Girls Basketball

March 24, 2003|By KATHERINE DUNN


Angel McCoughtry

St. Frances, junior

St. Frances forward Angel McCoughtry(right) averaged 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game. She had two triple doubles this season - points, rebounds and steals - and has three for her career.

Trying to overcome all the aspects of McCoughtry's game proved to be impossible for opponents.

The key component and leader behind the Panthers' wire-to-wire run as the area's No. 1 team, McCoughtry could change a game on either end of the court. With her athleticism, quickness and tenacity, she could dominate the inside, outleap everyone for rebounds and pick off passes in the paint.

McCoughtry, an All-Metro first-team selection last season, led the Panthers (26-2) to their second Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship in three years.

Even on the few occasions when she struggled with her offense, she still pounded the boards and wreaked havoc on defense.

"Angel's game is all about second effort, and you can't coach that. That's what she brings to every game and that's what separates her from other players," said Panthers coach Jerome Shelton.

In the 48-32 championship victory over the No. 4 Institute of Notre Dame, she scored only six points but made up for it with 10 rebounds, four steals and a terrific defensive effort.

"She's just one of those truly gifted athletes who's tough to defend," said Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion. "She does so many things well. If one particular area of her game is not on that day, she goes to another area whether its penetration, offensive boards or defense. She has so many weapons in her game you can't really play to one area of her game."

McCoughtry averaged 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.2 steals to lead the Panthers to a sweep of every A Conference opponent. She had two triple doubles this season - points, rebounds and steals - and has three for her career.


Jerome Shelton

St. Frances

In his 12th season with the Panthers, Shelton put on a clinic on how to keep players happy.

On the deepest bench the Panthers have ever had, Shelton had a lot of reserves who would could have started in other programs. That wealth of talent proved to be a blessing, but it could have created a lot of problems because there simply weren't enough minutes to go around.

However, Shelton folded two top-notch players (Angel McCoughtry and Shadae Swan), a host of role players looking to move up and three high-caliber transfers into a team that held onto the No. 1 ranking through the entire season.

Not only did the Panthers (26-2) win the Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference tournament, but they did not lose to a single conference foe all season.

"Our theme this year was `Excellence Together,' " said Shelton. "We try to get people to focus on sacrificing some points and some minutes for wins and everyone bought into that."

Shelton, the Baltimore City/County Coach of the Year, has guided the Panthers to four league titles - two in the past three years in the IAAM A Conference and two previously in the Catholic League.

"They're all special," said Shelton, whose career record stands at 228-115. "Each team is different. This team was in a horse race from the beginning and we ran the race tough and true the whole year. Everybody stayed together. They wanted to win for each other and that's what separates them in my mind."


Megan Buescher

River Hill, senior

Playing defense and assisting her teammates made up the greater part of the unselfish forward's stellar all-around game.

Buescher, six feet, finished her career as the No. 5 Hawks' all-time leader in steals with 303 and ranks third in rebounds with 439. She also amassed 829 career points, which coach Teresa Waters said easily could have been more, but Buescher never passed up the chance for an assist. She dished out 189 over four years, second on the Hawks' all-time list.

Her team's most valuable defensive player, Buescher was often assigned to guard the opponent's most potent player. She averaged 11.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 3.2 assists.

Also an All-Metro soccer player, Buescher has opted to play that sport this fall at North Carolina State.

Andrea Dodrill

Bryn Mawr, junior

A second-team All-Metro selection last season, Dodrill accomplished perhaps the most difficult combination in area girls basketball - leading the IAAM A Conference in scoring and rebounding.

The 6-foot-1 forward averaged 18.1 points and 12.3 rebounds. She proved tough to match up against, shooting 45 percent from the field despite drawing double and triple teams.

A strong low post player since her freshman year, Dodrill expanded her game to become a more versatile offensive threat. She runs the floor better, attacks the basket by putting the ball on the floor more and can hit from about 15 feet.

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