All-Metro girls basketball team

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Player of the Year

Vicki Brick,

McDonogh

There wasn't anything the Eagles did not achieve with the 5-foot-6 senior guard at the helm.

The Maryland-bound Brick kept the Eagles at No. 1 for the entire season, leading them to a perfect record (26-0), a fourth straight Association of Independent Schools championship and a No. 25 national ranking in USA Today.

During Brick's career, the Eagles have gone 88-8, winning their last 44 in a row. A four-time All-Metro first-team player and two-time All-Metro Player of the Year, Brick finished her career with 1,942 points -- the best in McDonogh history.

This season, she led the team in scoring (22.3), field-goal percentage (53.8) and steals (5.5) while contributing 2.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds. She turned the ball over just 2.4 times a game -- an exceptional statistic for a point guard.

A stellar defender who got most of her points on penetration, Brick used an explosive first step to beat opponents on the drive.

Brick scored in double figures in all but one game, hitting a career-high 40 points in the AIS semifinal victory over Bryn Mawr. She finished with 27 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the 58-44 AIS championship victory over No. 3 Roland Park.

"She is the ultimate player to coach," said Eagles coach Katie Keating. "No one works harder. No one wants to win more. She's an excellent athlete."

Greichaly Cepero,

McDonogh

The 6-3 senior center arrived from Puerto Rico to fill a void in the Eagles' inside game. Her presence inside was a critical factor in McDonogh's unbeaten, AIS-championship season.

An exceptional athlete, she was smooth, quick and smart in the paint but could also run the court. Few players catch the ball better. Cepero also played exceptional defense, averaging 2.4 steals per game. She also contributed 1.8 assists.

She averaged 10 points and 7.3 rebounds, but those numbers are deceptive. Cepero averaged 13 points and 9.9 rebounds against locally ranked and top-notch out-of-town teams.

She had 20 points against No. 7 Mercy and 18 points and 17 rebounds against Sidwell Friends, the only team the Eagles lost to last season.

Cepero, also an All-Metro volleyball player, will play both sports at Nebraska.

Angie Creek,

Meade

The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year transformed her playground game into becoming the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,457 points.

This season, the 5-8 senior guard led the No. 5 Mustangs (22-5) to their first appearance in the state tournament since 1979.

A repeat first-team All-Metro pick, Creek relied on her explosive first step to get to the basket or pull up for short jumpers. She averaged 18.5 points, shooting 49 percent from the field and added 5.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds. While improving her defense and rebounding, Creek was also an unselfish player, coming up with 235 steals in three years.

She was the catalyst in the Mustangs' run to the state semifinals, where she scored 13 points in a 60-58 loss to Suitland, the top-ranked public school team in the state. Creek had a 25-point effort in a regional semifinal win over county rival Arundel.

Betsy Gaines, Roland Park

A repeat first-team All-Metro pick, Gaines became the Reds' all-time career scoring leader with 1,359 points.

The 5-6 senior guard has been the Reds' go-to player for three years, helping put Roland Park on the local basketball map. She sparked the Reds to the AIS final three straight years.

This season, Gaines led the Reds in scoring (15.0), assists (4.0) and steals (3.0). In the AIS final against No. 1 McDonogh, she had 11 points and four steals.

Some of her best efforts came in the 50-team Shake & Bake Tournament in New Orleans, where she made the All-Tournament Team. Gaines led the No. 3 Reds (20-7) to the title game with a 26-point semifinal effort against Pensacola Catholic (Fla). She also scored 22 in the final loss to Nashua (N.H.).

Also an All-Metro first-team player in field hockey and lacrosse, Gaines signed early to play lacrosse at North Carolina.

Lauren Martin, Glenelg

The Howard County Player of the Year etched her name atop several categories in the county girls basketball record book.

The 5-7 senior point guard led the No. 6 Gladiators (26-1) to the state Class 1A championship and became the county's all-time leading scorer with 1,763 points.

An ace long-distance shooter, Martin led the county in three-pointers all four years, totaling 239. She set a county single-season record with 78 this winter.

En route to the state title, Martin led the Gladiators with a 17.6 scoring average as well as 6.6 assists and 5.2 steals. She also grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

In her junior and sophomore years, Martin led the county in scoring, but then she became more than a shooter as she improved her ball-handling, rebounding and defense to become a solid all-around player.

A hard worker, Martin was the Gladiators' floor leader. That never showed more than in the state title victory in which she scored a game-high 22 points to lead a 70-57 romp over Allegany.

Maria Smear, St. Mary's

Known as one of the area's top defensive players, Smear also emerged as a clutch offensive player for the Saints this season.

The 5-10 senior guard averaged 13.7 points and 3.5 assists as the No. 4 Saints (26-7) reached the Catholic League Tournament title game.

She turned the championship game of the prestigious IAABO Invitational Christmas Tournament into a thrilling victory with a 15-footer at the buzzer to beat Largo, 68-67.

Among her other top performances were a career-high 29 points in a rout of No. 16 Severna Park and 12 points in the league tournament final, a 46-36 loss to No. 2 Seton Keough.

Smear, a second-team All-Metro selection last season, finished her four-year career with 1,212 points.

Even with the extra offensive output, Smear's defense did not suffer. As the Saints' best two-way player, she thrived on the responsibility of covering the opposing team's top scorer along with producing on offense.

Coach of the Year

Wardell Selby,

Dunbar

Few coaches faced a tougher job than Selby when he took over the struggling Poets girls program three seasons ago.

In the shadow of a larger-than-life boys program, the girls basketball team had not known success since the early 1980s. Selby changed that.

Last season, the Poets had their first winning record in a decade, and this season, they posted the best girls record in school history (19-4). Dunbar also cracked The Sun's Top 20 poll for the first time, rising as high as No. 12 before settling at No. 14.

Selby started just one senior and had two freshmen among his top six players, but the Poets still were the second-best team in Baltimore City behind No. 8 Western, a perennial power. Despite their youth, the Poets gave eventual city champ Western a run for the top spot in the city, and they gave eventual Class 2A state champ Parkside a run for the regional title.

In the last 20 years, Selby has coached girls basketball at every level from recreation to a stint as an assistant at Morgan State. In his first high school head coaching job, Selby has instilled confidence in the Poets as well as a new work ethic and a new determination.

"This season was a lot of fun," said Selby. "It was a good feeling to be in the halls at the school, because it was not just the boys doing well but the girls doing well too. I truly enjoyed the season. Nobody wanted it to end."

Mandakova Clark,

Milford Mill

When Clark was on her game, there was no one better offensively. She averaged 26.4 points and shot 49 percent from the field, including 36 percent from three-point range.

In the Millers' 74-58 regional quarterfinal win over No. 17 Catonsville, Clark hit eight three- pointers and scored a career-high 42 points.

The 5-8 junior guard led the No. 9 Millers (22-5) to their fourth straight Baltimore County title and a second straight appearance in the state Class 3A final.

Clark dazzled fans with her smooth three-pointers, no-look passes and behind-the-back dribbles, but she also emerged as a clutch defender. She converted two steals to seal the 66-60 regional title over Fallston and converted another to assure a 69-66 state semifinal victory over defending champ Wheaton.

She also averaged 6.5 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 3.7 assists.

Denise King,

Seton Keough

For the second season in a row, King led the No. 2 Gators (27-5) to the Catholic League Tournament championship. Her 13.9-point scoring average led a balanced team that completed a rare sweep of the league tournament and regular-season titles.

A tenacious defender who often initiated the offense, the 5-8 junior guard could create shots for her teammates as well as find openings for herself.

Her status as a first-team All-Metro pick last year brought more defensive attention from her opponents, but she proved adept at drawing defenders and feeding the open player.

Some of her best efforts came in critical league matchups against No. 4 St. Mary's, which the Gators beat in the last two of three meetings, including the title game. King had 20 points in the first meeting, 19 in the second and 14 points in the 46-36 tournament championship victory.

Jamie Vogtman, Mercy

A three-time first-team All-Metro pick, Vogtman became the first player in Magic history to reach the 1,000 mark in both career points (1,752) and rebounds (1,021).

The 6-0 senior center led the No. 7 Magic (21-12) this season with 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds.

She was second on the team in steals.

Versatile and consistent, Vogtman, who was the All-Baltimore City/County Player of the Year as a sophomore, scored in double figures in all but one game this winter.

In the last two years, Vogtman has improved her range, becoming a three-point threat to go along with an exceptional inside game that has ranked among the best in the Catholic League for the past four years.

Vogtman, who had never been injured before, missed three games late in the season with torn ligaments in her left thumb. But she rebounded to score 24 points against No. 11 St. Frances in a 65-62 victory in the league quarterfinal.

Emily Lipton,

St. Mary's

Lipton completed a stellar four-year career with more accolades than anyone else in Saints history.

The 5-7 senior point guard became the all-time scoring leader for the No. 4 Saints (26-7) with 1,700 points. For the third year in a row, she was named first-team All-Metro and Catholic League Player of the Year.

The All-Metro Player of the Year as a sophomore, Lipton averaged 15.3 points and 4.6 assists this season. She brought a take-charge approach to the court with good shooting range, the ability to create off the dribble and defensive intensity.

She also came through in the clutch as in a late-season meeting with No. 11 St. Frances by hitting two free throws in the final 15 seconds for a 63-61 victory. She finished that game with 21 points and eight assists.

Lipton signed early to play for Virginia Tech next season.

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