1997-98 All-Metro girls basketball teams

March 21, 1998|By Kevin Eck

Player of the Year

Vicki Brick, McDonogh, Jr., G: Splitting her time between basketball and tennis during her freshman and sophomore years, some wondered just how good Brick could be if she concentrated on basketball. This season, that question was answered. Brick announced at the end of her sophomore season that she was devoting all of her time to tennis, but she changed her mind and returned to basketball, determined to maximize her potential. The result: the 5-foot-6 point guard elevated her already spectacular game to an even higher level and she took her team with her. Brick, a three-time All-Metro first-team selection, led the Eagles to a 24-1 record (including 18 straight wins to end the season), their third consecutive Association of Independent Schools A Division championship and their first No. 1 ranking. McDonogh went 8-0 against ranked teams, winning by an average margin of nearly 20 points. Brick, named Miss Maryland Basketball for underclassmen by the Maryland Women's Basketball Coaches Association, led McDonogh in scoring (20.4), assists (3.8), steals (5.1) and also grabbed 4.3 rebounds per game. With a swift first step, she scored most of her points by driving past defenders for layups, but she also was capable of shooting from outside and playing aggressive defense. "She's also very coachable," McDonogh coach Katie Keating said. "She worked very hard during the off-season and is an incredibly hard worker in practice. She even stayed after every practice to work on her game for another hour and a half. She wants every challenge that there is."

Coach of the Year

Scott Buckley, Roland Park: When Buckley arrived at the school before the start of the 1996-97 season, the Reds were coming off an 11-8 campaign against mediocre competition. In just two years, Buckley has transformed Roland Park into the area's second-ranked team. The Reds made great strides last season, finishing 21-3 with a No. 20 ranking, but they did not beat a ranked team. This season, Roland Park played a significantly stronger schedule -- including tough competition from outside the area -- and the Reds responded by going 22-4, with their only two area losses coming to top-ranked McDonogh. Among the Reds' conquests were victories over Bladensburg's Elizabeth Seton (then the state's top-ranked team), Catholic League regular-season champion and then-No. 1 St. Mary's, and Catholic League tournament champion Seton Keough. "It's the same kids really. We're just trying to prove we can play with the area's best teams," said Buckley, a 10-year Amateur Athletic Union coach who took the Maryland Tornadoes to the nationals last summer. The cornerstone of Roland Park's success is defense, something Buckley has stressed since his arrival. When playing the Reds, opponents are in store for 32 minutes of full-court, in-your-face, man-to-man defense. "Our intensity level was tremendous," he said. "We battled for every loose ball on the floor in every game." That all-out hustle and scrappy play helped put Roland Park on the basketball map. "A lot of people might not have heard of us, but the basketball people know who we are," he said. "I thought coming into this season we could end up with seven or eight losses. It turns out we played much better than that."

The first team

Angie Creek, Meade, Jr., G: One of the area's flashier players, Creek, 5-8, provided instant offense for the eighth-ranked Mustangs. With explosive quickness and nifty ball-handling ability, she was able to drive past defenders to set up easy layups, short jumpers or open teammates. Creek, a second-team pick last season, averaged 17.7 points and 6.3 assists a game. Her game wasn't one-dimensional, either; she averaged 4.3 steals. Among her highlights against upper-echelon competition were a 30-point effort in a win over Annapolis and a 29-point performance in a loss to Elizabeth Seton.

Jackie Edwards, Annapolis, Sr., C: She followed an outstanding junior season with another stellar campaign for the 13th-ranked Panthers. Perhaps no player was asked to do as much for her team as the 6-2 Edwards. On a team without strong guards, Edwards brought the ball up against the press and constantly fought through double- and triple-teams. She still managed to average 17.5 points and 15.0 rebounds a game. Edwards, also a first-team selection last season, finished her career with 1,424 points and 1,378 rebounds. She has a scholarship to play at Virginia Commonwealth.

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