The Baltimore Sun

Girls player of the year

Miriam McKenzie

Oakland Mills

Looking for the spec tacular? McKenzie was a one-girl high light reel. The senior guard seemed able to score any way she wanted.

"She can stick the three, she can handle the ball and she's a great rebounder," Mount Hebron coach Scott Robinson said. "She has unbelievable body control, she's so strong and she has great range."

The Howard County Player of the Year did everything but dunk, although she could get up for being 5 feet 8.

"She was unstoppable," Atholton coach Maureen Shacreaw said. "I scouted them against Reservoir and Mount Hebron. At one point against Reservoir, she went through four bodies and scored and she didn't touch anybody. Against [Hebron], they threw an alley-oop to her and she got it and put it in. You don't see a girl do that."

McKenzie was the main reason for the Scorpions' ascent over the past four years.

When she arrived, they were 5-15, but they steadily rose, finishing 18-5 this season with a No. 15 ranking.

She scored 634 points this season, averaging 28. She also averaged 13.6 rebounds, 4.4 steals and four assists. In 23 games, she posted 21 double doubles and four triple doubles. She scored 30 points or more nine times, and her 1,744 career points came within 35 of the Howard County record. She also had 981 career rebounds.

Perhaps her best performance came in her career finale, scoring 35 of her team's 53 points in the regional playoff loss to a tough Gwynn Park squad.

"She got our program back on the map, as far as us trying to get back to winning and get a little respect from some of the other teams in the county," Oakland Mills coach Seth Willingham said. "Every year, our wins have gone up and we've become very competitive. A lot of that is due to her not just scoring and what she does on the court, but she's a great kid."

McKenzie, who has an academic average of 3.67, signed early to play at Loyola.


Scott Robinson Mount Hebron

All through his coaching career, Robinson has preached that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," and the No. 4 Vikings carried that philosophy to a state championship and an undefeated season.

The Vikings play a strong fundamental game grounded in man-to-man pressure defense, and they did it exceptionally well this winter.

"What we're looking for are girls that have been fed into the team concept, that are selfless, that are willing to be great teammates for each other, that are willing to share the ball," Robinson said. "We had a great team chemistry. As a coach, that's what I'm looking for."

The Vikings (28-0) faced tough competition in Howard County and beat Atholton, 47-44, in the county final. Then they dove into one of the most difficult regions in the state, one dominated by Prince George's County teams and River Hill - and one they had never won. They slipped by River Hill, 47-43, in the semifinal, and Gwynn Park, 39-37, in the regional final to reach the state semifinals for the first time since 1995.

In a Class 2A semifinal clash of unbeaten teams, they nipped No. 5 Winters Mill, 54-53, and went on to beat No. 10 Poly, 55-40, in a game that was closer than the score indicates. That gave the Vikings a state-record-tying seven state crowns, but their first since 1991.

"Scott's kids are always ready to play, and they're not going to back down to anybody," Atholton coach Maureen Shawcreaw said. "They go into every game thinking they can win. They really respond to him."

Robinson, whose career record stands at 214-69 over 11 seasons, also gave a lot of credit to his coaching staff of Tony Giro, Phil Tonkins and James Stewart.

Boys player of the year

Sean Mosley

St. Frances

An outstanding play er and leader, Mos ley led the Panthers (28-10) to the Baltimore Catholic League tourna ment title, a trip to the Alhambra Catholic Invi tational Tournament and the area's No. 1 ranking.

Mosley, a 6-foot-4 senior swing player, joins former Calvert Hall star Duane Ferrell (1980-84) as the only four-time All-Metro players. Headed to the University of Maryland, Mosley was recruited by Keith Booth, the former Dunbar and Terps standout to whom many observers compare Mosley.

Mosley has the ability to play hard while remaining calm, lulling foes to sleep as he scores from inside and outside, blocks shots and makes steals.

"Sean has tremendous upside, and his work ethic should take him a long way at the next level," St. Frances assistant coach Mark Karcher said.

Mosley averaged 24.2 points and finished with 2,933 career points, trailing only Rodney Monroe of Goretti, who had 3,047 points from 1983 to 1987, on the list of the state's career scoring leaders. He also averaged 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals, and shot 55.2 percent from the field and 84.1 percent from the free-throw line.

Named the BCL regular-season Most Outstanding Player along with Mount St. Joseph's Henry Sims, Mosley was named Most Valuable Player of the BCL tournament, Most Outstanding Player at the Alhambra and the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year. Mosley will play in the Cap City Classic and the Charm City Challenge.


Dave Herman

Winters Mill

Herman guided Winters Mill to its first state championship in boys basketball in the school's sixth year of existence with a pair of stunning victories over highly touted teams.

A 58-56 victory over Prince George's County power Gwynn Park in the Class 2A state semifinals vaulted the Falcons into the final against then-No. 2 Randallstown. Winters Mill knocked off the three-time defending state champion Rams, 54-47.

It was also the first state title for a Carroll County team since Westminster won in 1947.

Herman, 36, coached one season at Westminster, where he went 12-11, before starting the program at Winters Mill. He is 82-41 (.667) in five varsity seasons as the Falcons' coach, including 21-6 this season.

"We told the kids that we knew they would be better in January and February. And they were," he said. "We really got going at the end and won our last 12 in a row. What made winning the state championship so enjoyable was the quality of our kids."

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