COACH OF THE YEAR
Bret Botard, Palestine
Heading into the 2012-2013 season, the Palestine boys’ basketball team’s postseason drought was at seven years. It had been eight years since they won a playoff game.
Under third-year coach Bret Botard, the Wildcats made the leap to the playoffs this past season, proving that the hardships of his first two years were worth it, building up his program.
It’s primed to continue on, with the Wildcats graduating only one senior from this year’s team, which exceeded expectations when the Wildcats were able to knock off Jasper in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
Sports editor Justin Rains can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Big School (3A/2A) 1st Team
G: Jacob Cheatham, Sr., Elkhart — Known more for his baseball, Cheatham owned a scorers touch for the playoff-bound Elks, averaging team-high 14.8 points per game.
G: L.J. Hutchison, Sr., WHS — All season, the Westwood offensive ran through Hutchison, who’s 9 points and 7 assists per game led the Panthers to the regional semifinals.
G: Corey Warren, Sr., Frankston — Frankston’s best player and the 18-2A co-MVP, Warren averaged 17.5 points, seven boards and five assists per game.
F: Dra Ross, Sr., WHS — The constant inside for the Panthers, Ross earned 19-2A MVP honors after averaging a double-double (13 points/11 rebounds) this season.
F: Shumauri Scott, Sr., PHS — The lone senior on the Wildcats’ roster, Scott led Palestine back to the postseason, averaging 10. 5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Small School (1A) 1st Team
G: Preston Anderson, Sr., Cayuga — The Hartford-bound senior led Cayuga in scoring (24 ppg), rebounding (7 rpg) and assists (5 apg) en route to district MVP honors.
G: Damiyne Durham, Jr., OHS — The area’s most prolific scorer, Durham’s 27.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game led Oakwood to the Region IV final.
G: Patrick Walker, Jr., GHS — Walker filled up the stat sheet for the Sandies, averaging 23.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals per game en route to the regional final.
F: Deon Shofner, Sr., CHS — The inside threat to Anderson’s outside game, Shofner averaged 17 points and 6 rebounds per game for Cayuga.
F: Jacolby Simpson, Jr., GHS — Grapeland’s newcomer gave the Sandies an inside presence, and he averaged 15 points and almost 6 rebounds per game.