WDN's all-area hoop team
By By Ryan Rockwell, Sports Writer
A handful of players from Plymouth's varsity boys and Southside's varsity girls lead the Washington Daily News 2003 All-Area Basketball Team.
Both Plymouth and Southside went on to win the Four Rivers Conference regular season and tournament titles before making state playoff runs.
Plymouth's Damien Linson receives this year's All-Area Player of the Year for the boys, while Southside's Sharkeysha Midgette garners Player of the Year honors for the girls.
Linson and Carter are joined by two Four Rivers Conference opponents in Williamston's Tavarus Little and Northside's Daniel Wilson, as well as Washington's Lindsay Ebron.
The diminutive Little, led his team in points (17 ppg) and assists (five) from his point guard position. In addition, the senior grabbed four rebounds per game and led his team's late season charge. After finishing in the middle of the pack in the rugged Four Rivers, the ball handling and penetration of Little got the Tigers into the third round of the state 1A playoffs.
Contrastly, the Panthers' Daniel Wilson, who stands 6-foot, 6-inches, towered above the competition with his sophisticated game. The junior, who's still growing, led Northside in points, blocks and rebounds, averaging 21 points, 12 boards and nearly four blocks a game.
If the theme of the boys' first team is versatility, than Washington's 6-3 point guard is a perfect fit. Ebron, who patterns his game after Kobe Bryant, can drive and dish, then glide into the lane for two on back-to-back possessions. Able to play three positions, the senior was the team's leading scorer (15.5 points), foul shooter (85 percent) and assist man (5.0), while recording four rebounds and three steals per game.
Joshua Armond of Plymouth leads the All-Area Second Team. Armond, the Vikings inside force, averaged 14.9 points and 9.6 boards a game this season. Armond is accompanied on the Second Team by Roanoke's Travis Thompson, Bear Grass' Josh Haislip, Southside's Jansen Simmons and Terra Ceia's Tom Van DerHave.
Travis Thompson, a senior point guard, was the glue that held the Redskins together, said head coach Jeff Davis. The heady orchestrator was the team's top defender, averaging 2.1 steals per game. He was also the team's top foul shooter and assists leader (3.1). Thompson was one of Roanoke's top scorers, averaging 8.9 points per game.
The Bear Grass Bears went 14-10 and 9-3 in the Atlantic 7 and qualified for the state playoffs thanks in large part to the man in the middle, Josh Haislip. The lanky senior center averaged 12 points and eight rebounds, leading his team in both categories.
Similar to Haislip, Southside's Jansen Simmons was a nightmare for opponents near the rim. With the ability to out-quick and out-jump over forwards, the 6-3 senior was second on the Four Rivers' third place team in scoring (13 points), while leading the Seahawks in rebounds (nine).
The final member of the second team comes from Terra Ceia Christian Academy. The Knights' Van Der Have led his team in scoring (16.9) and rebounds (9.1) with a variety of post moves and finesse around the bucket. Only a junior, the 6-3 center led a young Terra Ceia team all season long.
Roanoke's Amber Taylor, Jamesville's Cierra Daniels and Terra Ceia's Hannah Boyd rounded out the first team.
Taylor, only a sophomore, has a bright basketball future, said coach Robbie Calfee. Taylor led the Redskins to the playoffs, averaging a double-double (13.6 points and 12.8 rebounds). The power forward even posted a 20-point, 20-rebound game against Williamston.
Terra Ceia was blessed by the strong play of senior forward Hannah Boyd, who led the team in points (9.5) and rebounds (8.0). In the Knights' state tournament game, Boyd led the way with 17 points and 14 boards.
Jamesville put two players on the All-Area team, Daniels, who made first team and Marcia Sawyer, who made second team.
Daniels was the team's leading scorer and passer (8.3 points and 3.0 assists), playing three different positions for the Bullets.
Sawyer was the team's leading rebounder (7.0) and defender (2.8 steals), and like Daniels, was an all-conference performer. Sawyer averaged 6.5 points.
The rest of the second team consists of Williamston's Stacey Norman, Mattamuskeet's Melody Jo Williams and Plymouth's Ashley Midgette.
Norman, a senior small forward, led the Tigers in points (7.6), rebounds (8.0) and steals (3.6). She's been a starter since her freshman year.
Williams, a junior forward, was Mattamuskeet's leading scorer, averaging over 14 points per game, while Midgette led her team in points.