By Kyle Lovern
The 2014 edition of the Williamson Daily News All-Area team would be a nice combination of players for a coach to have on an all-star team.
Leading the way as Co-Players of the Year are Mingo Central’s Alex Lee and Tug Valley’s Thomas Baisden. Both seniors led their respective teams this season.
Lee averaged 15 points per game and 8 rebounds per contest. Forced to play center, even though his natural position was forward, Lee helped the Miners to several wins this season.
The 6’3” Lee has great leaping ability and athletic talent. He was an all-state performer in football and a finalist in the state track meets. Lee is also a standout baseball player at MCHS. He played two seasons for Coach Brad Napier. He has signed with Concord to play football and run track next season.
Baisden was the only returning starter from Tug Valley’s Class A state championship team from last March. The 6’2” bruiser was a force down low. He repeatedly put up double-double games for the Panthers in scoring and rebounding and for coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson.
Baisden also played football for TVHS.
Other first team members of the WDN All-Area squad include Sheldon Clark junior sharp-shooter Chase Parsley, Phelps freshman sensation Elijah Branham, Belfry junior Garrett Fannin, Mingo Central junior Dikembe Dixson, and Tug Valley sophomore guard Calvin Blankenship.
Parsley averaged 21 ppg. for coach Frankie Smith’s Cardinals. He is only a junior and is expected to compete for Player of the Year in the District and Region next season.
Branham, a talented 9th grader, averaged 12.6 ppg., 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals for the Hornets of coach Bobby Varney.
Dixson was a late edition for the Miners after transferring from western Kentucky. He averaged 17 ppg., 5 assists and 7 rebounds. He is expected to help lead the Miners next season.
Blankenship is only a sophomore, but averaged 12 points per game and about 5 assists. He was a consistent player for Coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson. He should be one of the catalyst for the Panthers the next two seasons.
Fannin averaged 14 ppg. for the Pirates of first-year head coach Mark Thompson. He was a consistent scorer for Belfry.
The second team consists of Mingo Central sophomore guard Dalton Hatfield, Tug Valley junior point guard Hayden Sturgell, Belfry junior forward Dawson Isom, Sheldon Clark forward Dylan James and senior guard Davon Smith of Phelps.
Those garnering enough votes and consideration for honorable mention were:
Mingo Central: Julius Hatcher, Mallie May, Stevie Hammond; Tug Valley: Kyle Newsome and Aaron Copley; Belfry: Austin Woolum, Nathan Copley and Cole Bentley; Sheldon Clark: Ethan Osborne; and Phelps; Steven Prater and Matt Hatfield.
(Editor’s Note: Votes were tabulated from those submitted by head coaches of each participating school.)
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33)