All-anne Arundel Basketball

High Schools

March 21, 2004|By Pat O'Malley

BOYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Rudy Gay

Archbishop Spalding, senior

Gay's two-year career at Spalding was capped by a dream season in which the 6-foot-9 forward signed with Connecticut and was named a McDonald's All-American and the Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year.

After an All-Metro season as a junior at Spalding, Gay soared from being a top-100 player to the top 10 during the summer. He averaged 21.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.9 blocks this season, and delivered a bevy of plays for the highlight reel. Whether it was a windmill jam, a reverse or tomahawk dunk, a glide through the lane to the hoop, a monster block or a three-pointer from long distance, Gay often brought the fans to their feet.

His high flying act led the No. 2 Cavaliers to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship and a runner-up finish in the BCL.

Gay, who joins Villanova's Derrick Snowden (1999-2000) as the only Cavaliers named county Player of the Year, scored 1,181 points in two seasons (before this weekend's three games at the Alhambra tournament).

Snowden holds the Spalding record with 1,404 points. Including his first two years at Eastern Tech in Baltimore County, Gay has 1,588 career points. Gay shot 51.8 percent from the field, including 33.1 percent on three-pointers (54-for-163) and 72.5 on free throws (79-for-109).

BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR

John Williams

Broadneck

In his first season as a head coach, Williams led the Bruins back to the winning ways that he was part of as a player under coach Ken Kazmarek. The Bruins went 14-9 under Williams for their first winning season since 1998-99, when they were 16-9 under Kazmarek.

Kazmarek, the school's athletic director, stepped down after going 9-12 last season, but did not leave the cupboard bare and turned the reins over to his assistant and former All- County guard.

Williams faced a challenge at the start of the season due to the success of the school's football team. Basketball practice started Nov. 15, but eight of his players, including leading scorer Andrew Holland, were still playing football on Dec. 9. Williams called up a couple junior varsity players and blended them in with what was left of the varsity and opened with a 68-59 upset win at then-No. 10 Annapolis.

Upon the return of the eight players, the Bruins struggled a bit, but Williams then guided the Bruins to a 12-5 record before losing the last three games before the playoffs. Williams again got his team back on track to win two games and advance to the 4A East region semifinals, where they lost at Thomas Stone.

BOYS FIRST TEAM

Branden Albert

Glen Burnie, senior

Agile despite his 6-foot-7, 320-pound frame, Albert gave the No. 8 Gophers (23-4) an intimidating presence in the paint on both ends. Albert averaged 15.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and nearly three blocks a game. His size and athleticism frequently forced opponents to alter shots. Albert was outstanding in a 58-56 loss to Northwestern of Prince George's County in the Class 4A state semifinals with a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds. An All-Metro tackle who has a football scholarship to Virginia, Albert's single-game high was 30 points in a 75-71 win over Old Mill.

Jesse Brooks

Archbishop Spalding, senior

Brooks finishes his three-year career as the Cavaliers' floor leader this weekend in the Alhambra tournament. The 5-foot-10 point guard is second in school history for career assists with 534 (5.3 per game). Brooks, an outstanding ballhandler and passer with a knack for breaking down defenses, averaged 6.9 points, 6.1 assists and only 1.7 turnovers.

Mitch Guest

Glen Burnie, senior

The flashy, three-year standout finishes as the Gophers' all-time leading scorer with 1,351 points. A repeat All-County guard, Guest, 5 feet 8, led Anne Arundel County in scoring with an average of 21 points per game. Guest, who can drive the lane and finish or fire it up from the perimeter, was the catalyst of the Gophers' two straight 4A East region titles. He shot 51 percent from the field, including 39 percent from three-point range, and made 75 percent of his free throws. Guest also averaged 4.6 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 3.5 steals.

Corey Henderson

Arundel, junior

Considered to be the county's top 11th grader, the 6-foot-3 swingman averaged 19 points for the Wildcats (13-10). Henderson's soft touch from the outside and his athleticism and ability to drive the lane enabled him to shoot 51 percent from the field and 75 percent from the line. Strong under the basket, Henderson pulled down nine rebounds per game. Despite defenses designed to contain him, Henderson recorded 14 double doubles (points and rebounds).

Jim Ledsome

Severna Park, senior

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