Most of the teams in Anne Arundel County this season have put two defenders on the senior center, while some have used variations of a zone defense to crowd her from all sides. Friday night against Severna Park, Brown was at times drawing a triple team in the low post.
“There’s no surprise that they’re keying in on her,” Southern Coach Linda Kilpatrick said. “The amazing thing this year is that no one has been able to stop her.”
Brown finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and four blocks in an eight-point loss to Severna Park on Friday — and those numbers are far from unusual. The 6-foot-1 center is averaging 21.9 points and 12.1 rebounds so far this season, and she has accounted for 53 percent of Southern’s total points.
A four-year varsity starter who eclipsed 1,000 career points as a junior, Brown knew that she would again be expected to carry the scoring load for the Bulldogs (5-10). What’s remarkable is that she has been scoring with ease even as the focus of opposing defenses.
“It’s her versatility,” Kilpatrick said. “She just has the ability to step outside and hit the three, she can handle the ball and take it to the basket and she can post up. That’s why nobody’s been able to stop her so far this season — and we’ve played some good teams.”
Brown, who has drawn interest from a number of Division II and Division III schools, shied from her own individual accolades. She said that her main goal this season has been to involve the younger players on the team and build their confidence. Her goal for the remainder of the season is to help Kilpatrick, who is now in her 37th year, reach 500 wins (she’s currently at 497).
After leading the county in scoring last season, Brown is in a good position to repeat that feat this year. While a year has passed, not much else has changed.
“I’m shooting a lot more,” Brown said, “and I’m better at handling the ball now than I was before.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Oakland Mills boys’ basketball team will take a short trip south on US-29 for a key Howard County matchup against Reservoir. It’s a drive that Reservoir Coach Mike Coughlan knows all too well.
Coughlan is now in his second year with the Gators, but he is a graduate of Oakland Mills and teaches there in the department of career and technology education. Two Scorpions players are in Coughlan’s classes this year, and Oakland Mills Coach Jon Browne teaches in the same department.
Coughlan said he has not tried to use his close ties with the school as extra motivation for his players.
“I try to keep it out of it,” he said. “I think [the players] know, but I don’t try to make it a big deal because they’ve got enough to worry about. And obviously Oakland Mills has been very strong the past two years, so I don’t want anything extra weighing on them when we play them.”
The Gators (7-5, 7-3 Howard County) lost eight seniors from last year’s team, which reached the Maryland 3A state semifinals, and they have had an up-and-down year so far. But Coughlan likes where his team is positioned, especially entering a pivotal matchup against the county’s top team.
“We’re actually right where we were, even a game ahead of where we were, last year and we ended up at Comcast Center,” Coughlan said. “It’s just going to be a lot tougher this year.”