All-carroll County

Basketball

March 19, 2003|By RICH SCHERR

BOYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Ryan Carr

Westminster, junior

Perhaps there is no harder worker in Carroll County boys basketball than Carr, who led the Owls to the county title by averaging 13 points, three assists and three rebounds. When practice is over, Carr usually travels to the YMCA to work on his game, most often by himself.

Owls coach Brett Kanther says that Carr "gives to the game," understanding that the more hard work and effort he puts into basketball, the more he will get back. It's that philosophy that helped Carr make tremendous strides from his sophomore season. A consummate team player, he often passed up open looks at the basket to dish the ball off to teammates.

He capped off the regular season on a tear, scoring 22 points to lead his team to a big win over North Carroll -- a team the Owls had lost to earlier with Carr out of the lineup -- as well as 19 against Linganore and 24 against South Carroll.

BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR

Brett Kanther

Westminster

Kanther took over the coaching reigns at Westminster this season following several years as JV coach at Baltimore County's Eastern Tech. Despite having to build his staff from scratch, the 30-year-old managed to guide the young Owls to the Carroll County title, beating out the likes of North Carroll and Liberty. They also were the county's highest-finishing team in the tough Central Maryland Conference, going 8-8, and went on to post 11 wins against what might be the county's toughest schedule, which included Calvert Hall and Prospect Hall.

Kanther, who grew up in Bucks County, Pa. and attended Penn State, went into this season with a dual purpose -- try to win now, yet also build for the future. He accomplished both. His team not only met its preseason goals of finishing at least .500 and winning the county, but with a trio of top guards returning, seems primed to take its game to an even higher level next season, possibly becoming one of the elite teams in the expanded Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

BOYS FIRST TEAM

Chris Bassler

Francis Scott Key, senior

Despite playing with a sprained ankle from football that cost him five games and nagged him throughout the season, Bassler still managed to average 14.5 points and 9.2 rebounds, staking out a place as the best big man in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League. An All-Metro tight end in football who will continue his gridiron career at West Virginia, the 6-foot-5 center was a dominant force inside for the Eagles. Few opponents could stop his power moves, and he further improved his game by developing the ability to play with his back to the basket.

Brandon Costley

Westminster, junior

One of the area's top running backs during the fall, Costley continued his success on the hardwood, averaging 10 points, four rebounds and 2.1 assists for the county champion Owls. A strong, physical guard who can post up or drive the lane with equal effectiveness, the guard attacked the rim better than almost anyone in the county. Whenever he had a shot altered or blocked, he never hesitated in taking the ball back up strong in an effort to finish the play. He scored a career-high 23 points in his team's win over South Carroll.

Ryan DeChant

Liberty, senior

He averaged double figures in both points and rebounds in county games, helping the Lions, who had gone 5-41 over the past two seasons, finish 5-2 in Carroll County. He ranked third in the county by hitting 47 percent of his field-goal attempts, including nearly a third of his three-pointers. Liberty coach Steve Johnson calls DeChant, who averaged 10.2 points and 7.1 rebounds, the hardest worker on his team.

Chris Folland

Century, junior

The 6-foot-4 forward emerged as one of the top players in Carroll County this season and the centerpiece of the young Knights. He led the county by averaging 16.9 points, showing a propensity to score inside and outside, in addition to grabbing 7.3 rebounds a game. He hit 45 percent of his shots from the field while drawing constant double teams, and also made more than 69 percent of his free throws.

Danny Kahline

North Carroll, senior

This 6-foot-1 forward was a key reason why North Carroll was able to post 13 wins, leading the team in rebounds (8.8 a game) and field-goal percentage (59 percent), and taking second in scoring (11.3) steals (2.2) and free-throw percentage (63 percent). The high point of his season came in a 61-44 win over eventual county champion Westminster, when he scored 17 on 8-for-13 shooting and pulled down a season-high 17 rebounds.

Kyle Reese

North Carroll, senior

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