Girls Basketball

March 25, 2002

COACH OF THE YEAR

Pam Wright

Milford Mill

With the Millers trailing by 14 points going into the fourth quarter of the regional quarterfinal at Fallston, Pam Wright thought she would be out playing tennis the next day.

Instead, she ended up guiding the Millers all the way to the state final for a fifth straight time.

Her pep talk about Miller pride and the program's recent history fired up her young team enough to overtake Fallston, 66-62 in overtime. The No. 20 Millers (21-5) went on to beat Westlake in the state Class 3A semifinal before falling to Gwynn Park in the final.

In nine years with the Millers, Wright (181-36) has built one of the most successful girls programs in Baltimore County history.

In addition to the regional titles, the Millers won five straight county crowns between 1996 and 2000. This season fit right into that tradition even though Wright's starting point guard did not return, and she dropped her only senior from the team in January for disciplinary reasons, leaving two juniors, a sophomore and two freshmen to start.

"Because of the start we had and the up-and-down season, to finish like this is very rewarding. To have such a young team and to have this to build on gives all the young ones a taste and it helps the juniors, too. They'll really be hungry next year," said Wright, a Brooklyn Park graduate who played point guard at Morgan State.

FIRST TEAM

Kia Coady

St. Frances, senior

As a senior, Coady assumed leadership responsibility for a young team that held the No. 1 ranking for the first five weeks of the season and finished No. 4 with an 18-6 record. Her leadership helped hold the team together through a midseason stretch in which five teammates were suspended for several games.

The 5-foot-5 guard displayed a multitude of offensive skills. She could nail three-pointers, but she could also penetrate and she always had an eye on her teammates. She averaged 12 points and three assists.

One of her best games came in the IAAM A Conference quarterfinal, a 67-59 win over St. Mary's, in which she scored 24 points and hit five three-pointers.

Throughout her career, Coady proved a consistent scorer, averaging in double figures all four years and amassing 1,126 career points.

Chandrea Jones

Institute of Notre Dame, freshman

The first freshman to make the All-Metro team in six years, Jones didn't take long to prove herself. In her first game, a 73-72 double-overtime loss to Bullis Prep, she scored 31 points.

The 5-foot-9 guard played like a veteran from that day on and quickly emerged as an impact player in the tough IAAM A Conference. Early on, her offense carried the No. 7 Indians (17-11) through several occasions when they were without one or two starters.

Nothing daunted Jones, who demonstrated smooth moves to the basket, long-distance range and a relentless will to win. She had 15 double doubles and scored 520 points, averaging 18.6 points as well as 8.6 rebounds and 3.6 steals.

Even when the Indians were at full strength, Jones stood out. She led them with 19 points in "The Game," the annual showdown with Mercy at the Towson Center.

Toni Kennedy

Dunbar, senior

No shot ever seemed out of Kennedy's range and neither did a couple of Dunbar's career records.

The sharp-shooting senior guard ended her four-year run with 159 three-pointers and 1,570 points -- both Poets records.

Kennedy never lost a game at home as the Poets ran their Orleans Street streak to 48 and she never lost a game in the state tournament as the Poets won three straight titles. With her in the lineup, Dunbar went 94-10.

This season, she accepted a broader role when All-Metro backcourt mate Tiffany Jones was deemed out of eligibility, and she proved up to the challenge.

Kennedy, 5 feet 7, averaged 18 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists while leading the No. 3 Poets (26-1) to the Baltimore City title and the state Class 1A championship, which came on the heels of two straight Class 2A crowns.

Angel McCoughtry

St. Frances, sophomore

One of the quickest inside players in the area, McCoughtry showed great instincts in the post, making slick moves to the hoop and picking off opponents' passes in the paint.

The lithe 6-foot forward showcased the complete package with a triple double -- 15 points, 15 rebounds, 10 steals -- in a 53-42 win over No. 17 McDonogh in late January that avenged an earlier loss.

The job wasn't easy for McCoughtry, who had to carry almost the entire inside load for the Panthers -- a role she had expected to share with 6-foot-2 senior Keila Evans. But when Evans was lost for the season early on with a knee injury that required surgery, the inside chores fell to McCoughtry. The sophomore stepped up to fill the void, contributing 12.6 points and 13 rebounds per game.

Jessica Norris

Severna Park, junior

As Norris went, so did the Falcons. And the Falcons went pretty far -- recovering from a 9-14 season a year ago to finish 19-6 and win the Anne Arundel County title.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.