All-County win­ter sports teams an­nounced

County teams end with pro­duc­tive seasons

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

The win­ter high school sea­son is over and what a sea­son it was.

The West­lake boys in­door track and field team, the 2016 Class 2A state cham­pi­ons, had an­other strong run in the post­sea­son this win­ter, surg­ing to South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence and 2A South Re­gion cham­pi­onships ti­tles be­fore set­tling for a run­ner-up fin­ish at the 2A state cham­pi­onships to Cen­tury of Car­roll County.

De­spite fall­ing short of their sec­ond state in­door crown in a row, West­lake did see state gold in­di­vid­u­ally as se­nior sprinter Will Moten won the 300-me­ter run by nearly a sec­ond and ju­nior dis­tance run­ner Jay Hall claimed the top spot in the 3,200 run.

“I can­not say enough about Jay Hall. He is one of the most ded­i­cated run­ners I have ever met. His in­di­vid­ual state cham­pi­onship was the ic­ing on top for this in­door sea­son,” West­lake head coach Beth Shook said. “Team points were close and when I spoke to Jay he asked me what we needed, I told him we needed a place in the 800, he said OK and went to warm up. This was one of the few races I was able to watch start to fin­ish. I was so proud of him.”

Shook added that Moten, “is a nat­u­rally tal­ented young man. He makes run­ning the short dis­tances seem ef­fort­less. His per­for­mance in the 300 was flaw­less.”

Shook, who re­cently was named the All-SMAC Coach of the Year for boys in­door track and field, was hon­ored by the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent for this year’s All-County Coach of the Year.

“Win­ning this [COY] was spe­cial as it’s my last sea­son as the in­door coach, this group of boys is very spe­cial,” she said. “We have had some rough times but have made through as a team and I think it has made us stronger. The most re­ward­ing as a coach this sea­son was watch­ing the young McDonough team be­ing coached by one of my for­mer ath­letes Ke­nard Har­ris. See­ing him have suc­cess on the side­lines of the track was what makes this all worth it to me.”

The Lackey girls in­door track and field squad, also a 2A state cham­pion in 2016, claimed the SMAC and 2A South crowns and took third at the state cham­pi­onships.

Lackey ju­nior Do­minique Jef­fery brought home state gold in­di­vid­u­ally in the 300.

“Do­minique’s cham­pi­onship was a breath of fresh air,” Charg­ers head coach Ji­mari Jones said. “She re­ally de­served it.

Jones, who was named the SMAC Coach of the Year in girls in­door track and field, also added the All-Coach of the Year

hon­ors to his ré­sumé.

“It al­ways feels good to win an award, but I am only as good as my as­sis­tant coaches and we are blessed with a group of tal­ented ath­letes,” he said. “We had a good win­ter sea­son, but fell short of our goal. We will be ready for the out­doors.”

The North Point girls bas­ket­ball team, led by head coach Mike Ser­pone, was once again pro­lific on the hard­wood as it fin­ished with a 23-4 sea­son, col­lect­ing SMAC and 4A East Re­gion ti­tles.

The Ea­gles ad­vanced to the state semi­fi­nals for the sec­ond straight sea­son, ul­ti­mately fall­ing to even­tual 4A state cham­pion Ca­tonsville of Bal­ti­more County.

“This was def­i­nitely a dif­fer­ent type of sea­son for us but still a suc­cess­ful one. We have never had such a dis­tinct dif­fer­ence in our lineup with the classes that we had this year,” said Ser­pone, who also was named the All-SMAC and All-County Coach of the Year. “Four se­niors and four fresh­men out of a 10-girl squad is some­thing we have never seen be­fore. It worked out great be­cause we had that ex­pe­ri­ence of the se­niors to coun­ter­bal­ance the in­ex­pe­ri­ence of the fresh­men and it also sets us up well for next year with those girls re­turn­ing with a year un­der their belt where they didn’t have a lot of pres­sure be­cause our se­niors were re­li­able and could han­dle the bulk of the pres­sure.”

In boys bas­ket­ball, West­lake went the fur­thest among county pub­lic school teams, reach­ing the 2A South cham­pi­onship game.

Grace Chris­tian Acad­emy had a suc­cess­ful end to its post­sea­son as the boys and girls teams each won three games in three days to win the Mid-Eastern Re­gional Chris­tian Schools tour­na­ment.

North Point did not just have a suc­cess­ful win­ter in girls bas­ket­ball. The girls swim­ming team ended Leonard­town’s 153-meet win streak on Jan. 13 and later claimed the pro­gram’s first SMAC reg­u­lar sea­son ti­tle and first SMAC cham­pi­onships crown. The boys — which also won a con­fer­ence reg­u­lar sea­son ti­tle — and girls fin­ished the reg­u­lar sea­son with per­fect 13-0 records.

In re­gional swim com­pe­ti­tion, La Plata’s boys edged Lackey 322-308 to win the 3A-2A-1A South cham­pi­onships crown.

The War­riors were also the county’s top team in wrestling with a third­place 11-2 SMAC mark, a third-place fin­ish at the SMAC tour­na­ment and a run­ner-up show­ing at the 2A-1A South tour­na­ment.

PHOTO BY WAL­LACE BAR­RON

Necole Hope and the North Point girls bas­ket­ball team fin­ished with a 23-4 sea­son, col­lect­ing SMAC and 4A East Re­gion ti­tles.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

De­spite fall­ing short of their sec­ond state in­door crown in a row, West­lake did see state gold in­di­vid­u­ally as se­nior sprinter Will Moten won the 300-me­ter run by nearly a sec­ond.

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