Fayette County News

Fayette County


Introducing the 2015 All-County Boys Basketball team

Jordan Lyons of McIntosh is the Player of the Year
Zach Pina of Starr’s Mill is the Freshman of the Year
Jason Eisele of McIntosh is the Coach of the Year

It’s time to put a bow on basketball season. While one particular boys team grabbed most of the headlines, there was plenty of success to go around.
The McIntosh Chiefs put together their finest season in school history, winning their first 29 games and earning a number two ranking in AAAAA. Unfortunately, an untimely injury to their point guard would lead to a one-point loss in the Sweet Sixteen. Still, that doesn’t diminish an awesome year.
McIntosh was the high-flying team, but they weren’t the only postseason squad. Sandy Creek built on last year’s Elite Eight run with another playoff trip. It says something for the level that Willie Reese has taken his Patriots to when only making it to state is disappointing. With much of his core back, the Patriots should be even better next time around.
Fayette County made their annual appearance in the postseason, but there’s more to it than that. Andre Flynn did one of his best coaching jobs yet, taking a roster with only one returning varsity player and shaping it into a winner.
Our Lady of Mercy was right on the cusp too with a strong season, coach Tony Caruso leading a young team to 16 wins and narrowly missing out on the postseason only because of subjective power ratings.
Even in a season with several key players around the county, there was a pretty clear choice for top honors. McIntosh’s Jordan Lyons is the County Player of the Year. Lyons, just a junior, averaged 24.7 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. The sharpshooter was unstoppable most nights out, earning himself AAAAA Player of the Year from some outlets. His three-point binges were something to behold many games.
For future stars, look to a rising point guard. Zach Pina of Starr’s Mill is the Freshman of the Year. Pina directed the Panther attack like a veteran, averaging 8 points and 3.5 assists a night. With Pina running the show, Starr’s Mill have bright days ahead.
Amid a field of strong contenders, there was a clear choice for coaching honors. McIntosh’s Jason Eisele is the Coach of the Year. What else can you say about a coach that keeps his team locked in night in and night out en route to a 29-0 start. If not for a brutally timed injury in the second round, who knows how far Eisele’s Chiefs could’ve gone. The good news is we’ll get to see him work with that talented core when they return as seniors next season.
The All-County First Team is a force to be reckoned with. Jordan Lyons is joined by his teammates Will Washington and Dishon Lowery, along with Sandy Creek’s Elias Harden and Fayette County’s Kenny Lewis. With just one senior in the bunch, we could be seeing most of these faces again next year.
While Lyons snatched headlines, it was Washington running the controls for the Chiefs. Washington, a junior, is a deadly efficient point guard, but he’s also equally adept at taking over a game with his penetration when needed. He averaged 12.7 points and 9.3 assists a night.
Lowery, also a junior, anchored the McIntosh attack in the post as a dominant two-way threat. Lowery averaged a double-double with 10.5 points and 11.5 rebounds along with 3.3 blocks per game.
Harden, only a sophomore, ascended among the county’s best with a tremendous season, averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds a night. His year was highlighted by back-to-back games of 30 points and seven rebounds, earning All-Region honors along the way.
Lewis, a senior, paced the Tiger attack as a combo guard, putting up 15 points and 3 assists per game. While hard to quantify in stats, Lewis was vital in leading an all-new Fayette team back to the postseason, a truly impressive feat.
The All-County Second Team is also formidable, made up of Sandy Creek’s Christian Turner, McIntosh’s Chase Walter, Whitewater’s Garrett Watkins, Starr’s Mill’s Zack Richards, and Our Lady of Mercy’s Cedric Labat.
Turner, a junior, maintained his play as one of the state’s best point guards, putting up 11 points and 6 assists a game.
Walter, a junior, emerged as yet another threat for the Chiefs, averaging 10.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks as a first-year starter.
Watkins, a senior, paced the Whitewater attack as the point guard, averaging 14.5 points a night and earning All-Region Second Team honors.
Richards, a senior, put up 10 points a night for the Panthers.
Labat, a junior, led the Bobcat attack with 16 points and 4 rebounds per game.
There is still Honorable Mention recognition to hand out.
McIntosh’s honorable mentions are Phil Venson and Braxton Shaw.
Starr’s Mill’s honorable mentions are Eric Sutliff and Adam Goodman.
Fayette County’s honorable mentions are Jamon Bivens and Issac Kellum.
Sandy Creek’s honorable mentions are Javon Jackson and Evan Jester.
Whitewater’s honorable mentions are Phil Garner and Victor Ayuk.
Our Lady of Mercy’s honorable mentions are Josh Hurst, Anthony Caruso, Aaron Urshery, and Chib Emefo.

By Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.