Girls Player of the Year
KRIS BRYANT, Mount Hebron, Jr., F
What a difference a year has made for Bryant. In a reserve role last season, she averaged 5.2 points and 5.0 rebounds, and often was teased by teammates for her lack of coordination. During the off-season, Bryant enhanced her skills on an AAU Junior Olympics team and at two basketball camps. Showing remarkable improvement, Bryant, 6 feet, transformed herself into
the the area's best inside player this season. She led Mount Hebron, the area's top-ranked team for all but three weeks of the season, in scoring (15.6) and rebounding (10.6), and she shot a school-record 57 percent from the field. Bryant also averaged one blocked shot and two steals. "We could tell coming into the season that she had made great strides, but we didn't expect her to progress this fast," coach Dave Greenberg said. "She totally dominated the second half of the season, and she really carried us at times." Bryant had 10 double-doubles [points and rebounds], including her last six games, in which she averaged 21.8 points and 13.3 rebounds. She is an aggressive, physical player inside, but she is also an accurate shooter from 15 feet. As the season progressed, Bryant added an array of hook shots to her offensive arsenal. "She can do so many more things offensively than we thought she'd do," Greenberg said. "She also does things that can't be statistically measured. When she's double- and triple-teamed, she gets other people better shots. Defensively, she forces kids not to come into the lane or to alter their shots." Greenberg can't wait to see what she does for an encore. "Assuming she continues to work hard, she'll only get better," he said.
Girls All-Metro team
TANISSA DORSEY, Glenelg, Sr.
Under the direction of coach Chuck Struhar, Dorsey, 5-6, nearly doubled her scoring from last season. Dorsey, an occasional starter last season, averaged 19.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.2 steals in leading the Gladiators to the Class 2A state championship game. "She really didn't come into her own until this season," Struhar said. "She just needed a firmer hand." Dorsey, arguably Howard County's best female athlete, scored a school-record 40 points on 19-for-26 shooting from the field against Atholton on Feb. 25. She is undecided on her college choice.
KISHA FORD, Bryn Mawr, Jr.
A first-team pick for the third consecutive season, Ford, 6-0, took her phenomenal skills to Bryn Mawr this season after transferring from Western. Ford averaged 19.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 10.0 steals in leading the Mawrtians to a 16-2 record and the Association of Independent Schools regular-season title. With her dazzling one-on-one moves, she was equally adept at shooting from outside or taking the ball inside. "I don't think there's a better player in the area than Kisha," coach Pat Becker said. "She did whatever we asked of her."
RANDALL GOLDSBOROUGH,St. Mary's,Sr.
Once considered a defensive liability, Goldsborough, a second-team pick last season, worked hard to become a more complete player this season. "Defensively, she improved tremendously," coach Harry Dobson said. Goldsborough, 5-4, averaged 15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.8 steals in leading the Saints to the Catholic League regular-season and tournament titles. She made 62 three-pointers this season and finished as the school's all-time leading scorer (1,416 points), although her shooting ability was hampered in her last few games by a sprained thumb on her shooting hand. Goldsborough has accepted a scholarship to play lacrosse at Maryland.
STACY HIMES, Old Mill, Jr.
Statistics alone can't measure Himes' worth to the Patriots. Himes, 5-9, who was also a first-team pick last season, averaged 10 points, 5.1 assists, 3.7 steals and 1.2 blocked shots in leading Old Mill to its second consecutive Class 4A state title. Because Himes plays on a team with plenty of depth, her numbers are not as high as they might be on another team. "She does everything on the court well," coach Pat Chance said. "She scores, she rebounds, she assists, she handles the ball against the press. She is a total ballplayer who doesn't make a lot of mistakes."
ERICA McCAULEY,Mount Hebron, Jr.
Coach Dave Greenberg said McCauley "epitomizes what a point guard is all about. She's unselfish and she makes everyone better." McCauley, 5-2, also a first-team pick last season, led the Vikings in steals (4.0) and assists (4.5), and she averaged fewer than two turnovers. "She's the reason teams didn't press us," Greenberg said. "She won't turn the ball over and she gets the ball to the right person." She averaged 13.1 points and broke her school record with 65 three-pointers. Despite playing with bronchitis, McCauley was named MVP of the IAABO tournament
STEPHANIE ROHE, Mercy, Sr.
When the ball is in Rohe's hands, things happen. A first-team pick last season, she can shoot from outside or penetrate. Rohe, 5-4, led the Sharpshooters in scoring (19.8), steals (3.2) and assists (2.7). She also grabbed 4.0 rebounds and shot 45 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line. "She's very aggressive; she creates things on offense and she plays with intensity the entire game," coach Mary Ella Marion said. Rohe, who scored 1,571 career points, lists Cleveland State, Hartford and Rider among her college choices.
MELANIE VOGEL, IND, Sr.
Vogel's scoring average dropped slightly from 17 points to 15.8 this season, but she compensated by improving other aspects of her game. "She became a well-rounded ballplayer and she has very good leadership qualities," coach Jerry Hahn said. In addition to scoring, Vogel, 5-7, a second-team pick last season, led the team in assists (3.4) and steals (4.2) and was second in rebounding (7.9). She played well in big games, leading the Indians to upsets of Walbrook and St. Mary's. A four-year starter,
Vogel lists Buffalo as her top college choice.
KACY WILLIAMS, Hammond, So.
Exhibiting poise and leadership beyond her years, Williams, 5-6, helped Hammond to the Class 2A state championship. She led the Golden Bears in scoring (15.1) and assists (4.7) and she set a school record with 133 steals (5.1). Williams, also a member of Hammond's state championship soccer team, averaged 6.8 rebounds and shot 57 percent from the field, which is believed to be a school record. Using her quickness, Williams set the tone for Hammond's man-to-man defense. "She's a complete player," coach Joe Russo said. "She hustles all the time. She never relaxes, not even in practice."
CHANEL WRIGHT, Western, Fr.
Although a freshman, Wright, 6-0, impressed coach Breezy Bishop as much with her leadership qualities as her undeniable skills. "When the other young players looked for leadership, Chanel stepped forward," Bishop said. Wright led the Doves in scoring (16.4) and steals (3.7), was second in rebounding (7.6) and averaged 3.1 assists. She can play inside or outside and her one-on-one moves are among the area's best. Wright was named the state's top freshman by the Women's College Basketball Association.
Girls Coach of the Year
NANCY FERGUSON, Fallston
In Ferguson's words, her team had "a lot of ifs this season." But she took a team that returned only one true starter from last season's 11-10 squad and carried four freshmen to within one victory of the Class 1A state championship. Ferguson, in her seventh season, started two freshmen at times, and occasionally had all four ninth-graders on the court at once. After a slow start, which included losses in its first two Harford County league games, Fallston went on to win 14 of its last 16 games. Ferguson stressed defense -- using a 1-2-2 zone in most games -- and balanced scoring. No one averaged more than nine points. Credit Ferguson with maximizing her players' individual strengths and getting them to jell as a unit.