All-howard County Basketball

High Schools

March 21, 2004|By Edward Lee

GIRLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Timisha Gomez

Long Reach, senior

The 5-foot-8 guard's shoulders have carried the Lightning to unparalleled heights. Since Gomez started attending the Columbia school in 2000-01, Long Reach has compiled a 55-37 record. This winter, the No. 17 Lightning enjoyed program bests in overall record (20-3) and county mark (18-2).

Team success extended to personal success for Gomez, who averaged 16.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 3.1 assists - all team highs. Gomez, a four-year varsity starter who scored 381 points, will graduate in May as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,406 career points.

Gomez's role took on greater importance when Long Reach lost senior forward Whitney Ward to a season-ending knee injury with seven games left. Gomez, a two-time Street & Smith's preseason honorable mention All-American and an All-County choice last winter, will continue her career at St. Joseph's.

GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR

Scott Robinson

Mount Hebron

Graduating three starters, including two-time All-County Player of the Year Kristen Waagbo, who combined for 70 percent of the Vikings' offense last season, should've spelled doom for Mount Hebron. Instead, the Vikings remained a contender in the race for a county title and finished the year with a 15-9 overall record - the program's seventh consecutive winning mark - and a 13-7 county record.

Although Mount Hebron discovered scorers in seniors Stephanie Bissett, Lauren Chell and Sara Marin, the Vikings relied on their trademark defense to surrender a county-best 35.2 points a game and allow just one opponent - River Hill - to surpass 50 points. "Defense was the way we combated a lack of scoring," said Robinson, who started two freshmen guards for much of the season.

GIRLS FIRST TEAM

LaKeisha Eaddy

River Hill, sophomore

Eaddy, a 5-foot-4 shooting guard, was a whirlwind on the court because she could create with her offense or her defense. The ability to drive right or left helped Eaddy average 14 points and 3.2 assists. Her aggressive defense led to 4.8 steals a game. Eaddy, who went from being the seventh-best player last year to a lock as a starter this season, was one of the reasons No. 8 River Hill went 23-2 overall and 19-1 in the county en route to its fourth county title in five years.

Brittany Gordon

River Hill, junior

Few players could change the tone of a game the way Gordon could. The 6-foot-4 center asserted herself as a formidable presence in the post with her offensive and defensive talents. Gordon, who didn't shy away from the physical contact required to grab offensive rebounds, averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks. On the defensive end, Gordon was perhaps more imposing as she registered 3.6 blocks and 2.2 steals a game. Connecticut, Duke and Maryland are some of the more than 70 programs that are interested in Gordon.

Chela Hamilton

Glenelg, senior

As the lone returning starter from a squad that went 18-4 and advanced to the Class 2A West region semifinals last season, Hamilton's experience and leadership helped Glenelg maintain its level of success. The 5-foot-8 guard averaged 14 points and 5.7 rebounds - both of which were team highs. In three Class 2A South region contests, Hamilton scored 46 points and grabbed 20 rebounds. With Hamilton, the No. 14 Gladiators advanced to their fourth regional title game in six years.

Heather Landis

Chapelgate, senior

The 5-foot-4 point guard and three-time All-County pick will leave the Yellow Jackets as the program's all-time leader in points (1,631), assists (587) and steals (376). This season, Landis set a single-game scoring record when she pumped in 39 points in a 67-64 loss to St. John's-Prospect Hall on Jan. 19. She led the county in scoring with 20.1 points a game and converted 77.6 percent of her free throws. Landis, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her final game for Chapelgate (11-10), also averaged 6.1 assists, 5.2 rebounds and four steals a contest. In her four years with the Yellow Jackets, the program won back-to-back Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference titles and three Maryland Christian Schools tournament crowns.

Ashley Thomas

River Hill, senior

Thomas started all 25 games for River Hill despite dislocating her left shoulder three times this season. Never one to complain, the 5-foot-8 forward still drew the hardest defensive tasks, containing Long Reach's Timisha Gomez to eight points in the teams' first meeting and limiting Centennial sophomore forward Brittany Kelley to six points in another contest. Thomas led the team in steals (4.9 a game) and assists (3.3) and averaged 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds. She will continue playing basketball at Radford.

Whitney Ward

Long Reach, senior

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