She may only be 5 foot 3 inches tall, but among girls basketball players in Galveston County, she stands the tallest.
Clear Springs’ high-scoring point guard, Brooke McCarty is the Player of the Year for this year’s All-County team.
Friendswood’s Caitlin Modesett, The Daily News’ Offensive Player of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year Martina Rawls of Galveston Ball High School, join her on the squad.
Modesett’s coach, Daron Scott, is the team’s Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Mustangs to the 4A regional semifinals.
McCarty’s stats of 27 points and five assists a game alone would earn her the Player of the Year award. In a year that saw the Chargers go undefeated in district play with only five seniors and seven underclassmen, it’s the senior guard’s leadership that put her at the top.
“We had a lot of young kids,” McCarty said. “It was kind of a time for the seniors to take charge and guide them in the right way.
“During the season, we actually boosted their confidence and they finally realized they didn’t have to be nervous about anything.”
It was McCarty’s development as a leader that most impressed her coach Pamela Crawford, who called McCarty “a natural” when commanding the court. It was something she saw in her star long before she became a senior.
“When I realized it to be a huge factor in our program is when the older kids accepted that leadership,” Crawford said. “Usually girls, you don’t find them wanting to accept the leadership of someone younger.”
McCarty returns the compliment and credits her coach with giving her the confidence to develop her leadership skills.
“Over the four years, the biggest thing she taught me was to never stop believing in myself,” McCarty said. “Since I was a freshman, she is one of those people who believe in you and that’s helped me in basketball and life in general.”
Crawford also helped improve McCarty’s already outstanding play this past season.
“I became more of a scorer, but also managed to dish the ball more and get my teammates involved,” she said. “That’s the biggest improvement in my game.”
McCarty hopes to carry those leadership and ball-handling skills to Austin where she will play for the University of Texas Longhorns next season.
Modesett is another of the county’s top players who ended her high school career this year but will continue to play ball at the college level.
Modesett is set to play college ball at Baker University in Kansas.
In 125 games in her four years at Friendswood, Modesett averaged 11 points per game and played in 11 postseason contests.
She closed out her four-year varsity career averaging 15 points, 3½ steals and 3 assists per game. She also shot 70 percent from the free-throw line.
Her coach wasn’t surprised at her honor.
“She is far and away the hardest working player in practice, and sometimes with your best player that isn’t always the case,” Scott said. “The other thing about her is the leadership she shows. She is constantly vocal and talking with her teammates. If I’m talking to one player about something, she’s talking with another player, and that goes a long way.”
It was during the Lady Mustangs’ playoff run this year that she really picked up her game.
In four games she scored 70 points, averaging 17.5 points a game.
Scott, who also has Modesett as a student in his forensic science class, said she is a great student and great kid.
“A lot of people only see her on the court, but there is so much more to her,” Scott said.
Dominating the boards and converting rebounds to points is what earned the Lady Tors’ Rawls the top defensive award.
Rawls pulled down 6½ rebounds per game on average, and down the stretch as the Lady Tors fought for a playoff berth, she averaged 9 or more boards per game.
Thanks to that play and her 12.3 points per game, the Lady Tors advanced into the second round of the postseason.
During the Lady Tors playoff win against Brazosport, Rawls pulled down 11 boards, six of which were on defense.
Dickinson’s Dasia Cooper and La Marque’s Armoni Green round out the All-County first team.
For Scott, the season didn’t end as he would have hoped, but given that the Lady Mustangs were the fourth-place team in district, a berth in the regional tournament may not have been what anyone expected.
“I’m a little speechless,” Scott said when told he was Coach of the Year. “There is a lot of good talent in the county, coaching-wise, and this is quite an honor being only in my second year. It speaks a lot to what we’ve done here.
“But I didn’t do it alone. I have two great assistants,” he said, referring to assistant coaches Christy Sharp and Mary Wise.
Friendswood ended the season with a 28-9 record and had playoff wins against a district champion in Lamar Consolidated, co-district champion Tomball Memorial, and avenged two district loses to 24-4A champion Goose Creek Memorial.
Adam Yanelli contributed to this story.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brooke McCarty, Sr., PG, Clear Springs
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Caitlin Modesett, Sr., G, Friendswood
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Martina Rawls, Jr., F, Ball High
COACH OF THE YEAR: Daron Scott, Friendswood
G: Brooke McCarty, Sr., Clear Springs
27.2 points, 5.2 assists, 4.2 steals, 3.1 rebounds
G: Caitlin Modesett, Sr., Friendswood
15.3 points, 3.5 assists, 3.3 steals, 1.5 blocks
G: Dasia Cooper, Sr., Dickinson
11.8 points, 2.3 steals, 2.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds
F: Martina Rawls, Jr., Ball High
12.3 points, 6.5 rebounds
F: Armoni Green, Sr., La Marque
10 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1. 7 blocks, 1.7 steals
F: Jada Woodard, Sr., Dickinson
8.9 points, 6.5 rebounds
G: Destiny Navarro, Soph., Clear Falls
9.9 points, 2.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals
G: Mia Hayes, Jr., Clear Creek
F: Armani Boxley, Sr., Ball High
11.7 points, 5.8 rebounds
F: Ashlynn Dunbar, Soph., Clear Falls
9.9 points, 7.5 rebounds
Sheridan Hopkins, Jr., Ball High
Hope Jensen, Sr. Friendswood
Shelby Pioterek, Sr., Friendswood
Melody Horton, Jr., Clear Creek
Paige Tippet, Sr., Clear Springs
Tasharian Robinson, Fr., Clear Springs
Brittany Bennett, La Marque