Girls basketball: Coach of the Year

(Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth…)
March 23, 2011|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

Wardell Selby


After taking the Poets to the state semifinals last season, Selby had a lot of veteran talent both inside and outside, but the team chemistry was lacking. Once that developed and they hit the strength of their schedule, the Poets upset Poly and cracked the Top15 in February.

"We used to throw the ball in to Michelle [Wright] and Oma-ah [Tayong], and they wouldn't throw it back out. We called it the black hole," Selby said. "We talked about trusting each other, having each others' backs. Michelle is going to get most of the accolades, but we know the heart of the team is the guards."

In the playoffs, the No. 4 Poets avenged an early loss to Surrattsville, upset defending champion Joppatowne, then ranked No. 3, in the state semifinals and cruised by talented Northern-Garrett in the Class 1A final for their fifth state crown and their first in eight years.

While the inside game powered the Poets to the title, guards Candace DeShields, Shy'lia Buie, Sierra Johnson and Brianna Lawson, who could pass or hit from outside, made it work.

In 14 seasons at Dunbar, Selby is 262-86 and has five state titles — something only five other girls programs have achieved. He was also Coach of the Year in 1999.

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