COACH OF THE YEAR
* Lee Rogers, Arundel -- Often, when Rogers was asked about how his young team managed to stay unbeaten through the regular season and region playoffs, winning some close games down the stretch, he would reply: "We believe in each other." That faith, nurtured by the sixth-year coach, led Arundel to its best season. He helped bring about marked improvement from Hammond, who averaged around nine points last season, and junior forward Jen Mottar, turning both into first-team All-County selections. He carried three freshmen on the varsity, saying before the season that they would "become impact players for us." Maintaining that confidence, he gave ample playing time to guards Sherice Proctor and Erin Wilmer, and started a sophomore, LaChelle McHenry. The team wasn't particularly big no one stood more than 5-11 -- but it could run, shoot and play defense, and it was brimming with confidence. Rogers kept the players, and himself, relaxed, even as the pressure mounted. "I had to let my confidence in my team show," he said. "I'm still screaming, but I tried to do most of that in practice. My job is to prepare them in practice." Said Hammond: "He made sure we didn't get complacent. We practiced hard for easy teams, too. We continuosly ran hard and played defense. That's what he taught us to do."
THE FIRST TEAM AT GLANCE
Annetta Davis, St. Mary's, Sr., forward -- Davis, 5-10, led the Saints in scoring (16.9) and rebounding (13.0) for the second straight year. She also made 68 steals, blocked 35 shots and handed out 56 assists. She led St. Mary's, or tied for the lead, in scoring in 14 games, and amassed 18 double-doubles. A repeat selection to the All-Catholic League team, Davis leaves St. Mary's with 1,434 points.
* Angela DeSalvo, Severna Park, Jr., guard/forward -- DeSalvo, 5-8, led Severna Park in scoring at 17.3 points, proving equally effective shooting from the outside or driving the baseline or lane. She also averaged 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 assists and blocked seven shots. When senior forward Sandy Jenkin was lost for a time with a wrist injury, DeSalvo picked up the slack.
* Jennifer Holmes, Severna Park, Jr., center -- Holmes, 6-2, often dominated games inside, averaging 13 points and ranking among the metro area's leaders in rebounding at 17. She also averaged nearly three blocks, made 49 steals and handed out 43 assists. She grabbed 21 rebounds in the 4A East Region final, a one-point loss to Arundel.
* Jen Johansen, Northeast, Sr., guard -- Johansen, 5-3, often came up big for the Eagles. She averaged more than 15 points a game, usually firing away from the three-point arc, and contributed around five rebounds, 4.5 assists and four steals. A four-year member of the varsity, Johansen scored 1,361 career points and made 201 three-pointers.
* Jen Mottar, Arundel, Jr., forward -- Mottar, 5-9, didn't always get the recognition she deserved because of Hammond's presence, but she was second on the team in scoring (10.9) and rebounding (12.1) going into the state tournament. One of the county's most improved players, Mottar led the Wildcats with 109 steals. She also led them in scoring in both state playoff games, totaling 22 points.
* Jill Smith, Broadneck, Sr., guard -- Many coaches consider Smith, 5-6, the best point guard in the county because she does so many things well and is so fundamentally sound. On a team that didn't have a big point producer, Smith led the Bruins in scoring (10.5 ppg) and assists (5.9). She also averaged 4.5 rebounds. "She doesn't get the credit she deserves," said coach Bruce Springer.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: CHAVONNE HAMMOND
* Chavonne Hammond, Arundel -- When Hammond was a freshman on her junior varsity team in Hawaii, she didn't even understand all of the rules. Since then, she has learned much more. She has acquired the ability to score in many ways and from many places, rebound, pass, handle the ball and play defense. And she was the primary reason Arundel went 25-1, won its first region championship and was ranked No. 3. A 5-11 junior forward, Hammond went into the state tournament averaging 16.9 points, 14.8 rebounds and almost two assists. She also made 83 steals and blocked 124 shots, and provided leadership to a team devoid of any seniors. "She's been a big spiritual leader," said coach Lee Rogers. "They rallied around her. And she's a complete player. She's a very flexible kid." A third-team All-County pick last season, Hammond totaled 24 rebounds and 13 blocks in two state playoff games. A typical outing came March 2 in the 4A East Region semifinals against Northern-Calvert, when she amassed 18 points, 19 rebounds, four blocks and four steals. Or the previous game against Severna Park that clinched Arundel's first county championship since 1959, when she finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks and seven steals. "This year, I dribbled more and had more confidence to take the shot when I was open," she said. Hammond received the Minds in Motion award, given to athletes with a grade-point average of 3.25 or better.
PICKING THE TEAMS
The Baltimore Sun 1994-95 All-Anne Arundel County Girls Basketball Teams were selected by Roch Eric Kubatko after consultation with staff writers and area coaches.