1997-98 All-Baltimore City/County boys basketball

March 17, 1998|By DEREK TONEY AND KEVIN ECK

Player of the Year

Jamal Brown, Dunbar, Jr., C: Poets coach Lynn Badham said Brown is most easy-going person he has ever met. On the court, he was all-business as a consistent force in the middle for the No. 1 Poets. The 6-foot-6 junior center averaged 20.1 points, 14.0 rebounds and 5.3 blocks for Dunbar, which went wire-to-wire at No. 1 this season and won the state 2A championship -- the east Baltimore school's fifth title in six seasons. Quick and athletic, Brown, a second-team All-City/County pick last season, dominated in the post with tenacity and his powerful dunks. Brown helped put the Poets (ranked No. 18) among the Top 25 in nation, totaling 56 points in victories over then-nationally No. 3 ranked Dominiguez (Calif.) and No. 5 St. Edward's (Ohio) and a loss to St. Patrick's (N.J.) -- currently rated No. 9 by USA Today -- in the finals of the Slam Dunk at the Beach National Tournament. After the season-ending suspension of point guard Tim Lyles in February, Brown faced increased defensive pressure from opponents, but it didn't matter. He scored 19 points against Douglass in a 78-74 loss in the city title game, the only Dunbar defeat suffered against an area team this season. In two games at Cole Field House last weekend, Brown totaled 26 points, 26 rebounds and nine blocks. Though he's a junior, Brown, who turns 19 before the beginning of the next school year, will be ineligible to play for Dunbar. He plans to enroll at Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C., considered one of the country's top programs, along with Lyles.

Co-Coach of the Year

Woody Williams, Mervo: After a loss to Central of Prince George's County in December, Williams was talking about his team and their chances in the tough Baltimore City League. "We're a bunch of blue-collar workers in a league of Armani suits," he said comparing his team to longtime powers Dunbar, Southern-B and Lake Clifton. The work ethic was something Williams preached all season and the Mustangs responded with one of their best seasons, finishing No. 2 in the area behind Dunbar after beginning the season ranked 18th. Mervo won the 4A North region championship, but lost to Oxon Hill of Prince George's County, 73-70, in the state semifinals last weekend at the University of Maryland. After finishing third in the city's East Division during the regular-season behind No. 1 Dunbar and Southern-B, the Mustangs knocked off Lake Clifton, Southern and Patterson to win the region, perhaps the toughest in the state. In 19 seasons as a coach, Williams has a career record of 317-124, 39-31 in three seasons at Mervo.

Co-Coach of the Year

Mike Daniel, Towson Catholic: On the cover of the program for the Catholic League Tournament was a drawing of the league coaches climbing a mountain with the championship trophy at the top. After dropping five of their last six regular-season games, the Owls were slipping fast, but Daniel and his team turned it around to win its first tournament title since 1993. They ,, followed that with a defeat of three-time champion St. Frances -- a team it lost to twice during the regular-season -- in a playoff game at the Towson Center to become the Catholic League representative for the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in Cumberland beginning Thursday. Depending on a three-guard lineup, Daniel patiently incorporated a variety of half-court sets that permitted outside shooting opportunities or quick feeds in the paint. In 12 seasons at Towson Catholic, Daniel has won four Catholic League Tournament championships.

The first team

Emil Curry, Southern-B, Sr., F: The senior leader for the Bulldogs, his play was a big reason Southern was among the top five in the area this season. Curry, a 6-2 guard/forward, averaged 18.4 points, 15.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists for the Bulldogs, who lost to Mervo in the 4A North regional semifinals. He has a knack of being around the ball and is a tough scorer despite his size. Curry scored in double figures in 20 of Southern's 23 games, including a season-high 28 against Carver. He will most likely attend a junior college next fall.

Shawn Hampton, St. Frances, Sr., C: Playing in the shadows of two-time All-Metro player of the year Mark Karcher (Temple), Hampton emerged as the area's top college prospect this season. The 6-8 senior center averaged 20.5 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, earning Catholic League Player of the Year honors and leading the Panthers to their fourth consecutive regular-season league championship. One of the area's best defensive players, Hampton's offensive game continues to improve as he sees time at the forward spot, where he will play at the college level. A repeat first-team All-City/County pick and a first-team All-Metro pick last season, Hampton, a finalist for the Gatorade State Player of the Year award, scored in double figures in all 24 St. Frances games. Florida State, Virginia Commonwealth, Rutgers, West Virginia and St. John's are recruiting Hampton.

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