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Brown enjoys special season

March 28, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Barry Brown's six-year run as head coach of the North Hagerstown girls basketball team is best summed up as two three-year acts.

The first act was a growth period for the Hubs, who went 32-38 those first three seasons as Brown got his feet wet and worked at the youth level and in summer leagues to grow talent that would make North a contender.

Brown reaped the rewards in the second act, as the Hubs went 64-10 in his last three seasons. The best came this season, when North went 23-3 and shared the MVAL Piedmont title with Middletown, then knocked off the Knights in the Maryland Class 2A West final for the Hubs' first regional title and first trip to the state semifinals since 1986.

Brown is The Herald-Mail Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.

"This was a very special season with a very special group of players that I had an opportunity to coach," Brown said. "I think when you have such good kids and ones that have athleticism and talent, they make the coach look pretty good."

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This year's Hubs were led by three experienced seniors -- Kirksten Mitchell, LaRae Allen and Kishia Jackson. They were joined by a host of talented sophomores, including Quielanna Gantt, Iman Scott, Samantha Koterwas, Meredith Perini, Akatshi Osongo and Imani Carter.

North developed into a team that could beat opponents many different ways. The Hubs used full-court pressure defense and transition offense to run some teams off the court. In a halfcourt set, North could go to Allen inside, call on a host of guards to drive to the basket, or let fly from 3-point range.

"At the beginning of the year, we knew we had some experience with three seniors, but a whole lot of inexperience as well," Brown said. "The kids really bought into the system. ... I got everything out of them I hoped for, and more."

Brown will be taking on a new challenge next season as the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball coach.

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