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1996 All-Baltimore City, Baltimore County basketball

Player of the Year

Meghann Donovan, Seton Keough: Once regarded as an exceptional athlete with limited basketball skills, Donovan gradually became an exceptional basketball player, and it was never more evident than this season. "She could always rebound and get put-backs, but this year her perimeter shooting, ball-handling and passing really improved," Seton Keough coach Jim Stromberg said. Donovan, a 5-11 senior forward, led the second-ranked Gators who were ranked No. 1 for most of the season in scoring (16.3), rebounding (8.2), steals (3.9), blocks (1.2) and field-goal percentage (53 percent). She finished with 1,305 career points, 845 of which came in the past two seasons. Beyond the numbers, what impressed Stromberg the most was her competitiveness. "Her desire not to lose is the big thing. No matter what, she will find a way to beat you," Stromberg said. Donovan was especially tough in big games two of her best performances were against nationally-ranked Elizabeth Seton (25 points) and No. 1 Arundel (game-high 12 points and 13 rebounds). Donovan undoubtedly saved her best game for the Catholic League Tournament championship game against rival St. Mary's. After suffering two losses to the Saints during the regular season and with team leader Melanie Morris sidelined with a knee injury, Donovan scored 30 and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Gators to a 70-55 win. Donovan also is an accomplished swimmer who competes simultaneously on Seton Keough's swimming team and a U.S Swimming club squad during basketball season, leaving Stromberg to ponder how good she would be if she devoted her full attention to basketball. Donovan is being recruited by Division I schools for both sports, although she hasn't decided which one she will pursue.

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Coach of the Year

Dave Scrivener, Eastern Tech: Just how woeful was the Eastern Tech program when Scrivener took over two years ago? It was so bad that the team hadn't won a game in three seasons, the players were apathetic and Scrivener was provided with just one basketball by the athletic director. But after going 1-18 in his first season and 2-18 the following year, Scrivener led the Mavericks to an astounding 21-3 mark (shattering the school's previous best record of 13-7 in 1987) and a first-place finish in the Baltimore County Sharp Shooters Division. Granted, the Mavericks competed in the county's weakest division, but their turnaround is remarkable by any standards considering Eastern Tech has had just two winning records in the school's 25-year history. Only 18 girls tried out for either the varsity or JV team in Scrivener's first season. Last year, Scrivener sought out players in the school's hallways and in the recreation leagues, seeking only those who were serious about the sport. "Last year, we cut three seniors who had been in the program for three years because the attitude wasn't there," said Scrivener, a former softball and football coach at Loch Raven who had never coached basketball at any level. "That set the tone. No one misses practice." Even though the Mavericks continued to lose last year, the scores were not as lopsided and a 96-game losing streak against county opponents was ended. This season, 60 girls came out for the team, the most significant of which was freshman point guard Elisha Carter (21.8 points, 3.8 assists). Carter's offensive skills and a tenacious man-to-man defense overwhelmed most of Eastern Tech's opponents. The future of the program now appears incredibly bright. "We've even gotten new uniforms and brand new basketballs," Scrivener said.

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The first team

Vicki Brick, McDonogh: The area's most highly touted freshman proved that the buzz surrounding her in the preseason wasn't just hype. This highly accomplished AAU star helped the Eagles go from 9-10 last season to a 17-5 record, the AIS A Division championship and a No. 5 ranking in The Sun's final poll. Brick, a 5-6 point guard, averaged 18.5 points, 5.6 steals, 3.0 assists and 5.1 rebounds. "She's mentally mature beyond her years," McDonogh coach Seth Kushkin said. "Her drive and the focus she had carried over to the other girls." Unfortunately for Kushkin, Brick likely will not remain with the Eagles for four years because she wants to pursue a career on the professional tennis circuit.

Shannon Cohen, Mercy: With a better supporting cast this season, Cohen felt less pressure to do everything and she responded with an outstanding year. She led her team in scoring (17.9) and assists (6.0), as the 11th-ranked Magic went 18-10 after posting a 7-20 mark last season. Cohen, a 5-5 junior point guard, was equally efficient at penetrating or hitting from outside. She also improved her defensive skills. "I knew right away in practice that her game had moved to the next level," Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion said. Perhaps Cohen's best performances came at the Noel Classic whe she scored 69 points and dished out 21 assists in three Mercy victories.

Jakia Ervin, St. Frances: The lone senior on a rebuilding St. Frances squad, Ervin seized the leadership role and her overall game flourished. A 5-6 senior, Ervin split time at both guard positions, averaging a team-high 18.7 points and 4.4 assists. A good leaper, she also developed an inside game and led the Panthers in rebounding (10.4). Ervin had 10 double-doubles this season and pulled down a career-high 22 rebounds against IND. "I had to spend a lot of time teaching this year, and she really kept the team together," St. Frances coach Jerome Shelton said. A four-year starter, she finished with 1,294 career points. Ervin will play at Syracuse next season.

Katrina Johns, Randallstown: Despite being routinely double- and triple-teamed, Johns was the dominant post player in Baltimore County. A 6-1 junior forward, she was among the metro area leaders in scoring (21.3) and rebounding (14.6). Johns also had 101 blocked shots and has already amassed 1,158 career points. She scored 41 points twice this season, including in a 57-54 win over Eastern Tech in the regional playoffs. "Our guards weren't that strong, so there was a lot of pressure on her," Randallstown coach Chris Hodge said. "She still has to work on her outside game, but she can dominate anybody inside."

Robin Johnson, IND: Johnson, the Catholic League Player of the Year, was nearly unstoppable. She was moved this season from power forward to point guard and averaged 17.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals. A 5-9 senior, Johnson also shot 51 percent from the field, as she led the 17th-ranked Indians to a third-place finish in the highly competitive Catholic League. "She's always been strong inside, but this year her outside shooting improved tremendously," IND coach Deb Taylor said. Johnson, who has yet to achieve the required SAT score to correlate with her grade-point average, will likely play at a junior college or Frostburg State next season.

Vida Milberry, Carver: Milberry, a 5-11 forward/guard, led the metro area in scoring (32.0) to cap a high school career in which she emerged as one of the area's more prolific scorers in recent history. She averaged 20 points or better in each of her four seasons and finished as Carver's all-time leading scorer with more than 2,000 career points. This season, Milberry also averaged 16.1 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 8.5 steals and made a school-record 52 three-pointers. "She was unselfish, but her job was to score, and that's what she did," said Dwayne Burroughs, Milberry's AAU coach. Milberry is considering Division I offers from Villanova and Pittsburgh, although she has yet to achieve the required SAT score to correlate with her grade-point average.

Melanie Morris, Seton Keough: If ever there was a player who transcended her statistics, it was Morris. She was the second-ranked Gators' second-leading scorer (11.3), but it was her court sense, ball-handling and defensive skills she always was matched up against the opposing team's best player that made her invaluable. Morris, a 5-7 senior guard, rarely made bad decisions and involved everyone in the offense. "Melanie accepting the team concept made all the kids better players," Seton Keough coach Jim Stromberg said. Morris, who suffered a knee injury which ended her season a month early, finished with 1,049 career points and will play at American University next season.

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Alyssa Phoebus, Perry Hall: The raw talent that Phoebus exhibited as a freshman was refined in AAU competition over the summer and she became a more complete player. A six-foot sophomore center, Phoebus averaged 16.0 points and 14.9 rebounds to lead the 19th-ranked Gators to their first appearance in the state semifinals. She was strong inside, but Phoebus also developed an outside shot, and her ball-handling ability was a key in breaking the press. "She developed a lot in one year and played maturely for her age," Perry Hall coach Linda Caccavalla said. Phoebus played especially well in the regional playoffs, where she averaged 25.3 points and 17.0 rebounds in three games, including 24 points and 18 rebounds against Western in the Class 4A North Region final.

Shannon Rexrode, Catonsville: Known as one of the area's top volleyball players, Rexrode proved this season that she's also among the elite in basketball. Rexrode, a 5-11 senior forward, averaged 19.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.0 steals to lead the seventh-ranked Comets to a 22-3 record and a berth in the Class 2A state semifinals. Despite playing since January with a torn rotator cuff in her left shoulder, Rexrode continued to put up big numbers. "It shows how tough she is. She couldn't raise her left arm, but she played through it," Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said. Rexrode, who has been recruited by Division I programs in basketball and volleyball, hopes to play both sports and is leaning toward Western Maryland.

League teams

All-Catholic League

Robin Johnson, IND, Sr.; Melanie Morris, Seton Keough, Sr.; Meghann Donovan, Seton Keough, Sr.; Tara Foran, St. Mary's, Sr.; Jakia Ervin, St. Frances, Sr.

AIS A Division Millard League

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Sara Barnett, Bryn Mawr, Fr.; Kirsten Campbell, Friends, So.; Candice Cummings, Maryvale, Sr.; Rebecca Shapiro, Park, So.; Betsy Gaines, Roland Park, Fr.; Kate Graw, Severn, Sr.; Emily Hickman, Bryn Mawr, Sr.; Monique Jennings, Severn, Sr.

AIS A Division

Brown League Julie Baker, McDonogh, Sr.; Vicki Brick, McDonogh, Fr.; Megan Hyle, Notre Dame Prep, Sr.; Maggie Kilroy, Notre Dame Prep, Sr.; Maggie Shoemaker, Garrison Forest, Sr.; Tehma Smith, St. Paul's, Sr.; Mary Urban, McDonogh, So.

AIS B Division

Leah Clelland, Arlington Baptist, Fr.; Chrissy Dabrowski, Seton Keough, Jr.; Rachel Dahan, Beth Tfiloh, Sr.; Kim Greene, Glenelg Country School, So.; Jacquette McGhee, Oldfields, So.; Greta Miller, St. Timothy's, Fr.; Kristin Stoffel, Seton Keough, So.; Kristin Wollman, Lutheran, Sr.

Baltimore County Hoopsters Division

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Katrina Johns, Randallstown, Jr.; Sara Lev, Towson, So.; Alisha McClinton, Perry Hall, Jr.; Meghann Mohler, Catonsville, Sr.; Shannon Rexrode, Catonsville, Sr.

Baltimore County Quick Shooters Division

Chante Alexander, Milford Mill, Fr.; Jenna Bradford, Milford Mill, So.; Akilah Crowner, Milford Mill, Jr.; Latanya Jones, Parkville, Sr.; Nancy Zentz, Hereford, Sr.

Baltimore County Sharp Shooters Division

Elisha Carter, Eastern Tech, Fr.; Shanell Carter, Eastern Tech, Jr.; Tina Harris, Lansdowne, Sr.; Sarah Grimes, Lansdowne, Fr.; Jessica Steward, Carver A&T;, Jr.

Baltimore City East League

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Cheryl Evans, Mervo, Sr.; Crystal Fallin, Western, Fr.; Anita Hyman, Patterson, Sr.; Marion Moore, Western, Jr.; Linea Rogers, City, Sr.

Baltimore City West League

Kelly Logan, Poly, Sr.; Jawai Maith, Poly, Sr.; Vida Milberry, Carver, Sr.; Danielle Turner, Walbrook, Sr.; Lindsay Willemain, Poly, Sr.

The teams

Player of the Year: Meghann Donovan, Seton Keough

Coach of the Year: Dave Scrivener, Eastern Tech

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First team

Name, School, Year, Position

Vicki Brick McDonogh Freshman Guard

Shannon Cohen Mercy Junior Guard

Meghann Donovan Seton Keough Senior Forward

Jakia Ervin St. Frances Senior Guard

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Katrina Johns Randallstown Junior Forward

Robin Johnson IND Senior Guard

Vida Milberry Carver Senior For./Guard

Melanie Morris Seton Keough Senior Guard

Alyssa Phoebus Perry Hall Sophomore Center

Shannon Rexrode Catonsville Senior Forward

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Second team

Jenna Bradford Milford Mill Junior Guard

Elisha Carter Eastern Tech Freshman Guard

Ashlee Courter Mercy Freshman Guard

Crystal Fallin Western Freshman Center

Jawai Maith Poly Senior For./Guard

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Alisha McClinton Perry Hall Junior Forward

Meghann Mohler Catonsville Senior Guard

Kelly Pryce IND Senior Guard

Danielle Turner Walbrook Senior Center

Mary Urban McDonogh Sophomore Guard

Lindsay Willemain Poly Senior Center

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Picking the teams

The Baltimore Sun 1996 All-Baltimore/City County and All City League Girls Basketball Teams were selected by Kevin Eck after consultation with staff writers and area coaches. The all league teams for the Association of Independent Schools, Catholic League and Baltimore County leagues were chosen by the league coaches.

Pub Date: 3/14/96


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