Coach of the Year
In his first season as head coach, Lee guided the storied East Baltimore school to its seventh state championship in nine years, restoring the briefly lost status of the area's top program. Under the coaching and leadership of Lee, a member of the 1985 Dunbar mythical national championship team, the Poets staved off adversity and steadily climbed from No. 15 in The Sun's Top 20 to finish No. 1.
Several expected returnees transferred to other schools in the off-season, which was unprecedented for Dunbar, and coach Lynn Badham resigned just days before the start of practice. Lee was elevated from assistant to head coach of a Poets team that received its lowest preseason ranking, No. 15. Dunbar had finished 18-6 and ranked No. 9 the season before, and Southern, Lake Clifton and Walbrook all appeared to be stronger going into this season. Lee and his Poets would knock off all three of those Top 10 teams, including Southern twice on the Bulldogs' home court, the second a 79-73 win for the city championship. Top 10 team Aberdeen also fell to the Poets, 70-66.
Dunbar beat six ranked teams in all, with its only loss to Harrisburg, Pa., 82-72, in a holiday tournament. Dunbar went on from there to finish the season with 20 consecutive wins, including five in postseason play, capped by a 45-43 victory over Wicomico in the state Class 2A final at Cole Field House.
Player of the year
A smooth and graceful 6-foot-7 junior swingman, Anthony, who could go from the point to the post, left an indelible impression. Anthony, 16, is a multitalented yet unselfish player who has a lot of fun playing the game.
"Carmelo is a great kid and a great player," said his coach, Mike Daniel. "He's a team player who loves to get the other players involved. He does whatever it takes and is not worried about personal glory." Gonzaga (D.C.) coach Dick Myers called Anthony "a great talent."
Compliments like Myers' were heard often throughout the season as Anthony, the Baltimore City/County Player of the Year, led the Owls (28-9) to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title, runner-up in the Baltimore Catholic League tournament and two out of three wins over BCL champion St. Maria Goretti of Hagerstown.
Anthony, a three-year starter for the Owls, grew nearly 5 inches over the summer. His quickness, leaping ability, soft hands and scoring from the inside or perimeter made him a five-position player. Scouts and coaches from a host of Division I programs, including Maryland, North Carolina and Syracuse, watched him play this season. Anthony averaged 23.0 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Despite routine box-and-one schemes to stop him, Anthony consistently scored in double digits. When opponents zeroed in on him, he would concentrate on the intangibles that win games.
One of his top games came early in the season, and another at the end. In the Towson Tip-Off Classic, Anthony had a season-high 37 points, 17 rebounds, nine assists and six blocks in a 64-62 victory over National Christian. And there was Anthony's frantic finish in the BCL final at Goucher as Goretti hung on for a 59-53 victory. With his team down 47-37 with a little more than five minutes to play, Anthony scored the Owls' final 16 points, including four NBA three-pointers, to finish with game-high totals of 28 points and 12 rebounds.
Cook, a 6-foot senior guard, was the floor leader of coach Herman Harried's No. 2-ranked Lakers (20-5), who were a Class 4A state semifinalist. Considered one of the area's top pure shooters, Cook averaged 18.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Lakers. In Lake Clifton's 64-50 loss to Prince George's Eleanor Roosevelt in the 4A semifinals at Cole Field House, Cook scored nine points and had five rebounds from his backcourt position. During the season, Cook shot 44 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the free-throw line. In an 82-79 victory in overtime over Southern in the 4A North region semis, Cook was 10-for-11 at the line to finish with 23 points. In a 63-61 regular-season victory at Southern, he made the winning shot in overtime.
A second-team All-Metro choice as a junior, Haskins this season led No. 5-ranked Walbrook to a 20-6 season and the 4A North region final, where the Warriors lost to Lake Clifton. Haskins, a 6-foot-3 guard, went from 20.5 points a game as an All-City/County junior to 21.3 points a game this season. A sharpshooter from the outside with excellent three-point range, Haskins was a slasher inside with sharp, instinctive moves that enabled him to score from all angles. He also had 6.9 assists a game for coach Kelvin Bridgers' team. Haskins scored a season-high 32 points against Perry Hall in a 4A North region playoff and 30 in a 69-67 loss to host Aberdeen in its holiday tournament final.