1997-98 Anne Arundel County girls basketball previews

December 04, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham

Annapolis Area Christian Eagles

1996-97 record: 10-16

Coach: Bob Topp

Top players: Gina Brown, 5-11, Sr., C; Stephanie Cole, 5-3, Jr., G; Hillary Bartlett, 5-7, Jr., F; Kelly Ferguson, 5-9, Jr., F; Jessi Seep, 5-5, Jr., G; Candase Clocker, 5-6, Sr., 5; Heidi Wetzold, 5-8, Sr., C.

Outlook: The Eagles will compete as an independent with the Christian Schools Athletic Association no longer in existence. With no seniors, the Eagles rebuilt last season, an experience Topp said "is going to help us. We're still kind of young but have plenty of game experience and have taken major steps forward as far as maturity and focus," Topp said. Brown, who averaged a team-leading 18 points and 10 rebounds last season, is the Eagles focal point in the middle. "Our offense will be geared toward isolating her in the low post. She penetrates well, is a good offensive rebounder, and is very determined," Topp said. He's also expecting a strong junior class, led by Cole at point guard, to pick up some scoring. The Eagles will show a lot of different looks on defense.

Annapolis Panthers

1996-97 record: 23-3

Coach: Dave Griffith

Top players: Jackie Edwards, 6-2, Sr., C/F; Kammi Cottrell, 6-1, Sr., F; Emily Dammeyer, 6-3, Sr., C/F; Kia Green, 5-9, Sr., G; Kerry Miller, 5-6, Sr., G.

Outlook: Opposing frontcourts will have a difficult time matching up against this gifted group, and the Panthers also have plenty of backcourt depth. Under Griffith, the Panthers have reached the state semifinals in two of Griffith's first four years. It all starts with the Virginia Commonwealth University-bound Edwards, a first-team All-Metro player last season and preseason All-American pick this season. Cottrell averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds to earn second-team All-County status last season and Dammeyer is healthy after missing half of last season with a knee injury. Miller, who averaged nearly six assists a game last season will be at the point, with Green also able to carry the ball up the floor when needed.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1996-97 record: 6-20

Coach: Deb Taylor

Top players: Jen Butterwei, 6-0, Sr., F; Amy Campion, 6-0, Jr., G; Courtney Dixon, 5-7, Jr., G; Lauren Schaech, 5-8, Soph., G; Janet Harmel, 5-10, Sr., F.

Outlook: Improved team speed and overall athleticism should provide more wins this season. Butterwei, who averaged 12 points and 11 rebounds a game last season to earn second-team All-Catholic League honors, is once again the Cavaliers' go-to player inside. With help coming from last year's 18-10 JV team along with the addition of Schaech, a transfer from Old Mill, Taylor expects her Cavaliers to be able to spread the floor offensively to open things up for Butterwei. "She's very strong with her back to the basket and has worked hard on developing her outside game," said Taylor. The backcourt is also a strength for the Cavaliers with Dixon a Catholic League honorable mention and Schaech coming off a fine freshman season at Old Mill. Also, look for more pressure defensively with Taylor able to go eight or nine deep off her bench.

Arundel Wildcats

1996-97 record: 18-6

Coach: Lee Rogers

Top players: Sherice Proctor, 5-5, Sr., G; Megan Rollins, 5-6, Jr., G; Shaunte Edmonds, 6-2, Jr., C; Bre Kitchen, 5-8, Jr., F; Lindsey Schiesz, 5-10, Jr., F; Kelly MacDonald, 5-10 Sr., F.

Outlook: A solid returning nucleus to go with an injection of talented newcomers could send the Wildcats back to the state playoffs. After capturing the Class 4A state title two years ago, the Wildcats were sent home early with a 56-41 loss to county rival Annapolis in last year's region semifinal. Rogers has four starters back -- led by Proctor, a three-year starter at point -- and five freshmen who should make an immediate impact. "We'll press and run. The kids are still learning where they belong out on the court in certain situations," Rogers said. With all the youth, Rogers is counting on Proctor, a first-team All-County selection who averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals, to become more of a leader. Rollins, a second-team All-County performer, is the other half of one of the county's finest backcourts, and Rogers said Edmonds is much improved in the middle.

Broadneck Bruins

1996-97 record: 13-9

Coach: Bruce Springer

Top players: Corinne Shuck, 5-7. Sr., G; Kelly Wardell, 5-7, Sr., F; Lauren Peck, 5-9, Jr., G; Jill Toomey, 5-9, Jr., C.

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