Danielle Edwards did a lot more than lead No. 1 McDonogh with timely offense and stingy defense. The 5-foot-6 junior point guard provided the glue that held the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champions together on both ends of the floor.
Her ability to handle the ball and run the offense made the Eagles (29-2) virtually unpressable and her quickness and anticipation on defense intimidated a lot of opponents.
"She's the one piece they cannot do without," Roland Park coach Scott Buckley said, "because she can make their offense go by how well she plays defense."
Edwards led the Eagles in steals with 5.5 per game and in assists with 4.1. She was second in scoring with 11 points per game and contributed 4.7 rebounds per game. At the Diamond State Classic, she scored a season-high 21 points in a 62-59 win over Oregon City (Ore.) en route to winning the toughest division of the holiday tournament.
In the 57-46 win over No. 2 Roland Park in the A Conference final, she scored her 1,000th career point. Edwards, a first-team All-Metro selection last season, has already set a school record with 468 career steals.
"The thing about Dani is she's very multifaceted in her game," McDonogh coach Brad Rees said. "She can score, she can defend and she can assist. She's got the ability to make all of those around her better and to do whatever it is to she has to do to complement everyone around her. It's not like she had to be the leading scorer or the best defender every night. She is the key to our success in that she can do so many different things on so many different occasions."
At the Bishop Walsh Girls Invitational Tournament in Cumberland three weeks after the A Conference season ended, she had 32 points, 18 steals and 16 assists in leading the Eagles to the championship with wins over St. Maria Goretti, Elizabeth Seton and Good Counsel. She was named to the All-Tournament team.
"She made every play she had to make for them to beat Good Counsel down the stretch," St. Vincent Pallotti coach Rod Hairston said of the Eagles' 39-37 win in the final. "She got the rebound, started the break, made the assist. She was in every play. She's a monster. It made me nervous when they said she's only a junior."
Edwards, whose twin brother Drew is an All-Metro basketball player at Calvert Hall, has committed to play for Clemson.