Player of the Year
Vicki Brick, McDonogh, Jr., G: Splitting her time between basketball and tennis during her freshman and sophomore years, some wondered just how good Brick could be if she concentrated on basketball. This season, that question was answered. Brick announced at the end of her sophomore season that she was devoting all of her time to tennis, but she changed her mind and returned to basketball, determined to maximize her potential. The result: the 5-foot-6 point guard elevated her already spectacular game to an even higher level and she took her team with her. Brick, a three-time All-Metro first-team selection, led the Eagles to a 24-1 record (including 18 straight wins to end the season), their third consecutive Association of Independent Schools A Division championship and their first No. 1 ranking. McDonogh went 8-0 against ranked teams, winning by an average margin of nearly 20 points. Brick, named Miss Maryland Basketball for underclassmen by the Maryland Women's Basketball Coaches Association, led McDonogh in scoring (20.4), assists (3.8), steals (5.1) and also grabbed 4.3 rebounds per game. With a swift first step, she scored most of her points by driving past defenders for layups, but she also was capable of shooting from outside and playing aggressive defense. "She's also very coachable," McDonogh coach Katie Keating said. "She worked very hard during the off-season and is an incredibly hard worker in practice. She even stayed after every practice to work on her game for another hour and a half. She wants every challenge that there is."
Coach of the Year
Scott Buckley, Roland Park: When Buckley arrived at the school before the start of the 1996-97 season, the Reds were coming off an 11-8 campaign against mediocre competition. In just two years, Buckley has transformed Roland Park into the area's second-ranked team. The Reds made great strides last season, finishing 21-3 with a No. 20 ranking, but they did not beat a ranked team. This season, Roland Park played a significantly stronger schedule -- including tough competition from outside the area -- and the Reds responded by going 22-4, with their only two area losses coming to top-ranked McDonogh. Among the Reds' conquests were victories over Bladensburg's Elizabeth Seton (then the state's top-ranked team), Catholic League regular-season champion and then-No. 1 St. Mary's, and Catholic League tournament champion Seton Keough. "It's the same kids really. We're just trying to prove we can play with the area's best teams," said Buckley, a 10-year Amateur Athletic Union coach who took the Maryland Tornadoes to the nationals last summer. The cornerstone of Roland Park's success is defense, something Buckley has stressed since his arrival. When playing the Reds, opponents are in store for 32 minutes of full-court, in-your-face, man-to-man defense. "Our intensity level was tremendous," he said. "We battled for every loose ball on the floor in every game." That all-out hustle and scrappy play helped put Roland Park on the basketball map. "A lot of people might not have heard of us, but the basketball people know who we are," he said. "I thought coming into this season we could end up with seven or eight losses. It turns out we played much better than that."
The first team
Angie Creek, Meade, Jr., G: One of the area's flashier players, Creek, 5-8, provided instant offense for the eighth-ranked Mustangs. With explosive quickness and nifty ball-handling ability, she was able to drive past defenders to set up easy layups, short jumpers or open teammates. Creek, a second-team pick last season, averaged 17.7 points and 6.3 assists a game. Her game wasn't one-dimensional, either; she averaged 4.3 steals. Among her highlights against upper-echelon competition were a 30-point effort in a win over Annapolis and a 29-point performance in a loss to Elizabeth Seton.
Jackie Edwards, Annapolis, Sr., C: She followed an outstanding junior season with another stellar campaign for the 13th-ranked Panthers. Perhaps no player was asked to do as much for her team as the 6-2 Edwards. On a team without strong guards, Edwards brought the ball up against the press and constantly fought through double- and triple-teams. She still managed to average 17.5 points and 15.0 rebounds a game. Edwards, also a first-team selection last season, finished her career with 1,424 points and 1,378 rebounds. She has a scholarship to play at Virginia Commonwealth.
Betsy Gaines, Roland Park, Jr., G: Just as her team established itself as a basketball power this season, Gaines staked her claim as one of the area's top players. Reluctant to step up in the past, the 5-6 Gaines embraced her role as the Reds' go-to player this season. Aggressive on both ends of the floor, she led Roland Park in scoring (16.1) and steals (3.7), averaged 4.3 assists, shot 79 percent from the line, and was the team's best three-point shooter. Against strong competition in a New Orleans tournament, she averaged 23.3 points, 6.7 assists and 3.7 steals in three games.
Emily Lipton, St. Mary's, Jr., G: With her team playing the area's most demanding schedule, Lipton -- last season's Metro Player of the Year -- was up for the challenge. She averaged 17.3 points, five assists and four steals for the third-ranked Saints (25-8), who played 16 games against ranked teams -- of which they won 13 -- as well as top competition from New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. Lipton, a 5-6 point guard, led St. Mary's to a 14-0 regular-season mark in the highly-competitive Catholic League and was named the league Player of the Year for the second straight season. She has amassed 1,238 career points, becoming the first St. Mary's underclassman to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Shani Moore, McDonogh, Sr., C: In the past, the Eagles' guards made them a top team. The emergence of the 6-0 Moore as an inside force helped to make them the top team. A two-time All-Metro track performer specializing in the high jump and high hurdles, Moore's basketball skills finally caught up to her outstanding athletic ability. She averaged 12.3 points and 8.5 rebounds and seemed to step up in big games. Moore, who did not play basketball until the ninth grade, is headed to Princeton to play basketball and hopes to compete in track, as well.
Sherice Proctor, Arundel, Sr., G: She played a major role in the Wildcats' run of three Class 4A state final appearances (and one state title) in four years. The 5-5 Proctor led fifth-ranked Arundel in scoring (19.2), field-goal percentage (47.6), three-point field-goal percentage (42.6) and free-throw percentage (83.9). She averaged 3.4 assists and four steals. Quick and poised, Proctor, The Sun's Anne Arundel County Player of the Year, had the ability to score from the outside or drive the lane. A second-team selection last season, she is now Arundel's career scoring leader (1,255 points) and may attend Drexel.
Jamie Vogtman, Mercy, Jr., C: After a breakthrough season as a sopho- more, Vogtman established herself as one of the area's best centers. The 5-11 Vogtman, a repeat first-team pick, led the ninth-ranked Magic in scoring (17.4) and rebounds (10) and also had three steals a game. Consistent, she scored in double figures in 30 of 32 games and improved her shooting range and her ability to anticipate on defense. In possibly her best performance, Vogtman had 26 points -- including three three-pointers -- and 15 rebounds to spark Mercy's upset of St. Mary's in the Catholic League tournament semifinals.
Jenn Westervelt, John Carroll, Sr., C: Westervelt's hard work during the off-season to get into the best physical shape paid off. She was more mobile and had greater stamina. The 5-11 Westervelt, also a first-team pick last season, led the 10th-ranked Patriots in scoring (15.8) and rebounds (8.6) and also averaged 2.4 steals. A strong low-post player, Westervelt was capable of consistently hitting 10-12 foot jumpers, and her defense improved. She fin- ished her career with 1,279 points and nearly 800 rebounds. Westervelt, looking to play at a Division II school, is leaning toward Shepherd College.
Toni White, Wilde Lake, Sr., G: White led fourth-ranked Wilde Lake to the Class 3A state semifinals -- its third state tournament appearance in four years -- and its third consecutive Howard County championship. A 5-5 point guard, White was the Wildecats' catalyst on both ends of the court and helped them go 18-0 in the county. White led the team in scoring (12.8), assists (6.3), steals (5.3) and three-point baskets (25). She scored 17, including three three-pointers, in Wilde Lake's state semifinal loss to Wheaton. White, a second-team pick the past two seasons , has signed with Marist.
The Baltimore Sun 1997-98 All-Metro girls basketball teams were selected by The Sun staff after consulting with area coaches.
Pub Date: 3/21/98