Young, Howard share in the boys' county bounty Junior shines brightest among Albright's stars Player of the Year

March 19, 1993|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Staff Writer

Southern coach Tom Albright has had more than his share of outstanding players in nearly 30 years at the Harwood school, but he says that junior Chatney Howard "creates as good as anybody as I've ever had."

That is saying something when some of the former Southern greats are recalled, such as Pee Wee Smith (1981), Gary Mullen and Troy Brown (1983) and the late Geno Spriggs and Sean Salisbury (1986).

All three of those years, plus 1973, were state championship years for Albright. The four state titles and more than 400 wins are unprecedented in county boys basketball history.

So, Albright knows a great player when he sees one, and Howard, The Baltimore Sun's Anne Arundel County Boys Basketball Player of the Year, is all that and more.

Howard is the fourth Southern player to be named Anne Arundel Player of the Year since the award began in 1980.

Howard is the lone repeater on the all-county team. He led county public schools in scoring with an average of 25.0 points and hit 36 percent from three-point range. His 575 points -- most of which resulted from his 48 percent accuracy from the field -- lifted his two-year varsity total to 1,027.

Southern all-time leading scorer Vince Barnett, a 1991 grad who had 1,885 in his four-year career, never had more than 537 in a season.

The Dawgs (14-9) were eliminated in the Class 2A Region III semifinals, 68-53, by Forestville of Prince George's County, despite Howard's 35 points and 15 rebounds.

Those numbers are all the more amazing when you consider that Howard got more attention when the team lost a couple of starters late in the season.

"I don't know what we would have done had we lost Chatney," Albright said.

The added pressure didn't faze the 17-year-old, who chose to play recreation league basketball his freshman year.

"I love the extra pressure; that's the way I like it," said Howard, recalling a late-season, 80-73 victory over North County (2-20).

"There was no way we should have lost to them, but we weren't playing well and were about to get beat. I got ticked off and got four dunks in a row and we won."

Rising to the occasion and doing what it takes to win a game is something that comes naturally to Howard, whose career high was 44 points in an 81-44 romp over Severna Park (5-17).

"The way I figure it, there were at least six games we would not have won had it not been for him," Albright said. "He averaged 25 points but could have hit 50 if he wasn't so unselfish."

Howard also averaged 11.3 rebounds (261), 3.6 assists (82) and 4.3 steals (100), which Albright says are the result of Howard's "great defense and ability to anticipate so well."

"Chatney is more than a scorer, and averaged 4.7 offensive rebounds, which shows how he could go to the boards when we needed it," said Albright.

If the smooth 6-foot-1 swingman has a weakness, it's at the foul line, where he made only 103 of 196 attempts, 53 percent.

The first team at a glance

Jason Smith,

Broadneck, 6-1, sophomore

Despite his youth, Smith is already fourth on the Bruins' all-time scoring list with 749 career points after scoring 553 (23.0 ppg) this season for the Region IV semifinalists. Smith, who averaged 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists (second on career list with 201), led the Bruins (15-9) of coach Ken Kazmarek in 21 of 32 individual categories, including free-throw percentage, .704 (157-for-223), and field-goal percentage, .464 (181-390).

Darren Hall,

South River, 6-6, senior

Much of the Seahawks' (15-8) success as a Class 3A Region IV semifinalist was due to Hall, who at times was a one-man gang. Hall, who cracked the 1,000 career points milestone this season, averaged 23.8 points and 12 rebounds. With Hall leading the way with 34 points and 15 rebounds, the Hawks defeated Annapolis for the first time ever, 86-84, in overtime. Hall's consistency also enabled the Hawks to split with 4A semifinalist Broadneck and neighbor Southern.

Derek Barrett,

Meade, 5-10, senior

Averaging 18.9 points, including a season-high 36 in a 78-71 victory over Annapolis in the 4A Region IV final, Barrett led the inexperienced Mustangs to an unexpected 21-5 season. Known as "Smooth" at Meade, Barrett also averaged four assists and two steals for coach Butch Young while making 80 percent of his foul shots. His accuracy at the free-throw line was uncanny in the region final -- 13 of 13.

Rich Abrams,

Arundel, 6-5, senior

The Wildcats (15-8) enjoyed their first winning season since 1979, thanks to the overall play of their big man. Abrams averaged 14.7 points and 15.3 rebounds (352), tops in the county and third in the metro area. Headed to the University of Maryland on a football scholarship, the two-sport All-County performer had one of his best games in a 76-74 win over Annapolis with 28 points (11 in final period) as the Cats defeated the Panthers for the first time since 1975.

Brad Fowler,

Severn, 6-2, senior

This outstanding swing man closed out a brilliant four-year career by leading the Admirals to their first basketball championship. Fowler is the Admirals' all-time leading scorer with 1,159 points and averaged 14 points in pacing 13th-ranked Severn to a 25-2 record. A complete player, he averaged 6.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists. His arrival four years ago began a basketball renaissance, and the Admirals were 66-30 during that time, 45-10 over the last two years.

Danny Sancomb,

Meade, 6-0, senior

A symbol of perseverance and hard work, this senior swingman is an inspiration to every kid who was ever cut from a team. Cut from JV as a pudgy freshman, Sancomb was the 17th player on a 15-man JV squad as a sophomore and didn't get a jersey until a teammate was injured. A varsity reserve as a junior, Sancomb stepped into a starter's role this year and averaged 17.9 points along with six rebounds, three assists and three steals, in leading the Mustangs to the 4A Region IV title and the state final.

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