Betterment makes Langville and Thiele girls best Spalding standout is anything but cavalier about basketball Player of the Year


The numbers say that Amy Langville was invaluable to Archbishop Spalding's girls basketball team this season.

And so does her coach. Every chance he gets.

"We were a different team when she was on the court and when she was off it," said Paul Leimkuhler, who made sure that Langville stayed on the floor for most of every game.

"When she played well, we played well with her. If she had a bad game -- at least, by her standards -- it wasn't often we could step forward and cover for that."

Langville, 17, The Baltimore Sun's Anne Arundel County Girls Basketball Player of the Year, led Spalding in every category. A 5-foot-8 guard, she averaged 18.1 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists and also had 31 blocks, 122 steals and 43 three-pointers.

Headed to Mount St. Mary's on a full scholarship, Langville leaves Spalding as the school's second-leading scorer with 1,104 career points. She ranks first in assists (501), three-pointers (72), field-goal percentage (.430) and free-throw percentage (.720), and seventh in rebounds (568).

If Langville was feeling pressure to live up to her scholarship, she didn't show it.

"I didn't think about it too much this season," she said. "I was just glad to have it out of the way. That way, it wouldn't be hanging over my head every game."

Langville was asked to fill a variety of roles during the season. She had to concentrate more on rebounding after the Cavaliers lost forward Lisa Canter (injury) and center Carrie Parsons (illness/grades) for extended periods after Christmas, but her scoring never dropped off.

"I had to do a little more after that, getting more rebounds and playing more in the post on defense," she said.

Just how good was Langville? St. Mary's guard Missy Holmes was praised by the media and her coach for "holding" Langville to 14 points in the Catholic League tournament semifinals.

"Two things really separate Amy from most players," Leimkuhler said. "One is her work ethic, and a good example is during volleyball season her practices didn't start until 4 o'clock, but she'd do basketball drills and weightlifting until it started.

"Secondly, is her unselfishness. She goes out of her way to make her teammates play well and look better. Numerous times when she had a shot she'd give someone else a chance to be a scorer. Sometimes they scored, sometimes they didn't, but that never stopped her from giving them a chance.

"She's one person I know who has maximized the gifts she's been given."

Langville, only the third Spalding player to score more than 1,000 career points, could be counted on to keep her team's losing at a minimum. One example was the Jan. 26 meeting with the Institute of Notre Dame, when she helped end a two-game skid by scoring 24 points, grabbing seven rebounds, making six steals and blocking four shots in a 62-44 rout.

She scored in double figures in all 25 games this year. "That's the first time, I've ever seen that happen," Leimkuhler said.

"This year, she was really a leader. We needed her to score more. She went out of her way to score more to help the team.

"I kept thinking, there's no way one person can do all that."

Langville finds herself sifting through four years of memories at Spalding and feeling a tinge of sadness.

"If this was my last game ever in basketball, I'd be a lot more disappointed," she said. "But I'm excited about playing college basketball."

The first team at a glance

Christine Baer,

Old Mill, senior

Baer was Old Mill's second-leading scorer at 10.3 points a game. She also averaged 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.0 assists. But the numbers don't adequately explain Baer's value to the team. She was one of the best at bringing the ball up the floor against the press and taking it away from rival guards. "Chris has always been a main contributor, but she's been overlooked," said coach Pat Chance. "This year, she stepped it up. She's a great team player."

Anne Chicorelli,

Old Mill, senior

Chicorelli (6 feet 1) was the leading scorer (11.7 ppg) and rebounder (8.5) on the county's best team. She also averaged 2.2 steals and 1.6 blocks, and shot 48 percent from the field and 70 percent from the line. She often played only half the game because of coach Pat Chance's frequent substituting and attempts to keep the score down. "Probably skill-wise, she was our most improved player this year," Chance said. "She's given us a lot more rebounding power, and she's one of the better form shooters in the county."

Annetta Davis,

St. Mary's, sophomore

Davis didn't crack the Saints' talented starting lineup until the eighth game, but she ended up leading the team in scoring (14.5 ppg) and rebounding (13.0). She stands 5-10, "but she plays like she's over 6 foot because of her jumping ability," said coach Harry Dobson. She had 15 points and 22 rebounds against Spalding in the Catholic League tournament semifinals, and set a school record with 23 rebounds in a 61-39 win over Mercy in the finals. Davis has been playing the sport since only the eighth grade, "so she'll only get better," Dobson said.

Shannon Henderson,

Annapolis, junior

The 6-foot Henderson led Annapolis in scoring (18.8 ppg) and rebounding (12.2). She also averaged two blocks, two assists and three steals, and shot 47 percent from the field. "That's pretty good, considering she usually had two or three defenders on her," said coach Teresa Ross. "She was such a force underneath that some games we'd just keep feeding the ball to her. I feel like she was the best player in the county."

Stacy Himes,

Old Mill, senior

Himes (5-10) could score (9.5 ppg), rebound (7.2), pass (5.2 apg) and play exceptional defense (4.0 steals). And she was just as effective at guard or forward, or defending against a taller post player. A two-time All-Metro selection, Himes wasn't called on to score as much this year. And she didn't average nearly as many minutes a game as other top players. "Stacy runs the team," said coach Pat Chance.

Laekeka Wesley,

Southern, junior

Wesley (5-11) is capable of playing any position, and even started at guard against Meade this season. Her ball-handling skills and soft shooting touch in the paint made her especially difficult to defend. It all added up to team highs in scoring (18.0 ppg) and rebounding (16.4), and a second-straight appearance on the first team. Wesley shot 53 percent from the field and had 98 steals. "She's more confident in what she can do and what I want her to do and will allow her to do, which is anything," coach Linda Kilpatrick said.

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