Sharpless spearheads All-Area Boys Team
Published 7:58 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2007
By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
The temperature has risen, the bats are in full swing and the boys of summer are on the field, but don’t break out the sunglasses and the lawn chairs just yet. The Washington Daily News is turning back the calendar to honor those athletes that kept us entertained during the chilly winter months with its All Area Basketball team.
Angelo Sharpless, G/F, Plymouth
The single most electrifying player in the area, Sharpless led the Vikings with 18 points per game, while pulling down 12 rebounds a night.
Impossible to defend on the wing or in one-on-one situations, the 6-4 swingman scorched defenders with quick crossovers and spin moves, and had the athletic ability to finish with a thunderous dunk or a soft kiss off the glass.
Defensively, Sharpless harassed ball-handlers with his quick hands, and did a nice job blocking shots on help defense.
Plymouth’s senior-to-be may have the highest ceiling out of all the area players. It will be interesting to see how his game develops from this season to next.
Alonza Higgs, G/f, Roanoke
A coach’s dream, Alonza Higgs displayed the versatility and athletic ability to play either of the guard spots as well as both forward positions. Higgs tied Dyquail Lloyd for Roanoke’s team-leader in points per game with 15, while leading the state in steals with 94. He placed second in the state in assists with 193.
Roanoke coach Darryl Pittman praised Higgs’ ability to shuffle in between positions, as well as his willingness to due so. Higgs rewarded his coach’s faith in his abilities by averaging seven assists per game, six rebounds and three steals.
Higgs’ play was instrumental in Roanoke’s 26-3 record, and a huge factor in the Redskins’ Atlantic Conference regular season and tournament championships.
Bradley Van Staalduinen, F/C, Terra Ceia
It’s not often that you see a player engulf an opponent’s shot on defense, bring the ball up the court and then snap a no-look pass to a teammate running the wing. However, Terra Ceia basketball fans saw that sequence of events happen on a nightly basis. That’s what Bradley Van Staalduinen brings to the table.
Standing at a hulking 6-5, the Terra Ceia junior put up 19 points per game, while ripping down 11 boards a night and dishing out two assists. Oh, and don’t forget about the 101 blocks Van Staalduinen had this season for a nearly four blocks-per-game average.
The scary fact is that those numbers don’t justify just how good Van Staalduinen is on the court. Though he has the potential to score at will, Van Staalduien is very much a pass-first player.
For a big man, Van Staalduinen has a nice handle and can score from anywhere on the floor.
Though his game is well-rounded, the Knights’ junior needs to make some improvement on his on-ball defense, and work on consistently hitting jumpers from 12-feet and out.
Like Sharpless, it will be intriguing to see how he develops in the off season.
Hendrik Van Dorp, PG, Terra Ceia
The best true point guard in the area, Hendrik Van Dorp did an excellent job as the floor leader for the Knights. Van Dorp averaged 14 points per game, while adding 4.7 and 5.3 rebounds a night.
While he may not have the ankle-breaking crossover of a Sharpless, Van Dorp was routinely able to break down a defense off the dribble and find the open man, or pull up for a mid-range jumper. As the Knights’ general on the floor, Van Dorp displayed solid court savvy, and did a nice job conducting the offense.
While his impact on the offensive side was significant, Van Dorp’s greatest contribution may have come on the defensive end. Terra Ceia coach Roger Klassaan loves to trap and press throughout the game, and Van Dorp’s defensive ability is a big reason why the Knights’ pressure was so effective this season.
Just a junior, the Knights’ point guard will be back for another season next year and, like his fellow teammate Van Staalduinen, Van Dorp will be a force to reckoned with if he can consistently hit the long ball.
Mychal Parker, F/C, Terra Ceia
It’s extremely rare to have a freshman make the Washington Daily News All-Area first team, but then again, it’s even rarer to see a player come along with the talent of Mychal Parker.
Though his frame is thinner, at roughly 6-4, Parker displays the same kind of versatility as Van Staalduinen.
Parker began the 2006-07 season with Southside, then a little past mid-season moved to Terra Ceia and played for the Knights. In his nine games with Terra Ceia, Parker averaged 20 points per game and nine rebounds. Those stats are even more remarkable when taking into consideration he shared the ball with fellow scorers Van Staalduinen and Van Dorp.
Parker comes equipped with a smooth outside shot, has the ability to beat his man off the dribble and looks to pass.
The Knights’ freshman sensation also has a great knack for drawing fouls, and is very consistent from the free throw line.
Only playing part of the season with Terra Ceia, Parker had a tremendous impact. It’s unimaginable to think what he, Van Dorp and Van Staalduien can do next year once they adjust to each other’s game.
Kenneth Hyman, G, Roanoke
Altonio Higgs, G/F Roanoke
Elvin James, G, Plymouth
William Harvey, G/F, Williamston
Lacey Howard, F, Mattamuskeet