1997-98 All-Carroll County boys and girls basketball

March 17, 1998|By JOHN W. STEWART

Boys Player of Year

John Ely, South Carroll, Sr., G: The key player for the Cavaliers, he was the second leading scorer in the county (19.7 average), producing three of the top four individual efforts in the process (all in the 30s), despite drawing special attention from opposing coaches. He worked against a variety of defenses -- including double-teams -- and the team was at its best when he was able to complement his scoring with good ball-handling and distribution and got some scoring help. He averaged 2.3 steals and was third in the county in three-point percentage, making a third of his 153 attempts. He had percentages of 46 for field goals (led county with 167 made) and 73 for foul shooting. A two-time All-County selection, he was the leading vote-getter for the All-Central Maryland Conference team. He combines his athletic talent with academic excellence, with a 3.98 average and a SAT score of 1290. "The main thing for me was to get the others involved," he said.

Boys Coach of Year

Jeff Cook, Francis Scott Key: The ninth-year coach could be excused if he thought, "Finally," after his Eagles gave him his first winning season at 13-9. A long way from Cook's first year of 1-21, this team was in control for much of the season, winning its first seven, then fashioning a pair of three-game winning streaks around a loss. The winning season was assured in early February, and the team stretched its record to 13-4, before running into paybacks from three Monocacy Valley Athletic League teams it had beaten earlier. Key capped its slide with the season's third loss to North Hagerstown in the regional quarterfinals. The winning season was not unexpected, as the Eagles had nine seniors, including 1997 All-County first-teamer Kevin DeCarlo, who, with Josh Hollman, gave the team an inside-outside scoring punch.

The boys first team

Desmond Esteves, Westminster, senior, guard: This third-year starter was the catalyst for what was a streaky Owls team -- they won seven in a row in December, four straight in January, and rode a closing three-game string to the county championship (6-0). The point guard used his quickness and agility not only on defense but to work inside as well as get free for long-range shots. He averaged 12.1 points, and led the county in assists (5.8) and steals (3.6). He shot 38 percent from outside the arc while making 34 of his attempts. Only Carroll Christian's John Brunson and Roger Davenport made more free throws than his 68, and he had a percentage of 69. Backed by its late success, Westminster was the surprise of the Class 4A East regional, beating Old Mill and Glen Burnie to reach the final, before losing to visiting Annapolis in overtime.

Josh Hollman, Francis Scott Key, Sr., G: The key ingredient to the Eagles' winning record, he averaged 13.3 points while making 44 percent of his field goal attempts. There were 38 three-pointers (36 percent), and he added 2.6 assists and 2.4 steals. "He was definitely our floor leader," coach Jeff Cook declared, "whether it was games or practices. He attacked every practice the way he did a game, and worked overtime on the things that would make him better. Tough defense and strong passing, in addition to his scoring, made him a good all-around player." Key went out in the first round of the regionals.

Aaron Krug, Westminster, Sr. G: The county's No. 4 scorer (15.3) was second in three-point work with 56 made for 43 percent. He had a high game of 26 points against Glenelg in a Christmas tournament win. With Esteves and Sean Davis, completed a senior threesome that could dominate a game from the outside (combined to make 39 percent of shots outside the arc), play intense defense, and hit from the foul line (combined to make 74 percent). They were the Owls' top three scorers in 18 of 25 games. Krug joins Esteves as a two-time first team All-County and All-Central Maryland Conference selection.

Robbie Vaughn, North Carroll, Sr., G: The county's third-leading scorer (16.1), with a high of 27 in a loss at Thomas Johnson, was the Panthers' top scorer in all but six games of a 7-16 season. A strong all-around player, he backed his scoring with 2.7 assists, and contributed 5.4 rebounds. He led the county in three-pointers with 65 (of 174 for 37 percent). Overall, he had percentages of 41 from the field and 68 from the foul line.

Girls Player of Year

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