1999-2000 All-Baltimore City/County basket teams

High School

March 14, 2000

Player of the Year

Mandakova Clark, Milford Mill: The Rutgers-bound Clark polished off a stellar career by breaking a nine-year-old state tournament record for three-pointers in two games. She hit nine -- six in a semifinal victory over Thomas Stone and three in a 41-33 loss to DuVal in the Class 3A final. In the All-Metro guard's two years at Milford, the state crown was the only prize she could not deliver to the No. 8 Millers (21-5) after leading them to a fifth straight Baltimore County championship and a third straight trip to the state final. A gifted athlete with exceptional basketball skills, the 5-8 Clark showed off a wide repertoire of offensive moves. She shot 56 percent from the field, averaging 21 points during the regular season, but she boosted that average to 25 in the regional and state playoffs. Clark, a preseason Street & Smith's honorable mention All-American selected to play in the Phoenix/WBCA High School All-America Game next month, also contributed six rebounds and seven assists per game.

Coach of the Year

Jim "Snuffy" Smith, Bryn Mawr: In two years with the Mawrtians, Smith has taken a team with no year-round basketball players and made it into a squad to reckon with in the tough Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference. Smith, who has coached nationally-ranked men's college basketball teams in Division I, II and III, but had never before coached girls, simply wanted his team to be competitive. The No. 19 Mawrtians responded by finishing 13-12 and losing only one game to an unranked team. They achieved both of their goals -- to beat a ranked team (then-No. 13 Mercy) and be ranked (as high as No. 15 in mid-January). Going against teams with full slates of AAU players, Smith countered with players who accepted their roles and performed consistently. "From a win-loss standpoint, we could have had a few more wins, maybe one or two," said Smith, whose team came within 37-34 of then-No. 1 Seton Keough in January. "I thought by the end of the year, this team had reached it's potential."

First team

Keisha Blackwell, Seton Keough: The junior point guard lived up to her billing as a preseason Street & Smith's honorable mention All-America selection. Her quickness gave the No. 3 Gators many offensive options and bolstered their trademark stingy defense. She could shoot from outside, penetrate or draw the defense and pass to an open teammate. Blackwell, an excellent ball-handler who had twice as many assists as turnovers, averaged 9.9 points and 4.3 assists for the Gators (26-5) in helping them to the IAAM A Conference tournament championship.

LaTonya Blue, St. Frances: Another Street & Smith's preseason honorable mention All-American, Blue enjoyed a breakout season for the Panthers (21-4), who finished at No. 6 but spent five weeks at No. 1. The smooth 5-10 guard emerged as a leader, taking over when she had to but blending easily into the overall team game. Blue had a keen eye for the open players, contributing 6.2 assists as well as 10.5 points and three steals per game. Tough in the big games, she scored 14 points and blocked a last-second three-point attempt in the 56-53 upset of then-No. 1 Seton Keough.

Lillian Drumgold, Western: The 5-9 junior forward led the No. 7 Doves (19-7) to the state Class 4A final four for the third year in a row. In the state semifinal, she scored 17 points, but the Doves fell short against Oxon Hill, 49-46. A fluid player with good moves to the hoop, Drumgold led Western in scoring (15 points) and rebounding (9.2) and also contributed 3.1 assists per game. She scored 14 against Dunbar in an early-season loss and then had 13 in a heartbreaking, 52-51 city-final loss to the Poets.

Denise King, Seton Keough: An All-Metro pick last year, King led the Gators to three straight tournament titles, most recently the first IAAM A Conference crown. The 5-8 guard put up the best numbers on her team this season in scoring (10.4) and rebounding (7.9) and contributed 2.4 assists per game. She scored 15 in the 45-29 IAAM title-game victory over Roland Park. One of the best defensive players around, King led a team that has ranked among the area's top defensive squads for four years, allowing only 35.2 points per game this season. She signed early to play at Rhode Island next year.

Katie Nelson, McDonogh: Surrounded by an entirely new cast after the Eagles graduated four starters from last year's No. 1 team, Nelson shouldered a huge load. The 5-8 junior guard assumed many roles and still led the Eagles in scoring with a 13-point average. She also contributed five rebounds, four assists and 3.5 steals per game. Looking to pass as often as shoot, Nelson remained intense and used her quickness and outside shooting to be a leader on both offense and defense.

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