1997-98 All Anne-Arundel girls basketball


Coach of the Year

Linda Kilpatrick, Southern: A second straight trip to the state tournament didn't seem likely for the Bulldogs, who lost three regulars from last year's team -- including standout guard Lindsay Lowman. But Kilpatrick was able to put all the pieces in place, getting contributions from everyone on her roster to get the team to the final four for the 11th time in her 21 years. She has won five state titles, the last coming in 1985. "We lost three very significant team leaders from last year's team, including our leading scorer, Lindsay Lowman. I really didn't see myself having one person to make up [Lowman's] 14-point average, so we had a lot of different players step up and contribute," said Kilpatrick, whose Bulldogs lost to state runner-up Middletown in Friday's Class 2A semifinals. With senior center Tameka Graves (14 points, 14 rebounds per game) doing solid free-lance work down low, senior guard Tiffany Neal (six steals per game) providing pressure up top and junior forward Alicia Groveston doing a little bit of everything, the Bulldogs found a foundation with plenty of help around them. "You have to have the right chemistry at the end of the year and it's tough to get sometimes," said Kilpatrick. "Everybody has to accept her role, not worrying about coming off the bench or playing one minute or two. We were successful because each player contributed what they could." The Bulldogs finished the season 15-11, including a 61-57 win over Class 4A state runner-up Arundel in December. Kilpatrick gets regular reminders of the strong tradition she has developed with every visit to the final four. "In the state tournament, it's not just the winning. On Friday, I looked up in the stands at UMBC and saw a player from my first state title team in 1979 sitting there," said Kilpatrick.

Player of the Year

Sherice Proctor, Arundel, Sr., G: Unfortunately coming in a losing cause, Proctor's second-half performance in Arundel's 66-61 setback to Suitland in Saturday's Class 4A state final at UMBC properly summed up a brilliant four-year career for the Wildcats guard. She was relentless in her effort to get the No. 5-ranked Wildcats back in the game, hitting three-pointers, getting to the free-throw line and showing the poise of a true leader. Proctor scored 24 of her game-high 30 points in the last 16 minutes with the Wildcats cutting a 13-point deficit to 56-54 on her layup with 2: 36 left. But it was Suitland with the final say, despite a three-point play from Proctor in the final minute. Proctor has all the tools of a complete player -- quickness, a good understanding of the game and the ability to score from the outside or drive the lane. In her four years of varsity, Proctor played a major role in turning the Arundel program into a state power. "Watching her grow from her freshman season to her senior season and how her numbers increased was impressive," said Arundel coach Lee Rogers. "Her facial expressions don't show how hard she plays. On Saturday, it was evident how much the girls look to her. She was the leader." She played in three state final games, starting on the Wildcats only championship team as a sophomore in 1996. This season, she became the first Wildcat to score over 500 points in a season (547) and became the school's all-time leading scorer for a career with 1,255 points. Still considering a number of college options but leaning toward Drexel University, Proctor finished her senior season averaging 19.6 points, 3.4 assists, 3 rebounds a game with 109 steals. "Wherever she goes, she'll be a major contributor to a program," said Rogers.

The first team

Jen Butterwei, Spalding, Sr., C: The Cavaliers went from 6-20 last season to 17-14 this year competing in the tough Catholic League. A big reason why was the inside presence of Butterwei, who finished the season averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds a game. A first-team All-Catholic League performer, Butterwei was effective with her back to the basket and also developed a better outside game, hitting 54 percent of her shots from the field and 75 percent from the line. "She provided points when we needed it or a big rebound, but her leadership was the biggest thing. Her numbers increased this season, but her leadership did even more," said Spalding coach Deb Taylor. Most of her best efforts came against the finest in the Catholic League, including a 16-point, 11-rebound, four-block effort in an upset win over John Carroll.

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