1997-98 All-Howard County girls basketball teams

March 17, 1998|By RICK BELZ AND STAN RAPPAPORT

Co-coach of the Year

Scott Robinson, Mount Hebron: In his second year coaching girls, Robinson directed the senior-less Vikings to a 9-9 county record, five wins better than a year ago. They beat every team except Wilde Lake and Centennial. Robinson had less talent to work with than many other schools, but worked tirelessly to get the most out of his players. "We asked them to play as hard as they could and each member of the team gave unselfishly toward that goal," said Robinson. "Instead of a group of individuals we had a cohesive group. They were reliable and very coachable." Robinson said assistant coach Scott Ruehl and junior varsity coach Chris Robinson, whose team won the county title, made significant contributions. "We all have the same basketball philosophy and work well together," Robinson said. The Vikings were not a strong shooting team, but Robinson got them to work hard defensively, which made them competitive. Robinson, a media specialist at the school, coached Mount Hebron's boys teams from 1991-1995 (59-33 overall), and was an assistant coach at Johns Hopkins University in the 1995-96 season.

Co-coach of the Year

Kelly Storr, Wilde Lake: She directed the Wildecats to an 18-0 county record -- the first time that's happened since Hammond did it in the 1993-94 season -- and their third trip in four years to the state tournament. Storr earned this award in 1995 when her )) team won the Class 1A state title. The Wildecats were upset in last year's Class 2A state semifinals, and last week gave eventual Class 3A state champion Wheaton its toughest playoff test before losing in the semifinals. "It's been a great season," said Storr, whose record over seven seasons is 108-57. The Wildecats, who have won three straight county titles, were expected to do well this season, and Storr did a good job keeping her team focused. She said going undefeated in the county wasn't a goal at the start of the season. "We just wanted to do very well," said Storr, whose team finished 23-3 overall. "It was one game at a time, and it just happened it added up and that was nice." A key to this season's success, Storr said, was the team's depth. "Everybody had to count on one another and you never knew who was going to have the big game each night," said Storr, who teaches science at Harper's Choice Middle School. "They had confidence in each other and that made a big difference. If someone was having an off night or was in foul trouble, we always had someone that could step in." The Wildecats will graduate six seniors, three of them All-County players.

Co-players of the year

Lashon and Toni White, Wilde Lake, seniors: How can you pick one without the other? The identical twins made Wilde Lake the success it was with their athletic ability, non-stop hustle and love for the game. Toni, a point guard who went over 1,000 points for her career this season, led the team in points (12.8 average), assists (6.3) and steals (5.3). Lashon, who played both guard and small forward, averaged 10.3 points (second on team), 4.4 assists (second best), 5.1 steals (second best) and nine rebounds (third best). Toni also had 25 three-point baskets. The twins, who signed early letters of intent to attend Marist College, always seemed to know where the other one was on the court. "That was one of the most fun things to watch. How they knew where the other one was," Storr said. "If one of them saved the ball from going out of bounds, the other one was right there to get it." Storr credited the twins with being "great leaders" for the team and "great role models" for the younger players. The four-year varsity players have been instrumental in the success Wilde Lake has enjoyed. They helped the Wildecats win the Class 1A state title as freshmen, and led them to state tournament appearances the past two seasons.

The first team

Caitlin Bair, River Hill, Sr., F: No one plays the game harder than Bair. "Her determination, no matter if we're 10 points ahead or 10 points down, is the same the entire game," said River Hill coach Karen Saunderson. "She gives you everything she has -- physically and emotionally. She's committed to doing the best she can." Bair led the Hawks in a number of statistical categories, averaging 14.3 points, 12 rebounds, seven steals and three assists. She shot 39 percent from beyond the three-point arc, two points higher than her field-goal percentage. Bair, an All-County and All-Metro soccer player who helped lead River Hill to a share of the Class 2A-3A state title, will attend Yale in the fall and play basketball.

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