallstown, Senior Forward
J.J. Hicks, Broadneck, Junior Forward
Isaiah Philmore, John Carroll, Soph. Forward
Jeremy Robinson, Northwestern, Senior Forward
John Schwarz, Perry Hall, Junior Center
Note // Teams selected by Pat O'Malley after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.