Player of the Year
Austin Freeman, DeMatha, senior: The year before Austin Freeman was a freshman at DeMatha High, the school’s storied basketball program had the worst season in its history. Freeman came to play for coach Mike Jones anyway. Four years and three consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships later, Freeman finished his prep career as one of the premier players in the nation. The Georgetown University recruit averaged more than 22 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game this season and helped the Stags go 91-9 over the last three years.
Coach of the Year
George Wake, Fairmont Heights: The longest-tenured basketball coach in the county, George Wake has devoted 24 years to Fairmont Heights. This season was unlike any other for Wake as the Hornets reached their first state final since 1981. But what Wake enjoyed most was the chemistry his squad developed. Wake said he has had more talented teams in the past, but that this year’s squad was ‘‘the best team” that he had ever coached. The Hornets had a cohesive unit of players who put their egos aside. Fairmont Heights went 20-6, falling in the Class 2A state title game to Randallstown, 66-63.
Darnell Dodson, Eleanor Roosevelt,senior: After missing the winning shot in last year’s state Class 4A finals, Dodson returned with a vengeance and carried the Raiders back to the state Final Four. The 6-foot-7 University of Pittsburgh-bound forward/guard averaged 29.1 points, 11 rebounds and 2.6 steals for Roosevelt, which lost to Montgomery County’s Magruder in the state semifinals. Dodson, who had 27 points and 11 rebounds in the semifinal loss, became the school’s all-time leading scorer this season.
Maurice Creek, Oxon Hill, junior: Creek posed a difficult challenge for County 4A teams. The 6-4 guard/forward averaged 22.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Clippers, who lost to Flowers in the 4A South Region quarterfinals. Creek had a season-high 40 points against eventual region champ Eleanor Roosevelt during the regular season.
Roscoe Davis, Henry A. Wise, junior: Davis was an impact performer in Wise’s inaugural varsity season. The 6-10 center averaged 18.4 points, 13.2 rebounds, 6.7 blocks and 3.3 steals for the Pumas, who posted a 13-9 record, including a victory against eventual state 4A semifinalist Roosevelt. Davis, who scored a season-high 34 points against Crossland, will be one of the area’s prime college recruits next winter.
Chris Tolson, Laurel, senior: Tolson was a big reason the Spartans had one of their most successful seasons in years. The 5-10 point guard averaged 18 points, six assists and three steals for Laurel, which reached the 4A South Region semifinals. Headed for Hampton University in the fall, Tolson will play in the Charm City Classic at Towson University Sunday afternoon.
Kendall Durant, Fairmont Heights, senior: Although he was a newcomer to the team, Durant was a big reason the Hornets reach a state final for the first time in 26 years. The guard averaged nearly 19 points along with eight rebounds and three assists per outing. Durant, a relative of college basketball freshman phenom Kevin Durant, has drawn interest from St. Francis University, UAB and Creighton.
Jay Gavin, McNamara, senior: Gavin had already made his college plans before the season even began by committing to Marist College. But Gavin and his teammates were committed to getting better this season and eventually advanced to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals. The Mustangs senior captain averaged 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and four assists per game.
Kwame Morgan, Largo, senior: The talented swingman led the Lions to a nearly perfect season. He was the county’s leading scorer this season, averaging 29 points, nine rebounds and four assists per game as the Lions won the County 3A/2A/1A League crown and then upended 4A champ Charles H. Flowers in the county title game. He had a season-high 47 points on Jan. 16 against Forestville and scored 30 or more points in 11 games.
Maurice Colter, Largo, senior: Another prominent member of the Lions’ successful run to the 3A South Region title, Colter averaged 19 points, six assists and four rebounds per game for the 26-1 Lions. He played a prominent role in Largo’s victory against Flowers in the county championship game. He had 31 points in the 3A South Region final against Westlake and 26 in the state semifinal loss to Bethesda-Chevy Chase.
Jordan Brooks, Flowers, senior: An integral part in the Jaguars’ rise to the top of the County 4A League, Brooks averaged 18.4 points, seven assists and four steals per game. The three-year starter had five games with 25 points or more, including a season-high 33 against Chantilly (Va.) on Dec. 29.
Israel Alao, Bladensburg; Darnell Anthony, Suitland; Jamahl Brown, Surrattsville; Terrence Burke, Northwestern; Darren Clark, Flowers; Daniel Thompson, Flowers; Milade Charles, Laurel; Brandon Doughty, Riverdale Baptist; Giovanni Flowers, Grace Brethren; Devin Paige, Grace Brethren; Jerai Grant, DeMatha; Jeff Peterson, DeMatha; Sean Hawkins, Roosevelt; Keenan Perry, Fairmont Heights; Maurice Sutton, Largo; Daryl Traynham, Wise; Enis Whatley, Pallotti.