December 04, 1996|By Pat O'Malley

Annapolis Panthers

1995-96 record: 19-6

Coach: Dave Griffith (52-22)

Top players: Jackie Edwards, 6-2, Jr., C-F; Kammi Cottrell, 6-1, Jr., F; Kristen Kapusta, 5-7, Sr., G; Emily Dammeyer, 6-3, Jr., C-F; Peekia Green, 5-9, Jr., G; Kerry Miller, 5-6, Jr., G; Dina Brown, 5-3, Sr., G.

Outlook: After last year's excellent season, look for the Panthers to challenge for county and region titles. Despite their youth a year ago, Annapolis was second in the county public school-league only to Class 4A state champion Arundel. This year's team is seasoned, even though it has only three seniors. "We can be real good," said Griffith. "They've played a lot together in the fall and won a tournament in North Carolina last summer. We can go inside or outside with this group." Edwards, who averaged 13.8 points and led the county in rebounding with 14.8 boards a game, will anchor the front line with Cottrell and Dammeyer. Cottrell averaged 12 points and 11 boards while Dammeyer pulled down 10 rebounds an outing. Sharp-shooters Kapusta, Green, Brown and North County-transfer Miller will be on the perimeter.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1995-96 record: 8-14

Coach: Deb Taylor (25-25)

Top players: Jen Butterwei, 6-0, Jr., F; Kathleen O'Hara, 5-6, Sr., G; Amy Campion, 5-9, So., F; Courtney Dixon, 5-6, So., G; Kate Brady, 5-4, Jr., G; Amy Grace, 5-8, Sr., F-G.

Outlook: Taylor comes to Spalding from the competitive Baltimore Catholic League, having coached the Institute of Notre Dame the last two seasons. "I think that's a big advantage, and I see Spalding as a great school with great potential," said Taylor, a physical therapist in Howard County, where she resides. Taylor said she jumped at the chance to coach at Spalding upon learning that Kristie Lilly was stepping down after two seasons. The new coach likes what she has seen so far, although she is concerned about a lack of height after the 6-foot Butterwei and the team's lack of experience in close, competitive games. "We don't have any selfish players, and team unity should be a plus," said Taylor, who played at the University of Vermont. "We've been spending a lot of time on fundamentals, and I think we can be competitive in the Catholic league, probably a middle-of-the-pack team." The coach will be counting on leadership from seniors O'Hara and Grace.

Arundel Wildcats

1995-96 record: 26-2

Coach: Lee Rogers (119-51)

Top players: Sherice Proctor, 5-4, Jr., G; Lachelle McHenry, 5-8, Sr., F; Megan Rollins, 5-4, So., G; Kaycie Lomax, 5-8, So., F; Shannon Carpenter, 5-7, Sr., F; Shaunte Edmonds, 6-2, So., F; Breanna Kitchen, 5-8, So., F; Erin Wilmer, 5-8, Jr., G; Tiffany Matys, 5-8, Jr., F.

Outlook: Deep, deep and deeper are the Class 4A state champions as they try for the second title in a row. "We know everybody will be gunning for us," said coach Rogers, whose team were 52-3 while advancing to the state final the last two years. "We're not really big, but we should be very quick to the ball." Rogers masterfully mixes and matches his line-ups with no set group together all the time, and the result is a squad that can go nearly 15 deep. Proctor, who averaged 10 points and nearly 3 assists a game last year, McHenry, Rollins, Lomax and Edmonds are a few of the key members with exceptional quickness. Newcomers Lindsey Schisz, a 5-11 sophomore and 5-10 junior Kelly McDonald will add strength in the post on a team of standout players.

Broadneck Bruins

1995-96 record: 13-11

Coach: Bruce Springer (132-59)

Top players: Sarah Brino, 5-11, Sr., F; Stacy Smith, 5-6, Sr., G; Amy Vandehei, 5-11, Sr., F; Susie Conrad, 5-7, Sr., G; Katie Pickett, 5-8, Sr., C; Emily Markham, 5-11, Sr., C; Lauren Peck, 5-9, So., G; Corrine Shuck, 5-7, So., G.

Outlook: Brino, a four-year varsity player, and Vandehei (8.2 rebounds a game) lead eight returnees who either started or got considerable playing time for last year's Class 3A region finalist. "We have a lot of experience with a couple of the girls having been together for three years," said Springer, who last led Broadneck to a state title in 1990. "We've got some quickness, especially at guard with Stacy Smith, and we will take advantage of that by running more and using more pressure defense." Brino, Smith and Vandehei are returning starters, but the team lacks, in Springer's words, "a true center." However, the coach feels confident that Pickett and Markham can do the job.

Chesapeake Cougars

1995-96 record: 5-18

Coach: Jerry McBee (second season)

Top players: Gail Siemer, 6-1, Jr., C; Laura Basil, 5-2, Sr., G; Melanie Tice, 5 -10, Sr., F; Suzanne Bryant, 5-1, Sr., G; Kristen Bland, 5-9, So., F.

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