OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Damiyne Durham, Oakwood
It’s no secret to anyone around East Texas basketball that Oakwood junior Damiyne Durham is an elite-level scorer.
In his first two years at Oakwood, the 6-foot, 7-inch Durham averaged more than 20 points per game, but the Panthers failed to make much of a run once the playoffs came around.
This past year, Durham took another step in his game and took his team with him.
Durham averaged an area-best 27.6 points per game for the Panthers, who were knocked out of the playoffs by district-rival Douglass in the regional final.
Durham also averaged almost three assists per game, meaning he contributed almost 34 points to Oakwood each time the Panthers took the court.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Dra Ross, Westwood
Westwood senior Dra Ross isn’t an elite-level defender in the general sense of the word.
It’s not that Ross had outrageous defensive numbers, and that’s what made him stand-out on the defensive end of the floor. But, what he meant for the Westwood defense as a whole proved his defensive worth.
In a defensive scheme that was heavily zone-based, Ross provided size on the inside for the drastically undersized Panthers.
He routinely matched up against the opponent’s center, and his 11 rebounds per game prove that he did his job quite well.
He also managed to average a team-high 13 points per game en route to being named District 19-2A’s Defensive MVP as the Panthers captured the district title.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Jaques Faulk, Grapeland
Grapeland freshman Jaques Faulk was no stranger to the pressures of varsity athletics when he first began taking on a major role on the Sandies’ basketball team.
Faulk spent significant time under center for Grapeland’s football team in his freshman year, but he made a giant leap on the basketball floor.
The freshman point guard averaged more than eight points and almost five assists per game for the Sandies, who lived inside the state’s top-five for most of the season.
Faulk continued his role as starting point guard in the playoffs, helping the Sandies all the way to the regional final.