Area athletes, coaches receive all-conference nods
Published 10:38 am Friday, March 7, 2014
FRANKLIN—Several student athletes from all of the local schools have been named to the all-district and all-conference teams for boys and girls basketball.
In Franklin, Fred Lassiter and Corey Porter made the All-Conference 41 first team, while Terry Warren made second team; Domique Gainey received an honorable mention; Warren and Justin Hansford made the all-academic team.
Southampton’s representatives were Talisha Jenkins, who made first team all-Tri-River’s District, and she also made second team of the Conference 25 on the girls side; on the boys side, Shane Agunzo made second team all-Tri-River’s district; and Agunzo and Hunter Peck made second team All-Conference 25.
Malcolm Greene of Windsor was named to the second team all-district, and Justice Chapman and Donovan Cosbert received an honorable mention.
Isle of Wight Academy’s representatives were Brooke Olsavicky and Amanda Williams on the girls all-metro conference team; while Gabriella Hooper and Coach Chris Hooper were named player and coach of the year. The scholar athlete awards were given to Alexia Castillo and Brandon Saxby.
For Southampton Academy, Morgan Pope and Sarah Best made the girls all-conference first team and Mason Pope was on the first team; Anna Carr was named to the all-academic team and Julie Russo was an all-academic cheerleader. Morgan Pope was also named to the all-tournament team. On the boys side, Tonee Hill was named to the all-conference first team, and Johnny Tribbett made the second team. Coach Jim Tribbett was awarded the conference’s coach of the year. Matt Rose was named to the all-tournament team as well as the all-academic team.
Elanté Drew and Daniel McKenney represented Tidewater Academy on the all-conference first team, while Reid Holdsworth was named to the all-academic team. Courtney Haywood was on the conference’s all academic cheerleader team. Drew was named to the all-tournament team.
Coach Danny Dillon thought his All-District players did a good job representing all year.
Of Lassiter, who averaged 17.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, Dillon said the freshman was the best player he has coached in a long time.
“He deserved it,” Dillon said. “He was the runner-up for player of the year. I’m just thrilled to death because he is the total package.
“He’s unselfish too, which is what we are trying to get after and teach. His future is bright.”
Porter, a junior, averaged 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game, and Dillon said he is the fastest athlete he has ever coached.
“He is such an asset to our team,” Dillon said. “His all-around athleticism is the reason he made first team all-conference. He is a good basketball player.”
Warren had 8 points and 11 rebounds per game at 5’10” down in the post. Dillon said that’s impressive considering he’s giving 5 to 10 inches to players in every game.
“What he did at his size was probably the best feat we accomplished this season,” he said. “Terry is the hardest-working kid on the team. He has just an exceptional attitude and a great love for his teammates, family and God. I can’t say enough about him. He’s our captain.”
The senior’s also smart, Dillon said, which is one of the reasons he was able to give up height to other players.
“The reason he is such a great kid on the court is because he is such a great kid off the court,” Dillon said. “He reads defenses very well and is really smart.
“He is definitely going to be missed. I’ll take 12 Terry Warrens on my team any day.”
For Gainey, the biggest thing was not statistics, which were a modest 4 points and 7 rebounds per game, but it was because of his work ethic and leadership.
“He was our workhorse,” Dillon said. “He didn’t mind bodying up with anyone and boxing them out. He took charges and set screens.
“The most impressive thing about him was that he was always encouraging and helping others. He’d get out of breath on the court because he was talking and being a leader.”
Hansford is going to be very successful in college next year, Dillon said.
“He is probably one of the smartest kids I have ever coached,” he said. “He would pick up a play right away, and he would help everybody learn and pick up the plays. He was probably the only one who could play all of our 15 plays at every position on the court.”
Head Coach Sharone Bailey said Agunzo had a good season and deserved the nod. He averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds a game, and earlier this year, the junior had 40 points in a single game.
“He went from a kid playing JV, to stepping in and being a major contributer on the varsity team,” he said. “He shot over 50 percent from the field. I think he really improved a lot.”
Peck played varsity last season, but Bailey said that he’d grown a lot this year. He averaged 12 points and 2 steals a game.
“He really stepped up,” Bailey said. “He started the year coming off the bench, and utlimately became a starter for us. His three point shooting was just great, and as a lefty, he had a nice touch for getting to the basket.”
Coach Aronda Bell could not be reached for comment.
Head Coach Brandon Bossick said Greene averaged 16.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game.
“He was the best center in the conference,” Bossick said. “But of course, they went by player and not position, and that’s all right. Malcolm had a very good season and averaged a double-double, so he deserved it.”
Bossick said he was proud of Chapman, Cosbert and all of his seniors, including Austin McCaskey, who received honorable mention last year, and Keion Liggins, who after being academically ineligible, made the team toward the end of the season after making the honor roll for the first time in his school career.
“I was very proud of them,” he said. “I’m proud of all of them. They worked hard. One of our goals was to make the playoffs, and we got to the regionals. We would have liked to go further, but I’m proud of them for achieving that goal.
“We’re trying to teach that if you work hard, good things will happen.”
Of Liggins, he was particularly proud.
“We said if he got his grades up, we’d save a jersey for him. He scored 11 points in three games,” Bossick said. “We want to win games, but we want them to win in life more.”
Isle of Wight Academy Chargers
Head Coach Chris Hooper said he was happy with the season that Olsavicky, junior, and Williams, senior, had.
“They had great seasons,” he said. “They had a good progression of skill set from the last year, and both played well.”
Replacing Williams wouldn’t be easy, Hooper said.
“Amanda had a good senior year,” he said. “She did a good job as a point guard, and she improved defensively.”
Castillo takes academics seriously, Hooper said, and she’s also a good basketball player.
“She’s a really hard worker,” he said. “She’s also the president of the senior class student body. She works really hard on and off the court. She really deserves this.”
Southampton Academy Raiders
Tonee Hill, who averaged 22 points a game, was on the first team for the second year in a row, Tribbett said.
“He was the second leading scorer in the conference,” he said. “Only the player of the year averaged more points. Tonee had some wonderful moments in games for us. From the start of the year to the finish, he played like a senior ought to play. And he played well against our strongest opponents.
“He does a little bit of everything and is a very efficient player.”
Tribbett said his son Johnny did a good job all year.
“It is tough a lot of days being the coach’s son,” Tribbett said. “This is a culmination of living in a coach’s house. But he made it really enjoyable for me, and I think it brought us closer.
“I really trusted him on and off the floor to make the right decisions. He led in assists, was 4-to-1 on turnovers, and he took the ball out of bounds 99 percent of the time the two years I was here. He led in threes and was almost the leading rebounder as a guard.”
Of Rose, Tribbett said it was very important to have intelligent players.
“Smart players like Matt are where the leadership comes from, both on and off the floor in making the right decisions,” he said. “When the coaches or parents aren’t around, you really want a player that values education around.”
Of being named coach of the year, Tribbett laughed and said, “Well, they had to give it to someone.
“I am thankful. It is nice that they have recognized that we have come a long way in two short years. This is a team award. I wouldn’t have gotten it without the players and the commitment from the administration, Dale Marks and Dr. (Mercer) Neale. If they were not dedicated to having a basketball culture at the academy, then none of these things happen.”
Morgan, Coach Chris Pope’s daughter, had a good senior campaign, he said, averaging 12 points and making 2 three-point baskets each game.
“She just had a great season,” Pope said. “She really stepped up her game defensively too.”
Best, a junior point guard, averaged 10 points per game.
“She’s just a natural athlete,” he said. “She had a very good season from a leadership standpoint and as a basketball player. I think she is ready to have a great senior season.”
Mason, a freshman who is Pope’s niece, averaged 12 rebounds and 10 points a game.
“She is still a little raw, but she is just such a great athlete that she overcomes a lot of that,” Pope said. “If she keeps working on it, she is going to be a force in high school basketball.”
Pope said Carr had a good season both on and off the court.
“She had excellent grades, and I was also pleased with her season on the basketball court,” he said. “She is not very tall, but she’s an excellent athlete with a gymnast background, so she’s very athletic.”
Tidewater Academy Warriors
Coach Walter Westbrook said that Drew was the stabilizing force on the team, averaging 17 points and 7 rebounds per game.
“Elanté had some of his better games against the top teams in the league,” he said. “He’s worked really hard since last year. He got in better shape and worked hard on his skills. As a result, he was a leader in a lot of the categories.
“He had a really good season.”
McKenney, who is the point guard, was the key to the season, Westbrook said.
“You have got to have a point guard, and Daniel was the main person handling the ball every game,” he said. “As the season progressed, he got a lot better. Over the course of February, he had several games where he hit as many as 6 threes in a game.
“He really carried us and is going to be a great loss to the program. He took a lot of the pressure off the other players.”
Of Holdsworth, Westbrook said there is a reason that the word student comes first in student-athlete.
“Reid has been a part of my program for three years,” Westbrook said. “He is a very good student, and I was proud he was able to get that award.”