Walkersville's long, lanky 6-foot-7 swingman has made defenses pay both inside and outside. Most of his 15.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game come in the paint, but Hannigan is just as comfortable out on the perimeter. He's made 16 of 43 3-point attempts (37 percent) this season.
· Ryan Morris, sophomore, Berkeley Springs. Another guy who's been somewhat overshadowed by the hot-shooting exploits of a teammate, in this case senior Tony Belt and his 23.2-points-per-game average.
Morris' 15.8 points per game puts him in the top 10 among area scorers, and his 9.5 rebounds per contest ranks fourth in the area. He also averages 1.5 blocked shots per game.
· Dee Mency, sophomore, North Hagerstown. Smooth-shooting senior Quielan Gantt and his Washington County-leading 18.7 points per game draws the attention here, but Mency's fiery competitiveness fits in perfectly.
Mency has shown the ability to penetrate and drive to the basket, and can also make teams pay for leaving him alone beyond the arc. He's averaging 14.7 points per game and has hit 13 of his 37 3-point attempts (37 percent).
The No. 9 Hubs actually have several candidates to fill this spot. Center Tyrell Wilson (12.3 points, 7.8 rebounds) and point guard Jarrell Rodriguez (10.4 points, 5.4 assists) also play vital roles.
· Brad Spielman, senior Hancock. A strong case can be made that he's the No. 10 Panthers' most vital player, though 6-7 senior Jeff Willison leads the team in points (16.3) and rebounds (an area-best 11.4) and is one of only two area boys averaging a double-double (the other is Smithsburg's Clay Marquiss).
The reason is that Spielman shines in every facet of the game. He can score (11.4 points per game), set up teammates (6.9 assists per game, third best in the area) and plays great defense (an area-best 4.4 steals per game). That's a lot of ways to fill up the stat sheet and a lot of ways to help get Hancock a 'W', as he's done 13 times in 14 tries this season.
· Nia Josiah, junior, Thomas Johnson. It's a pretty good debate whether Josiah, a transfer from Urbana who was a Street & Smith honorable mention All-America selection the past two seasons, really belongs here. Thanks to Kem Wilson and her 18.3 points per game, Josiah gets the sidekick label. In truth, Wilson and Josiah are more like Patriots Nos. 1A and 1B.
In case it isn't clear, Josiah is the real deal. The 6-foot forward averages 16.8 points per game - giving TJ two of the top five scorers in the area - and is fifth in the area in rebounding (9.0) and an amazing second in assists (4.9).
· Jennie Finafrock, junior, Hedgesville. Miranda Reed gets most of the attention in the Eastern Panhandle, and for good reason - anyone who is in the area top 10 in scoring (15.4) and leads the area in assists (5.4) deserves a large share of the spotlight.
But Finafrock has both given Reed someone to lean on and the No. 1 Eagles another weapon to turn to. She averages 12 points and 5.9 rebounds per game and has games of 20, 18, 16 and 16 points this season.
Oh, the Eagles have plenty of talent besides Reed and Finafrock. Ashton Butler is averaging 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while Samantha Guell is averaging 9.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 steals per contest. No wonder Hedgesville is at the top of the rankings.
· Shaina Martin, senior, James Buchanan. Junior Alicia Myers is the headliner for the No. 6 Rockets, averaging 18 points per game - one of four area girls at or above that plateau.
Martin is the only other player averaging double figures (10.8 points per game) for JB, and her 6.7 rebounds per game is second on the team (Kayla Meyers averages 7.4 boards per game).