2001 All-Carroll County basketball teams

High Schools

March 15, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Player of the Year

Marshall Strickland, South Carroll: The kind of transfer that coaches dream about, Strickland left DeMatha and joined the Cavaliers the third game into the season, making an immediate impact. "He stepped in like he'd been here all season," coach Jim Carnes said. "He's a leader with a great work ethic. He's physically strong, a great ballhandler, works hard on defense and learns quickly." Strickland, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior point guard, led the Cavaliers, who expected a rebuilding type of year, to a 20-5 season, a Carroll County championship and second place in the Central Maryland Conference behind Class 3A state finalist Thomas Johnson. Fans quickly became excited by his fancy moves and outstanding all-around play, packing the gym with 1,500 to 2,000 people. He set a school single-game scoring record with 49 points against Liberty, scored 34 against five-time county champion Westminster in the game that decided the county title, scored 46 points in an upset of Thomas Johnson (South Carroll's first win over the Patriots since 1990) and scored 41, including seven three-pointers against Paint Branch in a 79-72 loss in the Class 3A regional semifinals. Listed in nearly every national basketball magazine as one of the top juniors in the country, Strickland averaged 30.5 points, 4.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals. From three-point range he shot 43.5 percent, while shooting 51.8 percent from the floor overall.

Coach of the Year

Bernie Koontz, North Carroll: The Panthers experienced their first winning season since 1988-89 and best record (14-9) since 1985, when they went to the final four at Cole Field House and won 15 games. It was a big improvement over last season's 5-17 record. "We were fortunate to have a good group of seniors back and expected a winning season," Koontz said. Included among the wins were especially satisfying and rare victories over Westminster and South Carroll. Perimeter shooting was the team's strength. Koontz, 33, a physical education teacher at North Carroll Middle School, coached his fourth season for the Panthers, after having coached the girls varsity at Westminster for seven seasons.

The first team

Josh Boone, South Carroll: The 6-6, 200-pound junior center was an extraordinary shot blocker who started his varsity career this season by scoring 34 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking six shots in his first game. He followed that by scoring 21 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking five shots the next game. "He has great hands, great timing, runs the floor well and has gotten physically stronger," said Cavs coach Jim Carnes. Boone had two triple doubles, including one against Paint Branch in the region semifinal. He averaged 13.5 points and 10.2 rebounds a game. He shot 50.5 percent (130-for-257) from the floor and had a school-record 138 blocks.

Jon-David Byers, Westminster: The quintessential shooting guard, this 5-10, 150-pound senior averaged 27.0 points a game, second-highest in school history and second in the county. He shot 48.7 percent (207-425) from the floor and 43.6 percent (90-for-206) from three-point range. At the foul line, he rarely missed, sinking 87.9 percent of his attempts. He also had 92 assists and 66 steals. He set the state record for career three-point baskets with 232. He scored 1,338 career points, second-best in school history. His 44 points against Linganore was second-best in school history. He also scored 43 against Liberty and 39 against Prospect Hall.

Kody Jenkins, Francis Scott Key: The 6-5, 175-pound senior could play inside or outside. He had a great baseline jumper and handled the ball well with either hand. He had a strong move to the basket in leading the Eagles to a third-place (11-7) Monocacy Valley Athletic League finish and the Class 2A West Region finals. Jenkins averaged 16.6 points, fifth-best in the county. "He's a legitimate Division III college basketball candidate, and someone's going to get a find if they get him," Eagles coach Terry Brant said.

Robbie Ruch, Liberty: The 6-3, 200-pound senior forward got frustrated at times but played hard for a team that had a 3-20 season. But the Lions won once in the playoffs over Richard Montgomery. Ruch scored 35 points and had 12 rebounds in a win over Lansdowne early in the season. The three-sport athlete averaged 20.1 points, third-best in the county. He also averaged 10.0 rebounds a game.

Chris Vaughn, North Carroll: The 5-10, 130-pound senior led the county in free-throw shooting at 89.3 percent (92-for-103). He shot 37.5 percent (66-for-176) from three-point range and set the school single-season record for threes with 66, and owns the career record with 116. Vaughn averaged 16.7 points a game, fourth-best in the county. He also averaged 3.4 assists and 1.7 steals. In the Panthers' rare victory over Westminster, he scored 24 points - 19 in the second half. He's hoping to play at Frostburg.

Team selections

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