2001 All-Anne Arundel baskteball teams/ High schools

March 15, 2001

Player of the Year

Najmah Fauntleroy, Arundel: The outstanding performance put forth by the senior forward shouldn't have been a surprise. Tabbed by Street & Smith's as an honorable-mention preseason All-American, Fauntleroy averaged a double double in points (15.0) and rebounds (14.1) a game. Not terribly imposing at 6 feet, Fauntleroy was a ferocious defender who averaged 3.2 steals a game and frequently grabbed a defensive board to kick-start the Wildcats' fast break. With 1,180 rebounds in a four-year career, she smashed the old school record of 903 career rebounds set by Chavonne Hammond. Her 1,249 career points is third-best in school history. Fauntleroy, a three-time All-County selection who will play at Delaware State next season, grabbed a season-high 25 rebounds in a regular-season victory over South River and 24 rebounds in a Class 4A East Regional Championship win against Broadneck.

Coach of the Year

Sally Entsminger, North County: It wouldn't be a stretch for Entsminger, the county's third girls basketball coach with more than 300 career wins, to become accustomed to success. But the 12-year coach was ecstatic as she watched a senior-laden Knights squad secure its first winning season in four years. By simplifying the offense and stressing a solid man-to-man defense, Entsminger & Co. reversed an 11-12 mark last season to a 17-6 record this year, including a narrow two-point loss to Arundel, which needed a buzzer-beating jumper from Jill Marano to pull away. Entsminger, who spreads the credit to her assistant coaches, Diane Casey and Kathy Nelson, said although she was disappointed by the Knights' loss in the regional quarterfinals, she had no bitter feelings. "When you finish 17-6, how can you complain?" she asked.

The first team

Nicole Dailey, Meade: Selected by Street & Smith's as an honorable-mention preseason All-American, Dailey didn't disappoint. The three-time All-County senior forward averaged 18.9 points and 12.1 rebounds a game for the Mustangs (15-10). A relentless defender, Dailey recorded 93 blocks, which broke her old single-season mark of 67. Dailey will play for Mount St. Mary's next winter.

Essence Greer, Glen Burnie: It's hard to believe that this forward is only a junior. Greer has already broken the 1,000-point ceiling with 1,009 career points. She averaged 16.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in an injury-shortened 20 games. A tenacious defender assigned to shadow an opposing team's best player, Greer is a two-time All-County pick for the Gophers (11-13).

Jill Marano, Arundel: Another record fell at the hands of this senior guard. Marano, who joins the All-County team for the third consecutive season, averaged 15.9 points (her 1,291 career points place her second on the school's leaders list behind Sherice Proctor, who finished with 1,331) and 3.4 steals a game, but made her mark as the school's all-time leader in assists with 480. A strong-willed player, Marano was as dangerous spotting up behind the three-point arc as she was spearheading a full-court trap. She will play for LaSalle next season.

Lindsey Roche, South River: The senior guard was the heart and soul of a Seahawks squad that finished 17-8 and challenged Arundel for the county crown. A second-team All-County choice last year, Roche averaged 17 points and 3.4 steals a game. She will graduate as the school's career leader in points with more than 1,200. Fearless in the lane, Roche's trademark move was a drive and duck-under to the basket.

LaToya Strong, Archbishop Spalding: No player personified the Cavaliers' balance better than this junior point guard. While leading her team to a 17-11 campaign and a berth in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland Conference semifinals, Strong averaged eight points and three assists a game. Her signature, however, was her suffocating defense, which she applied to limit McDonogh's Katie Nelson (15 points a game) to nine in one meeting and St. Frances' LaTonya Blue to two points through three quarters in another.

Stephanie Watts, North County: This senior forward couldn't get enough basketball in her diet. Watts, who frequently skipped her lunch period to practice in the gym, averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds a game for the Knights. Her delicate shooting touch was balanced by her nose for following her shot and grabbing the loose ball. A ferocious competitor who didn't know when to quit, Watts was a starter for three seasons.

The girls teams

Player of the Year: Najmah Fauntleroy, Arundel Coach of the Year: Sally Entsminger, North County

First team

Name....................................School............... Class.................... Position

Nicole Dailey..................... Meade................Senior............. ....... Forward

Najmah Fauntleroy...........Arundel............. Senior................... Forward

Essence Greer.................Glen Burnie........ Junior....................Forward

Jill Marano........................ Arundel.............. Senior...................Guard

Lindsey Roche...............South River......... Senior.................. Guard

LaToya Strong............ Arch. Spalding ..... Junior................... Guard

Stephanie Watts............ North County....... Senior............... Forward

Second team

Kyle Bestul.................... Arch. Spalding.......Junior...............Forward

Nikki Curtis....................... Broadneck......... Senior............. Forward

Diana Davidson.............. Broadneck.......... Senior ..............Guard

Courtney Gogolinski ..... Chesapeake ......Sophomore........Guard

Catherine Gonzalez........... Arundel..............Senior................ Guard

Rachel Hack.....................Broadneck........... Senior............... Center

Tracy Pucci......................... Arundel..............Senior............ Forward

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