Boys All-county Rosters Reflect A Season Of Parity

SIDELINES

Six Schools Represented On Balanced First Team

March 17, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

Senior Rob Wooster of Annapolis, the only player to repeat as the Anne Arundel County Sun Boys Basketball Player of the Year, heads this year's All-County Team.

The Panthers standout was the shining starin what was a year of parity in the county.

Wooster, a 6-foot-5 senior who averaged 26.1 points a game for the 20-3 Panthers, is also the only first-team repeater.

He is joined on the first team by four other seniors -- Al Lee of South River, Gene Pleyo of Northeast, Rich Riffle of Severna Park and Jeff Vincent of Broadneck.

Southern's sophomore sensation, Chatney Howard, is the only underclassman on the first team.

With 22 points in his final game, a 71-66 upset loss to fifth-seeded Old Mill in the 4A regionsemifinals, Wooster finished his career with 1,001 points in three varsity seasons.

The late James Butler, a 1986 grad, is the Panthers' all-time leading scorer, with more than 1,200 points. Dale Solomon, a member of the 1974 state championship team of the late coach Al Laramore, was the first Panther to go over 1,000 career points.

Records from those years are not available, but Laramore's successor, 15th-year coach John Brady, said, "Solomon definitely had over 1,000 points in his career, but I'm sure that James (Butler) had the most."

Wooster was used sparingly as a sophomore on the 1989-1990 state 4Achampionship Annapolis team, but by last season was a regular, averaging 14.1 points a game. He was named the Anne Arundel County Sun Player of the Year, and by taking the honor again this season, the county's leading scorer matches former Brooklyn Park star Patty Dages.

Dages, the county's all-time leading scorer -- boy or girl -- with 2,262 points in her four-year career with the Bees, was the Player of the Year in 1982 and 1983.

Wooster, the fifth Annapolis player to be named since we started the award in 1981, played on Panthers teams that were 64-10 in his three years.

Lee led Class 3A South River to its greatest season in school history at 19-4. The Seahawks were upset in the region playoffs by Potomac, a 70-69 loser to Catonsville in the Class 3A state championship game Saturday.

Top-seeded South River dropped a 75-71 decision at home in the 3A Region IV semis to No. 3-seeded Potomac, despite 16 points from Lee.

The classy senioraveraged 20.9 points a game for the Seahawks and cracked the 1,000 career-points milestone. Lee also had nearly six rebounds and six assists per game.

"Al was our main man who won many a close game for us with a pressure shot," said seventh-year assistant coach Jack Jordan.

In what was a down year at Northeast in Pasadena, Pleyo starredfor Coach Johnny Barbour. The four-year starter at guard became the first Eagle to score 1,000 or more career points, finishing with 1,038.

Pleyo, who was second-team All-County last year, finished his senior year with an average of 19 points a game for the 7-15 Eagles and set a school record for games played at 82.

"Navy recently showed an interest in Gene, and I believe he will play somewhere in college," said Barbour.

Riffle was the big gun on a Severna Park team that was 14-8 overall, including a 70-67 overtime loss to Meade in the 4A Region IV semifinals. The 6-foot-6 senior center averaged 20 points a game.

In an 80-76 loss at Southern of Harwood Jan. 24, Riffle scored a career- and county-high 40 points.

Vincent averaged 16.1 points a game while setting three school records for the 14-9 Bruins of Coach Ken Kazmarek, but much of his value did not show up in the scorebook. The 6-0 senior is a quintessential defensive player.

"Jeff was as good on defense as a high school player can be," said Kazmarek. "He set a school record for career steals with 127, playing varsity his junior and senior years for us."

Vincent, an All-County soccer player and standout baseball shortstop at the Cape St. Claire school, is one of the top male athletes in the entire metro area. He established two other school records -- three-pointers attempted (165) and three-pointers made (55) in a single season.

Howard, a 6-2 10th-grader, sparkled for the Class 2A Bulldogs, averaging 18.7 points agame. Southern was 14-10 with Howard as its leader despite his youth.

Opposing coaches said the Southern phenom played beyond his years, and they expect big things out of him the next two years.

In what was an extraordinarily well-balanced county in boys hoops this year, the six guys on the All-County second team were not that far from those on the first team.

The second team boasted six players who made major contributions to their teams.

Marvin Brown was right behind Wooster in consistency for Annapolis with an average of 15.1 points a game, plus some nifty defense.

Edmund Hicks was a brilliant swing man for South River, averaging 15.2 points.

Erik Sheppard, the catalyst of Old Mill's first-ever state final four team (16-10), Meade's big guy Brian Parker, Glen Burnie's Vern Osborne and Arundel's Rich Abrams complete the second team.

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