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 and ranked No. 6. With a roster full of multisport athletes, few of whom concentrate on basketball, Robinson has built one of the area's most competitive 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.

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In November, the Vikings came back without three All-County starters, but Robinson fostered a team-first attitude, and the players responded. "This year taught me how important team chemistry and cohesion is," Robinson said. "If everybody works together toward one goal, you can obtain results."

Although the Vikings made an early exit in postseason, falling in the Class 2A South region championship for a second straight year, Robinson said that loss 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 rebounds and 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 stats down but boosted her team to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland 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-Metro first-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 shut out the Gators' top three-point threat. She also scored 13 points and had five assists.

"She showed a lot of maturity and senior leadership in contributing different things to different games and putting us on her shoulders and carrying us," said Panthers coach Jerome Shelton.

"Because of her skills and her ability to create, she was given a lot of freedom to make decisions. She was vital to the overall success of our team because of her ability to organize, show leadership and get the ball in the hands of the personnel that could get the job done."

A Street & Smith's preseason honorable-mention All-American twice, Blue will play next season at the University of Virginia.

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 the repeat first-team All-Metro player. Dailey averaged 18.9 points and 12.1 rebounds for a Mustangs team that finished 15-10.

Offensively, Dailey could do just about anything, from dominate inside to run the floor. She proved equally impressive defensively. An intimidator in the 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 62-50 loss 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 a 2000 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 Most Valuable Player for the victorious city team at the Baltimore City-County All-Star Game. A second-team All-Metro pick last season, Drumgold averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the No. 8 Doves (18-4) to their third Baltimore City championship in her four years.

Drumgold's versatility was especially important to the young, inexperienced Doves. The senior could play strong inside but also showed good range on her jump shot. In the city final, she scored 10 points in the first quarter to spark the Doves to a 53-51 victory over defending champ Dunbar. She finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. In her fourth straight trip to the state Class 4A semifinals, she scored a game-high 20 points and had nine rebounds in a 57-46 loss to eventual champ Suitland.

Rayna DuBose Oakland Mills, senior

The 6-2 senior center proved again that she has strong shoulders by putting the No. 10 Scorpions on her back and carrying them to a 16-8 season. Though often double- and triple-teamed, DuBose led the Scorpions in scoring in 19 games.

She shot 56 percent from the field and averaged 21.8 points. She scored 30 or more points three times, including a career-high 40-point effort in a 57-48 win over Wilde Lake.

As junior, DuBose didn't try a single three-pointer, but she made 31 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc this season. The repeat All-Metro first-teamer headed to Virginia Tech also averaged 14.9 rebounds and 4.8 blocks.

DuBose, who was a freshman on the varsity when Oakland Mills won the state Class 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 in leading her No. 3 Wildcats (25-2) to county and regional titles. Contributing 15 points and 14.1 rebounds a game, the 6-0 forward finished her high school career 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 Chavonne Hammond. She grabbed a season-high 25 rebounds in a regular-season victory over South River and 24 in the Class 4A East regional final win over Broadneck. Fauntleroy converted a lot of those rebounds, rising to third on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,249 points.

An All-Metro second-team selection last season, Fauntleroy is headed for Delaware State.

Erin Jaschik Mount Hebron, senior

An aggressive 6-0 center, Jaschik contributed more than just impressive statistics this season. The senior, who displayed a smooth touch around the basket, averaged 15.8 points and 10.2 rebounds, but she also proved to be a steadying influence who came through in the clutch as the Vikings enjoyed their best season in years.

Jaschik scored a game-high 20 points in a second meeting with Howard County rival River Hill, a game that determined the county champion. She scored four points in a late Vikings rally that cut River Hill's 10-point lead to two, but the Vikings ended up falling, 53-51. Twelve times, Jaschik led her team in scoring, including a season-high 30-point effort against Hammond. She also averaged 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals.

Jaschik, who will play next season at Columbia, finished her career with 1,023 points.

Tiffany Jones Dunbar, junior

Jones provided the steadying force behind Dunbar's run to a second straight state Class 2A championship. The multitalented 5-6 junior point guard contributed a little of everything statistically for the No. 5 Poets (23-4), but her greatest asset was her leadership. With her composure and keen court sense, Jones helped a young Poets team rebound from losing the Baltimore City title to cruise through the state tournament.

Jones boosted her 12-point scoring average to 16 points in the state tournament, where she also averaged 4.5 assists. She scored 17 and had seven rebounds, 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 over Urbana.

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 15.9 points and 6.7 assists as the Wildcats won their fourth consecutive Anne Arundel County championship and made their second straight trip to the state Class 4A Final Four. She shot 47.5 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range.

Marano's 1,291 career points placed her second on the Wildcats' all-time scoring list behind Sherice Proctor's 1,331. But the Wildcats' floor leader made a lasting impression in the assist category, amassing 480 to set a school record.

A relentless defender, she also averaged 3.4 steals a game.

Marano, the Anne Arundel County Player of the Year after a state championship 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 a game, the 5-10 senior forward kept the Hawks entrenched at No. 1 for most of the season. Athletic and skilled with great court vision, Outen Barlow led the Hawks with averages of 18 points and 3.1 assists. She scored 20 or more points nine times.

The two-time Howard County Player of the Year and All-Metro first-teamer led the Hawks to the Howard County title, a 23-2 season and the final No. 2 ranking. Outen Barlow, who loved to entertain a crowd, was explosive on offense and aggressive on defense.

Over the past two seasons, she was the main reason the Hawks were 47-3 overall and unbeaten in Howard County.

Outen Barlow, who has signed with George Washington, finished her career with 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 that swept every IAAM A Conference regular-season opponent and finished 26-6. After being a role player on an exceptionally talented senior-laden team a year ago, Valderas seized the opportunity to shine early this season when Gators point guard Keisha Blackwell missed several games in December.

Valderas stepped up and carried the Gators, dominating the inside and opening up the perimeter for her three-point-shooting teammates. She served notice of her arrival early, scoring 27 points and grabbing 15 rebounds to lead the Gators over Mercy in the championship game of Catonsville's Comet Classic holiday tournament.