1993-94 All-baltimore City/ County Basketball Teams Girls

March 16, 1994

COACH OF THE YEAR

Mike Mohler, Seton Keough -- Before the season began, first-year coach Mike Mohler asked Seton Keough athletic director Mary Burns where she thought the Gators would finish in the Catholic League. Burns told him that fifth place was realistic, third place optimistic.

Mohler, the eternal optimist, led the team to a 10-4 league record, good enough for third place behind third-ranked St. Frances and fourth-ranked St. Mary's. Although five of its top six players were underclassmen, Seton Keough finished the season with an 18-8 overall record and a No. 14 ranking, the team's best showing since winning its third consecutive Catholic League championship in 1991.

The Gators were a combined 16-28, including 10-18 in the league, the two seasons before Mohler's arrival. All of Seton Keough's losses this season were to teams ranked in the Top 20.

Mohler, who has 21 years of coaching experience at the junior high, high school and college levels -- including seven years with the Catonsville Community College men's team -- brought an unbridled enthusiasm and an infectious sense of humor to Seton Keough. It wasn't long before Mohler had his young team believing it was as good as anyone.

"I thought this would be a rebuilding year," sophomore point guard Melanie Morris said. "He's brought our confidence level up."

Mohler has stressed fundamentals and defensive intensity. "Some teams may jump higher, run faster or shoot better than we can," Mohler said. "We can't control those things. We can control how hard we play on defense."

PLAYER OF THE YEAR Chanel Wright, Western, 6-0, Jr., F/G -- Wright had been one of the area's most consistent players the past two years, and this season the Dove soared to new heights. She averaged team highs of 21.6 points and 9.2 rebounds and led second-ranked Western to the Class 4A state championship.

Although still a junior, Wright surpassed Dana Johnson (Tennessee) this season to become Western's all-time scoring leader with 1,248 points. A good shooter off the dribble, Wright can penetrate or hit from outside.

Her best game -- which Western coach Breezy Bishop called "the greatest shooting performance I have ever seen" -- was against Lake Clifton in January. In that contest, Wright made her first seven shots and 11 of 13 for 38 points, 32 of which came in the first half. She was dominating in the state semifinals, scoring a combined 53 points -- including 30 against Sherwood in the championship game -- and pulling down 26 rebounds.

Wright's versatility is probably her greatest asset -- she has played all five positions. She is a natural shooting guard, but when Bishop thought Western's inside game was lacking, she )) called on Wright to remedy the situation.

Wright also sharpened her leadership skills this season. If one of her teammates was out of position, Wright took it upon herself to direct traffic.

Wright, who was a two-time Amateur Athletic Union All-American, has narrowed her college choices to North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Purdue, Virginia and Tennessee.

OTHERS ON THE FIRST TEAM Melba Chambers, St. Frances, 5-11, Jr., F/G -- Her raw talent was evident her freshman and sophomore years. This season, Chambers also exhibited leadership and poise under pressure. She led the No. 3 Panthers in scoring (21.0) and also averaged 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Chambers helped St. Frances beat St. Mary's in the Catholic League tournament championship game by scoring 10 of her 20 points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter.

Sonia Chase, McDonogh, 5-10, Sr., F/G -- She capped a brilliant four-year career by leading the Eagles in scoring (20.4), rebounds (9.0), assists (3.8) and steals (4.1). Chase, who is headed to Maryland, averaged nearly 30 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and three steals in the Association of Independent Schools A Division tournament, which McDonogh won for the third time in four years. She finished as the school's all-time leading scorer (1,234 points).

DaShawn Coleman, Walbrook, 5-6, Jr., G -- The Warriors were hurt by a lack of depth and injuries this season, and Coleman stepped up. She was the area's second-leading scorer (22.7) and also averaged 4.5 assists and 4.3 steals. Despite being double- and triple-teamed, Coleman scored in double figures in every game. Her single-game high was 38 against Southwestern.

Natisha Ferguson, Lake Clifton, 6-6, Jr., C -- Ferguson emerged as one of the top low-post players in the area before her season ended Feb. 14 when she had a benign brain tumor removed. Showing rapid improvement since her freshman year, Ferguson averaged a team-high 21.6 points and 18.0 rebounds this season. She had 28 points and 21 rebounds in Lake Clifton's first meeting with then-No. 1 Western.

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