I think we could talk about this for days, but when you think of All-Conference and All-County and not being overly selective right yet, but when that topic comes up and again not to take anything away from anyone else, Frank Eaves, Tracy Gathings and Sam Hunt come to my mind first and if this were a horse race, to me, those three would be way out in front, based upon what I have seen so far this year…..I listed them in alphabetical order by the way and among those three I could not tell you who is the player of the year as of yet, but those three kids, have been the difference makers on their teams…If you were to subtract each one from their respective teams, who would be dealt the biggest blow? Frankie gone from Page, the Pirates still have Bryson Fonville, Brian Spain, Lance Brown and Jalen Gavin and that still gives Page a big power punch on offense, but Frank has that big-game experience for you and that means a lot…..Take Tracy Gathings away from Smith and the Golden Eagles still have Drew Williams, Adrian Wimbush, JT Williams and Cameron Woods, but without Gathings, the Eagles are losing 22 points and at least 10 rebounds per game…..TG is the go-to man for Smith, just like Frank Eaves is in so many ways for Page….Remove Sam Hunt from the Dudley lineup and you are in big, big, trouble too….Sam has become the must-have leader of this team….It is not only his leadership, it is his scoring and rebounding and the ability to get the ball up the court and place the Panthers into their offense….Last Friday night, against Reidsville, Dudley got a big scoring boost from D.J. Alston with 25 points and then Daris Workman with 14 and the output came against a very good Reidsville team, that was (16-1) coming into the game, but Sam was there with right at 10 assists…..Sam and Matt Pawlowski from Northwest Guilford, are probably your top assist men in the county….
Just some thoughts on those three, who I have seen quite a bit of this season and all three have to be on the All Metro 4-A team and on the All-Guilford County team….Three more names that come right to me that have to be on the All-Guilford team and on their All-conference teams, are Jordan Hanner(Southwest Guilford), Bryce Benjamin(Northeast Guilford) and Keaton Haack(Northwest Guilford)…..
Hanner(SWG), Haack(NWG) and Benjamin(NEG), all three have been team leaders and have produced in areas where their teams have needed them the most…..Hanner stepped up when Terrell Leach went down with injury and has been scoring at a 20.0 ppg clip, Benjamin to me, has been the most consistant Ram this season and the NWG Vikings without Haack’s inside play and his scoring, well they would be in big trouble….NWG gets points from Hylton, Clary and from Matt P. along with his key assists, but Haack gives you points and boards and nobody else in his Piedmont Triad 4-A Conference can match his rebounding….
It is hard to pick a player from Northern Guilford, because they have had so much balance among their top five this season….Do you go Chandler, McBeth or Logan, those are your top three choices….Brandon Hairston from Eastern Guilford is looking to get a spot on this team, but I’m not sure if this season has been a better one for Brandon than last year was….I’m not for sure and maybe the new coaching strategy of Joe Spinks looks to get more men involved with the total offense….
Jalen Ford from High Point Andrews also has to have a spot on here somewhere….He has had a super season for the Red Raiders and pretty much has them ranked among the Top Ten in the state….
That’s a look at most of the boys and did we leave anyone out that should be in the Top Ten????? Maybe either Malik Wright or Tevin Johnson from Southeast Guilford? I am doing all of this from the bank, the memory bank if you will and I try and recall all the teams in each conference….Most of the kids that I have mentioned so far have been consistant this season and we will look separately at the Private Schools later on…If we start mixing the two groups up, we may have a book on our hands…..
Let’s get over to the girls side of things and leave you a few names for thought here too…Some of you may say that I need to be writing more, but this is a pretty good load for Sunday afternoon and it is true that I have probably been watching too much basketball this season and I will leave somebody out, it is hard to do it all fron memory and laying it all out a straight roll, but this is working pretty good for me, so I’ll keep on writing….
For the girls, I am leaning toward Zena Lovette as the Player of the Year right now….That could change by Wednesday morning, but if you look at what she has been doing lately, she has moved toward the top…She is scoring(23 points last game) and she is setting people up….The SWG girls are now (17-4) and they are making their run and I was going to do a post on them today entitled, “I’m telling you dog, this Southwest Guilford team is putting themselves in a position to go back and get it”…..(The State 4-A Title)…And it looks like they are….I would love to see a game this week with SWG vs. Dudley, just to see where these two teams are at right now…..Page is still making noise and they have one more shot at Dudley in the regular season at Page…..On this team to go with Lovette you also have Jessica Pone from SWG and I am putting these names out there as fast as I can send them, go to Paris Kea from Page….MVP at the Pizza Hut and she has been playing a totally different game this year from last, as she sets up Coleman and Barnes down low and Kea can play some ‘D’…I think she is one of the better defenders around and she does reach for knock-aways that cause steals from behind, but that comes from her athleticism….Lovette, Pone, Kea, and one of the two Rouse sisters from Dudley…Take your pick…Others have been playing well too, Maize, Abraham, Jackson, but you have to give Dudley a lot of credit, they lost Goins and they have kept right on going…That is impressive…Brandi Robinson from Smith…To me, she is the Smith MVP…Without her over the long haul this season, Smith would not be in the hunt/thick of the conference race….Not a contending team this year, but Grimsley might have been able to pack it in after halftime in some of their games this season, without the services of one Roxanne Henshall….If she had a stronger supporting cast, she might have a shot at Player of the Year in the Conference or some conference….Not trying to dis her teammates, but that kid is still digging deep….Brittany Clency is there on this team from Western Guilford…Without her, WG is in a hole that there is no getting out of….The hard part for Clency is that she faces the same problem that top-notch pitchers face in baseball…The second time through the conference or the second time you see a team, they know you and if you don’t have any help, you are dead meat…The target is on your back and they are going to drive you crazy and put up defenses that may let you as the top player get 15 points, but if your teammates only put of 7 or so, then you are gone…If you come in averaging 22-25 ppg and the oppostion holds you to just 15 and the rest of your team only gets 5-7, you’ve got problems….
Let’s see we have Lovette, Pone, Kea, one of the Rouses, Robinson, Henshall, Clency, and you take either Hailey or Upshaw from Southeast Guilford, then Harper from NWG with Munson a close second, then Jenkins or Jones or Grier from High Point Central, then Robinson or Coffer from Northern Guilford, Imani Watkins or Santia Davis from High Point Andrews, I can’t tell you if we have one particular pick from Eastern Guilford,(many have been contributing), give me somebody from Southern since they have been battling back and I have given you a pretty good list for a weekend Sunday, for not looking down once at any resources, since I started typing this….
Send me some of your input and as you can see, I have been storing a lot of info upstairs this season and with not looking back at any notes, we have made a very good inroads into our end of the year All-Conference and All-County teams…..We got all of this your way in right at 1 hour and 12 minutes and that is a short book coming your way in quick time….
*****I am going to go ahead and print this so you will have something to read and then I will go back and make some of my corrections….*****