High School Athletes of the Week

Athletes of the Week

March 15, 2000

Gary Neal

Aberdeen, boys basketball

Neal, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound sophomore, drove and scored over Gywnn Park's 6-9 center Sharrod Ford with 5.5 seconds remaining to bring the Eagles (26-1) their first state title since 1976. Neal, Aberdeen's fourth-leading scorer this season with an 11-point average, had 15 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks against Gwynn Park. Aberdeen coach Rich Hart said he wanted Neal to have the ball in that situation: "He's our best playmaker and his court awareness is exceptional."

Jill Marano

Arundel, girls basketball

The 5-foot-8 junior guard led the Wildcats to their second state championship in four trips to the finals. Marano recorded 21 points, nine assists and five steals in a 73-58 win against Frederick in the Class 4A semifinals. She followed that performance with a 15-point, eight-assist, four-steal outing in a 61-55 victory over Oxon Hill in the title game. Arundel, which finished 25-2, went 22-0 with Marano in the lineup. For her effort, Marano earned Anne Arundel County Player of the Year honors.

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