Players To Watch

December 06, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko

* Julie Barr, Broadneck, 5-11, Sr., C -- Barr was named third-team All-County last year after averaging around 10 points and 10 rebounds a game. She's one big reason that coach Bruce Springer says his team's greatest strength will be "our rebounding ability." With Barr, inside scoring shouldn't be a problem, either.

* Annetta Davis, St. Mary's, 5-10, Jr., F -- Davis is one of the more athletic players in the metro area, and certainly one of the more talented. Last year, she led the Saints with 14.5 points and 13 rebounds a game, and she seemed to get better as the season wore on. A member of last season's All-Metro second team, Davis will be the best player on the floor at most St. Mary's games.

* Joy Farmer, North County, 6-0, Sr., C -- Farmer is hard to stop once she gets the ball down low. Last year, she averaged around 17 points and 14 rebounds a game. If anything, the Knights often depended too much on Farmer, and a lack of balance on offense helped keep them from making the playoffs. That may change this year, but Farmer should continue to be a powerful force in the paint.

* Katie Graw, Severn, 5-10, Soph., C -- Graw led the Admirals in rebounding as a freshman with 144 in 17 games, and she was their second-leading scorer with a 7.6 average. Playing in the Association of Independent Schools B Conference last year, she didn't receive as much attention as she deserved, but she again will be a crucial part of whatever success the Admirals attain, as they move to the A Conference.

* Shannon Henderson, Annapolis, 6-1, Sr., C -- Henderson is an intimidating presence inside who led the Panthers in scoring (18.8 ppg) and rebounding (12.2) last season. She also averaged two blocks, two assists and three steals, shot 47 percent from the field and was named to the All-Metro second team. And she could be even better this winter.

* Monique Jennings, Severn, 5-5, Soph., G -- Jennings made an immediate and lasting impression as a freshman, averaging a team-high 12.6 points a game. She also led Severn with 40 assists and 78 steals. Her tremendous speed and ability to drive to the basket gave the Admirals a different look than they've had in past seasons. She is a superstar in the making.

* Jen Johansen, Northeast, 5-5, Jr., G -- Johansen led Northeast in scoring at 15 points a game and was named to the All-County third team. A streaky outside shooter, she must be guarded closely from beyond the three-point arc or she can burn a sagging defense. Once again, she will be taking the majority of Northeast's shots, and the team's ability to return to the playoffs depends greatly on how many of those attempts are successful.

* Leketia Mullen, Southern, 5-11, Sr., F/C -- Mullen averaged around 10 points and 10 assists a game last season and was named to the All-County third team. Often overshadowed by teammate Laekeka Wesley, Mullen has developed into an excellent player who can hurt opposing teams at both ends of the floor.

* Pam Patterson, South River, 6-0, Sr., C -- Patterson led the Seahawks in scoring last year at 15 points a game. Named to the All-County second team, she again will be the team's go-to player, though more talent and experience surrounds her this winter. Also the team's leading rebounder, Patterson must stay out of foul trouble, or the Seahawks will be the ones in trouble.

* Jamie Pleyo, Northeast, 5-5, Jr., G -- Pleyo is a nice complement to Johansen. A dangerous outside shooter, Pleyo averaged 12 points a game and helped the Eagles reach the region semifinals. Like Johansen, she will be needed to score consistently this season. If defenses worry too much about stopping Johansen, Pleyo can make them suffer the consequences.

* Michelle Salmon, Old Mill, 5-5, Sr., G -- With four starters gone, Salmon will be the floor leader on a team trying to win its fourth consecutive 4A state championship. She is the leading returning scorer for Old Mill at around five points a game, and that figure should grow, as Salmon will be expected to take more shots. But she can help in other ways, like with her defense, passing and ability to push the ball up the floor.

Cristi Samaras, Annapolis, 5-6, Sr., G -- Samaras led the Panthers in assists and steals last year and was named to the All-County second team. Her scoring ability will take some pressure off of Henderson, and her tenacity on defense will force plenty of turnovers. There isn't another player in the metro area who hustles more than Samaras, from the opening tap to the final buzzer.

* Bridget Smith, St. Mary's, 5-6, Sr., G -- Smith averaged 12.5 points and seven assists last year and was named to the All-County second team. She ranks among the best point guards in the area and will be depended on more this year after the Saints lost five players to graduation and another to injury. Coach Harry Dobson says the Saints will go as far as Smith and Annetta Davis can take them.

* Megan Van Wambeke, Chesapeake, 5-8, Sr., F -- With leading scorer Denise Perrone gone, Van Wambeke will be counted on to pick up the slack. Last year, she averaged 8.8 points a game, and coach Dennis Thiele expects that number to increase by at least three. With more of the offense geared toward Van Wambeke, that could happen.

* Laekeka Wesley, Southern, 5-11, Sr., F/C -- Wesley is athletic enough to play any position, from point guard to center. Blessed with a nice shooting touch, Wesley averaged a team-high 18 points and shot 53 percent from the field. She also led the Bulldogs in rebounding with 16.4 a game, made 98 steals and was chosen to the All-Metro second team.

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