This year's Annapolis High boys basketball squad boasted a swirling offense and a game pace that often neared warp speed. Its scoring average was a bloated 83 points per game.
Yet one guy was the eye in the storm that was the Panthers' squad. In fact, he simply had the team's best eye for the basket when it came to marksmanship.
At age 16, he's the Panthers' best-kept secret and comes in a neatly wrapped, 6-foot-5, 200-pound package labeled Rob Wooster, whose attributes include a balanced all-around game and sound fundamentals and technique.
Oh yes, and one heckuva three-point shot.
"(Shooting) was probably the most attractive part of his game. It's mechanics to a point, but after that the head takes over," said Coach John Brady. "He has unbelievable range for a high school kid, especially fora junior. Our team was a real good blend of skills and talent, and in our system we didn't have to depend on just one or two players."
But Brady could depend on Wooster, whose concentration as a sharpshooter was perhaps unmatched in the county and makes him the Anne Arundel County Sun's 1990-1991 Player of the Year.
Among the best examples of Wooster's mastery came in the March 1 Region IV championship victory over Broadneck where he stepped up to the line, sank two free throws in the closing seconds and lifted the Panthers to a 71-69 victory and Brady's 11th Class 4A state semifinal appearance.
"I knew I would have the opportunity to contribute. I knew I had the confidence," said Wooster, who was a reserve center as a sophomore when he was 20 pounds lighter and 1 inch shorter. The experience helped him this year to grab a team-high 8.5 boards per outing.
"A goal of mine was to do as much as I possibly could for the team this year," said Wooster, who maintains a 3.0 grade-point average. "I knew I'd be facing the basket more so I wanted to improve on my defense and my jump shot -- outside of the three-point range."
Mission accomplished. Wooster nailed a team-high 61 three-point shots -- that's 16 better thansecond-place teammate Delmore Howard.
Although he was the third-leading scorer behind seniors Dennis Edwards (27.2 points, 5.1 rebounds) and Howard (15.9, 6.3), Wooster (14.3) was the Panthers' most efficient contributor. He made a team-leading 53 percent from the field and an impressive team-high 75 percent from the line.
"He was a bigfactor in taking some of the pressure off of Del and Dennis by drawing the defenses out and making them (Edwards and Howard) more effective," said Brady. "Once he established himself as a shooter, the defenses were drawn to him. But they really couldn't key in on him, because the rest of the team complemented him and restricted what they could do."
Wooster occasionally broke loose. He scored a game-high 28 points -- also his season high -- against Baltimore's Southern High (Feb. 8) in an important 92-87 overtime victory.
Then there were times like the first-round playoff game against Meade (Feb. 28) in which he was sometimes double-teamed on the perimeter. Wooster was held to 10 points in that game but still snagged eight rebounds.
"(Meadedefenders) were playing me up around the 25-foot area, but there were various other things I could try to do," said Wooster, whose 2.2 assists per game ranks him second on the team. "I can set screens and try to make myself as active as I can in the offensive and defensive scheme."
Brady said, "He's able to guard the ball well defensively,and he just makes good decisions on the floor. When we started the season, we didn't expect Wooster to lead in any one category, but he did a little bit of everything at a higher level than we expected."