Reservoir sophomore point guard Brianna Bradford has shown she can score this season, averaging better than 19 points for the Gators.
She also can write a fine essay.
Bradford was a winner of the 2007 Martin Luther King Jr. Student Essay Contest, sponsored by the MLK Jr. Howard County Holiday Commission.
At Sunday's 22nd Annual MLK Jr. Celebration at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, Bradford was awarded a plaque and a $200 prize for writing the top essay among ninth- and 10th-graders throughout the county.
"My essay question was: How would Dr. King feel about today's music?" Bradford said. "I wrote he would have mixed feelings, but he would be proud of some of the music because it's a very peaceful way to protest through music and it can reach many people."
Bradford, who maintains a 4.0 grade point average, said the money she received will go toward a trip she is taking to China this summer with the People to People Program, which provides international education opportunities for students. She will spend 17 days in four cities as a student ambassador, studying the culture and writing a journal of the experience.
Along with her studies and playing basketball, Bradford also is a member of Howard County Connections, a school action committee. She is a co-chair on the youth summit planning committee, which has brought together students from all the county schools to discuss issues and seek change.
The students will vote on the top five issues, and a summit will take place April 27 at Marriotts Ridge High to discuss solutions.
On the mats
All-Metro wrestler Zach Brown (215 pounds) of Wilde Lake scored a 13-3 title-bout victory over Indian River's Perry Townsend , a fourth place finisher in Delaware, on Saturday night to earn Outstanding Upperweight honors at the South River Invitational and his 100th career win.
A returning county and regional champion who was second at 4A-3A states last year after placing third as a sophomore, Brown rose to 11-0 on the year.
At the 20-team Edgewood tournament, Scott Mantua (103), Nathan White (119) and Ryan Williams (130) won titles, and Saud Mohammed (135) was a runner-up in pacing River Hill to a second-place finish behind 12th-ranked John Carroll.
In the 16-team Franklin tournament, Brian Marcoux (119) and Chris Stinnett (125) remained unbeaten at 19-0 and 20-0, respectively, and Danny Bichner (130) and Tim Chase (171) were runners-up as Glenelg finished third. All four of the Gladiators' finalists are juniors.
Hebron girls on rise
The Mount Hebron girls basketball team has moved up to No. 8 in The Sun's Top 15 basketball poll this week, and the reason is obvious: defense.
The Vikings (12-1) have held 12 of their 13 opponents to fewer than 40 points and have averaged 30 points against per game.
A prime example came in the team's showdown at No. 9 Atholton on Friday when the team limited the high-powered Raiders to 29 percent shooting from the field in a surprisingly easy 59-39 win.
Deanna Dydynski, Jasmine Jarrett, Jackie Doherty, and Jill and Katie Rekart give the Vikings an experienced starting five that are smart and athletic. They also count on depth from the bench to wear teams down.
Sun reporter Lem Satterfield contributed to this article.