2004-05 All-Metro boys basketball teams
2005 All-Metro Players of the Year: Chandrea Jones of Institute of Notre Dame and DaJuan Summers of McDonogh (Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)
DaJuan Summers McDonough, junior
Summers not only broke out at McDonogh this season, but nationally as well.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound power forward is considered to be one of the top 100 players in the nation by a number of publications and rating services, who also have him ranked in the top 15 at his position.
The spotlight on Summers started shining at the end of last summer when he sparkled at Nike showcase events and with the Cecil-Kirk Amateur Athletic Union team.
Summers followed up his big summer with a standout high school season, leading surprising McDonogh (23-6) to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference final and a No. 5 ranking in The Sun's final poll.
Averaging 20.4 points with an explosive repertoire of dunks, not to mention a smooth touch from the perimeter, Summers also muscled up in the paint to grab 11.6 rebounds per game. McDonogh coach Matt MacMullan said Summers had the best junior season of anyone who has played for the Eagles in the past 20 years.
Fluid with a loose body and long wing-span, Summers, who had a number of double doubles and several 30-point games this season, can shoot off his dribble and deliver crisp and accurate passes. He also is a threat whether he's facing the basket or has his back to it, and he is a natural at blocking shots.
Summers is the first McDonogh player to be named All-Metro Player of the Year in boys basketball.
Coach of the Year
Kelvin Bridgers Walbrook
As the boys basketball season wore on, Bridgers talked about how his team had come close to greatness over the past few years but could never quite get there.
"I knew what we had at certain positions and what certain people could do, but what I didn't know were the hidden ingredients, like Rodney Spruill," said Bridgers, a North Carolina native who led the Warriors to the best season in school history since Walbrook opened in 1971. "I didn't know that Rodney would flourish this year the way he did, and we had a solid seven-to-eight man rotation."
With Bridgers' guiding hand, the Warriors (26-2) closed the season with 17 consecutive wins to capture the city, regional and state titles - all firsts for Walbrook.
Knocking off No. 3 Dunbar, 65-63, for the city title was a breakthrough, and the Warriors followed it up by defeating No. 4 Southwestern, 56-43, for the 4A North regional title and a trip to the state semifinals.
The win over Southwestern also completed an undefeated run against Baltimore City competition and a 13-0 home record.
A 51-41 victory over No. 9 Old Mill sent the Warriors to their first state final. Following the cue of their patient coach, the Warriors pulled out a 45-38 triumph over Blake for the 4A state championship.
Bridgers, who is a science department head at the Maritime Academy and a former three-sport standout at Tarboro High in N.C., is 143-45 (.761) in his eight seasons at Walbrook.
Jamal Barney Southwestern, junior
A high-flying junior guard with a classic touch from the perimeter and the ability to stop quickly for his pull-up jumper, Barney was the go-to player and team leader of the Class 4A North regional runner-up Sabers.
Barney averaged 24.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game in leading the Sabers to a 22-4 record and No. 6 ranking in The Sun's final poll. Two of Southwestern's losses were to eventual 4A state champion Walbrook.
In a 54-38 regular season loss to Walbrook, Barney had 17 points, and he scored 18 against Class 1A state champ Dunbar in a 75-67 defeat. Barney's biggest game may have been his 31 points on an assortment of dunks and jump shots that helped the Sabers deal Class 3A state champion Randallstown (26-1) its only loss, 61-49.
Louis Birdsong Mount St. Joseph, junior
This 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior was the key addition to the Gaels as they maintained their dominance in the Baltimore Catholic League and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference despite the graduation of last season's co-Player of the Year Will Thomas.
Transferring from Randallstown after his sophomore year, Birdsong filled the void in the paint and helped the Gaels successfully defend their regular-season titles in both of their leagues. Mount St. Joseph finished 31-4 after going 2-1 in the Alhambra Invitational over the weekend.
Birdsong, who averaged 3.2 blocks per game, out-muscled opponents under the basket for 10.1 rebounds per game and averaged 14 points via dunks, put-backs and short jumpers.
Velmar Coleman Walbrook, senior
Coleman was the senior leader of the Class 4A state champion Warriors and his versatility as a swing guard resulted in the emergence of junior Rodney Spruill. While teams concentrated on Coleman, Spruill developed into a force and earned Baltimore City Player of the Year honors.
Coleman, 6 feet 4, had a big state tournament, including game highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds in a 51-41 victory over No. 9 Old Mill in the semifinals
Headed to Towson University, Coleman finished the season averaging 16.7 points, 9.2 rebounds. 6.4 assists and 2.3 steals. Coleman was selected to play in the Charm City Challenge on the Baltimore All-Star team that will play the U.S. All Stars in the 5 p.m. feature game at Towson University on April 10.
Brian Johnson Mount St. Joseph, senior
Considered by many to be the area's top point guard, Johnson led the Gaels to three straight Baltimore Catholic League regular-season titles and two BCL and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference tournament titles in his three years as a starter.
Brought up to the Gaels' varsity late in his freshman season, Johnson became a starter as a sophomore and has been the team's catalyst ever since.
The 5-foot-10 senior guard has made a habit of making game-winning shots, dishing off key assists or making the big defensive play. Johnson, who has not committed to a college, averaged 10 points, two rebounds, six assists and two steals per game for the No. 2 Gaels. He will play for the Baltimore team vs. the U.S. stars in the Charm City Challenge.
Sean Mosley St. Frances, freshman
The 6-foot-4 swing guard led the No. 11 Panthers (19-15) to a surprising Baltimore Catholic League tournament title and was named tournament Most Valuable Player, the first freshman to be so honored.
Strong, smooth and versatile, Mosley totaled 46 points and 30 rebounds in the three BCL tournament wins. Mosley had a team-high 18 points in the final, a 57-48 victory over No. 7 Towson Catholic.
Mosley, a high flyer who averaged 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, scored nine of his points in the championship game during a crucial 22-4 run by the Panthers in the third quarter. The most consistent player on an inconsistent team, he had 14 points in each of the other two tournament victories.
Craig Singleterry Dunbar, senior
Singleterry was one of the senior catalysts on a Poets team that won its third straight Class 1A state title.
A 6-foot-2 guard who often played like a forward, Singleterry made 11 of 15 shots from the field for a game-high 24 points, 10 rebounds and three steals in the 69-56 win over Pocomoke in the state final.
On the season, Singleterry, who also was part of Dunbar's state championship football team, averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals for the Baltimore City runner-up Poets.
Singleterry, who seems to have a knack for making big plays, will play for the City All-Star team in the Charm City Challenge.
Rodney Spruill Walbrook, junior
One of the season's biggest surprises, the 6-foot-4 junior swing guard had a breakout season to lead the Warriors to the first city, regional and state titles in school history.
Tough to defend inside with his big body and strong left hand, Spruill also was nimble on the perimeter when he would decide to shoot three-pointers. He shot a club-leading 42 percent from three-point range, 74 percent overall from the field and 81 percent from the line in averaging 16.9 points per game. He also averaged 12.1 rebounds and two blocks.
Named the Baltimore City Player of the Year, Spruill had a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds in a 65-63 victory over Dunbar in the city championship game.
Domonic Venable Randallstown, senior
A steady player for the Rams over the past three seasons, Venable concluded his high school career with a state championship.
The 6-foot-2 swing guard had a combined 25 points and 30 rebounds in two victories in the state tournament. Venable had 13 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and three assists as the No. 4 Rams capped their 26-1 season with a 78-76 victory over Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the 3A state final.
For the season, Venable averaged 13.3 points and 9.9 rebounds. With no Rams starter taller than 6-2, Venable stepped up and played like a 6-8 post player. He has been named to the Suburban All-Stars that will play the City Stars in the Charm City Challenge.
Phil Vornadore Fallston, senior
Vornadore, 6 feet 5, led the metro area in scoring at 25.4 points per game and was second in rebounds (15.6).
A strong, intelligent player with a knack for getting positioning near the basket, the senior shot 60 percent from the field and 69.2 from the line for the Cougars, who lost to Douglass in the first round of the regional playoffs despite his 31 points. He also averaged two blocks per game.
Vornadore finished as Harford County's all-time leading scorer with 1,580 points in his four-year career. He also had 1,101 career rebounds. Vornadore has not made a college commitment, but is leaning toward Division III schools Shepherd and Millersville.
Kashif Brown, Aberdeen, senior guard
Malcolm Delaney, Towson Catholic, sophomore guard
Ricky Harris, Calvert Hall, senior guard
Johnny Higgins, Randallstown, sophomore guard
Nathan Irby, Dunbar, senior guard
Troy Smith, Douglass, senior guard
Juawan Rheubottom, Southwestern, junior forward
Ed Tyson, Walbrook, senior forward
Kevin Coates, Annapolis, junior center/forward
Donte' Greene, Towson Catholic, sophomore center/forward
Note: Teams selected by Pat O'Malley after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.