Champs get more awards 1993-94 ALL-METRO BASKETBALL TEAMS GIRLS

March 19, 1994|By Kevin Eck

COACH OF THE YEAR

Craig O'Connell, Howard -- O'Connell led Howard to the state Class 3A championship during a season in which injuries and players quitting once had his roster down to just six.

The Lions lacked offense, scoring 40 points or less 12 times, including four games in which they failed to score 30. They were 9-11 before winning their last two regular-season games to enter the regional playoffs with a .500 record.

The Lions (16-11) won three regional playoff games on the road -- including a 37-29 victory over a Mount Hebron team that had beaten the Lions twice during the regular season -- before defeating Randallstown in the state semifinals and DuVal in the championship game.

"Every one player came up big at some time," said O'Connell, who has compiled a 90-56 record in six seasons at Howard.

Howard was 2-20 the season before O'Connell arrived. After going 19-25 his first two seasons, the Lions went 55-20 the next three seasons, making three consecutive trips to the regional finals and making the state semifinals last season.

CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR Kacy Williams, Hammond, 5-6, Sr., G -- She used her tremendous court vision to make her the area's best point guard. With the game on the line, there's no one better than Williams to handle the ball and find the open player.

A great defensive player with superb ball-handling and passing skills, the three-time All-Metro point guard averaged 11 points and nearly eight assists per game to go along with a team-high 143 steals. Williams, who did not miss a game in four years, set a school single-game assist record with 18 this season, and finished her career as the school's all-time leader in scoring (1,216 points) and assists (533).

She led Hammond to the Class 2A state finals three straight years, winning the championship in 1992 and 1994. This season, she helped the Golden Bears (24-1) to their first Howard County championship, No. 1 ranking and national ranking (No. 24 in USA Today).

Williams, who has a 4.0 grade-point average, has signed with Georgetown.

CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR Chanel Wright, Western, 6-0, Jr., F/G -- Wright averaged team-highs of 21.6 points and 9.2 rebounds as well as 3.1 assists and 3.6 steals to lead second-ranked Western (23-2) 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. She was selected to the Parade All-America third team.

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.

Wright, a three-time All-Metro pick, was dominating in the state semifinals, as well, scoring a combined 53 points and pulling down 26 rebounds in the two games.

OTHERS ON THE FIRST TEAM Melba Chambers, St. Frances, 5-11, Jr., F/G -- In addition to leading the Panthers in scoring (21.0), Chambers averaged 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists and raised her defensive intensity. She also became a leader and a more poised player under pressure. Chambers, the Catholic League Player of the Year and a second-team All-Metro pick last season, led the Panthers (25-3) to a No. 3 ranking and their first Catholic League Tournament championship.

Sonia Chase, McDonogh, 5-10, Sr., F/G -- Chase capped a brilliant four-year career by leading the Eagles (18-3) in scoring (20.4), rebounds (9.0), assists (3.8) and steals (4.1). She 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) and has signed with Maryland.

Annetta Davis, St. Mary's, 5-10,Jr., F -- Davis, a second-team All-Metro selection last season, was among the area's leaders in scoring (21.4) and rebounds (15.9). She also led the team with 64 steals, 23 blocks and a 55 percent field-goal percentage as the fourth-ranked Saints (25-3) won their third consecutive Catholic League regular-season championship.

Shannon Henderson, Annapolis, 6-1, Sr., C -- With Henderson leading the way, Annapolis (19-7) made its first appearance in the state semifinals since 1982. She led the Panthers in scoring ++ (18.5), rebounding (16.3) and blocked shots (83). Henderson, a second-team All-Metro selection last season, also was second on her team in assists (3.8) and third in steals (45). Syracuse and North Carolina-Wilmington are among the schools trying to sign her.

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