Among a county full of stars, no one meant more to their team’s dreams than one in particular. Starr’s Mill’s Drew Hudson is the Player of the Year. As injuries threatened to derail the Panthers, Hudson was the constant, pushing them to the Elite Eight and the best season in team history, posting 18 points and 10 rebounds a night along the way.
“As a player, he has been the foundation of our team. He is such a team player and showed up to work every day in practice and games. He was a warrior night in and night out,” said his coach, Brandon Hutchins. “He has been an outstanding leader and has set the bar high for our younger players in our program. He will go down as one of the best basketball players to ever wear a Starr’s Mill uniform.”
A nightmare for opposing offenses, Sandy Creek’s Kameron Miller is the Defensive Player of the Year. Billed at only 5’5”, Miller, a senior guard, played as tall as anyone on the guard, locking down any player he faced. Arguably the best on-ball defender in the state, Miller averaged 5.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2.6 steals a game.
“He’s like a daggone gnat that won’t go away and you can’t swat, he’s there all the time,” said his coach, Jon-Michael Nickerson.
A promising first-year player, Fayette County’s William Richard is Freshman of the Year. Richard came on strong down the stretch, averaging 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists for a deep Tiger team.
Standing out in a crowd of great leaders, Sandy Creek’s Jon-Michael Nickerson is Coach of the Year. Nickerson inherited high expectations in his first season at the helm of the Patriots, and the team lived up to them. Sporting a 25-6 record and winning the region, Sandy Creek came within one bucket of knocking off the two-time defending champs from Upson-Lee in the Final Four.
The All-County First Team is composed of Sandy Creek’s TJ Bickerstaff and Jarred Godfrey, Fayette County’s Ricky Knight, Whitewater’s Josh Lanier, and Starr’s Mill’s Julian Lynch.
Bickerstaff, a junior forward, racked up 15.5 points and 9 rebounds. Godfrey, a senior guard, posted 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. Knight, a junior guard, averaged 17 points, while shooting 34 percent on 3-pointers. Lanier, a senior guard, posted 12 points and 6 rebounds. Lynch a junior, averaged 12 points and 5 rebounds.
The All-County Second Team is made up of Terrell Bradley of Fayette County, Xavier Brewer of Sandy Creek, Bruce Carpenter of McIntosh, Josh Dupree of Fayette County, and Cole Guenther of McIntosh.
Bradley, a junior, notched 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Brewer, a senior wing, put up 11 points and 6.3 rebounds. Carpenter, a junior guard, averaged 10.9 points and 4.6 rebounds. Dupree, a junior guard, tallied 11 points and 4 assists. Guenther, a senior wing, posted 9.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks.
With talented players remaining, there are several earning Honorable Mention recognition. They are Fayette County’s JeKobe Coleman, Sandy Creek’s Julian Alexander, Whitewater’s K’won Bush, Starr’s Mill’s Jake Bishop, Our Lady of Mercy’s Jason Moran and Taj Dodson, and McIntosh’s Naj Ashley-Emory, Zach Pina, and Chaz Hardin.
To see photos from the season, click here.