The 6-foot-3 senior swing player was the catalyst for a team that won Baltimore City and Class 3A North regional championships before falling in the state semifinals. With his spirited play, the guard-forward led the Lakers to a 25-2 record. After helping Lake Clifton win the Baltimore City championship by scoring 16 points in a 53-42 win over Douglass, Allen had a game-high 19 points in a 64-53 victory over Mervo in the 3A North final.
Allen averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Lakers. He is considering attending a prep school before playing in college.
A smooth sophomore swing player, Fair burst onto the scene to lead the No. 10 Knights (20-4) to a second straight 20-win season. Fair, 6 feet 7, gave City a threat on the perimeter as well as inside.
Displaying poise and confidence beyond his years, Fair teamed up with junior Adam Johnson to give the Knights a potent 1-2 punch. Fair often became the team's go-to guy and was consistent from game to game.
Fair, who was called up to the varsity at the end of his freshman season, made an immediate impact this season. With his long body and athleticism, Fair created and finished.
He averaged 20.3 points and six rebounds per game.
Troy FranklinMount Carmel
Franklin was the senior catalyst of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference champion Cougars (25-3). He drove opposing defenses crazy with his ability to penetrate off the dribble, create and finish, as well as shoot pull-up jumpers and three-pointers.
The flashy 5-foot-10 guard's talent, quickness and court awareness were never more evident than in No. 7 Mount Carmel'ss 58-50 victory over St. Mary's in the B Conference final. Franklin, the Baltimore County Player of the Year, had 21 points, six assists, four steals and two blocked shots as the team won its second conference title in three years, going 68-20 in that span.
Franklin led the Cougars in scoring (17.9), assists (5.5) and steals (3.6), and averaged 3.6 rebounds. He finished his three-year varsity career with 1,311 points (believed to be a school record), 374 assists, 245 steals and 241 rebounds. He has signed with Towson University.
Brandon GreeneTowson Catholic
Greene, a senior and three-year starter, was a force in the paint, using his 6-foot-6 frame to grab rebounds and score. He led the No. 9 Owls (22-12) to the MIAA A Conference title.
His offensive presence near the basket opened things up for his teammates, and his defense earned him the Baltimore Catholic League Mark Amatucci Defensive Player of the Year award.
Greene showed his talents and strength in a 54-44 upset of then-No. 1 Mount St. Joseph in the A Conference final by scoring 13 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking three shots.
Athletic and focused, Greene averaged 12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He shot 47 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free-throw line. Greene scored 1,016 career points and had 872 rebounds and 277 blocks in his three varsity seasons.
Greene is undecided on a college.
Isaiah PhilmoreJohn Carroll
Philmore, a 6-foot-7 junior forward who has already received scholarship offers from a host of Division I schools, led the Patriots (20-12) to a fourth-place finish in their first season in the highly competitive MIAA A Conference and to their second straight 20-win season.
Despite 16 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocks by Philmore, John Carroll lost, 72-54, to Mount St. Joseph in the A Conference semifinals.
With a repertoire of skills that figure to make him one of the nation's top power forward prospects for 2009 (he was ranked No. 24 by rivals.com), Philmore went from 15.9 points per game last season to 18.3. He shot better than 50 percent from the field and 72 percent on free throws, and he scored 29 points in a game three times.
He also averaged 10.1 rebounds (with a game-high of 18) and 1.8 assists.
Henry SimsMount St. Joseph
A repeat All-Metro center, the 6-foot-11 senior led the No. 3 Gaels (31-6) to regular-season titles in the Baltimore Catholic League and the MIAA A Conference and their second 30-win season in three years. With Sims leading the way, the Gaels held The Sun's No. 1 ranking most of the season until faltering in postseason tournaments.
Part of the reason the Gaels slipped late in the season was because Sims was slowed by a groin injury.
One of the highlights of his season for Sims was his 32-point, 10-rebound effort in a 73-70 loss to nationally ranked Oak Hill (Va.) Academy in the Hall of Fame Hoopball Classic in Springfield, Mass.
Sims, the BCL co-Player of the Year, led the Gaels in rebounding as a junior with 9.9 per game and raised that average to 10.6 this season. He also raised his scoring average from 11 points per game to 16.5 and his blocks from 2.5 to 4.1. Sims has signed with Georgetown.
The future is bright for the Warriors (12-10), thanks to Smith, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward who completed a sensational season and has drawn interest from Division I schools such as Georgetown, Maryland, North Carolina, Duke, Connecticut and Kansas.
Smith, who is smooth and versatile, put together one of the top seasons by any player in the metro area.
Able to post up, handle the ball and shoot three-pointers, Smith was the Warriors' go-to guy. He also was a force on defense, using his long arms to swat away shots.
Smith had 12 double doubles and three triple doubles. He averaged 23.6 points, 11 rebounds, seven blocks and seven assists. He has a big upside as he matures physically and continues to work on his skills.
The 5-foot-9 senior was as good a shooter and played with as much heart as any player in the area. Strong led the No. 8 Ducks (20-6) to the Baltimore City and Class 2A North regional final.
Adept at dribble penetration with his extraordinary quickness and possessing an ability to shoot three-pointers from NBA distances and hit pull-up jumpers, Strong kept the Ducks in every game. There was no question that he was the team leader and the player his coach and teammates counted on to break down opposing defenses and hit crucial shots.
Strong, who scored an area-high 50 points in a regional playoff game, averaged 22 points, four assists and three steals. A repeat All-Metro selection, he shot 92 percent from the free-throw line. In his three-year varsity career, Strong, who averaged 19.8 points as a junior, has more than 1,400 career points.
The court leader for the No. 6 Rams the past three seasons, the savvy 6-foot senior point guard was a master at distributing the ball while still putting up good individual numbers. His talent and leadership led the Rams (23-4) to a fourth consecutive state final.
Womack scored 13 points in Randallstown's 54-47 loss to Winters Mill in the Class 2A final. Womack had nine points, seven assists and four steals to spark a 71-42 rout of Wicomico in the 2A state semifinals.
Womack, an unselfish player who did all the little things to win games, led the Rams to a 73-8 record over the past three seasons. This season, he averaged 12.5 points, six assists and three rebounds.