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Home Court Advantage

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, March 31, 2018
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Avery Anderson

Avery Anderson. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

MVP

Avery Anderson
Northwest
The District 6-5A MVP led Northwest to its second consecutive trip to the state tournament. Anderson was the motor behind Northwest’s high-flying offense and led the Texans in scoring, averaging 16.9 points. He shot 42.5 percent from the floor and averaged five assists. Anderson also earned TABC All-State honors for his efforts this season. He will return next year for his senior campaign.

Emily Vidal

Emily Vidal. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

CO-MVPS

Emily Vidal
Bridgeport
The District 9-4A Co-Offensive MVP averaged 17 points, four rebounds and three assists. The 5-foot-4 sophomore guard served as one of Bridgeport’s primary weapons offensively and was a threat to drive and shoot from the outside. Vidal helped Bridgeport out to a 15-2 record to start the year and even had the Sissies ranked in 4A at one point. Bridgeport played eventual 4A state champion Argyle to the wire twice, losing by two each time. Despite tearing her ACL and missing the Sissies’ playoff game, Vidal led Bridgeport to a 21-7 overall mark.

Maddie Mitschke

Maddie Mitschke. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Maddie Mitschke
Paradise
Paradise’s floor general was the only girl in Wise County to average a double-double. She posted 12.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Mitschke has been a first-team District 8-3A selection each of the past two seasons. She helped the Lady Panthers get off to a 6-1 start in district play and led them back to the playoffs. A fearless rebounder and defender, Mitschke was the engine behind Paradise’s up-tempo attack and pressure defense, averaging three steals. The Lady Panthers ended the season 18-13 overall.

Bailey Meyer

Bailey Meyer. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Bailey Meyer
Slidell
Meyer led Slidell back to the Class A regional tournament, averaging 13.4 points. She was named District 21-A Offensive Player of the Year. Her outside shooting propelled the Lady Hounds to an undefeated district record. Slidell captured its second consecutive district, bi-district and area titles this season before falling to Gorman in the regional semifinals. A crafty distributor with a knack for finding her shot, Meyer came up big down the stretch for the Lady Hounds time and time again.

Andrew Horton

Andrew Horton. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Andrew Horton
Bridgeport
Horton poured in 16.2 points per game for the Bulls and shot 37 percent from beyond the arc. The senior dropped 40 points in a game against Archer City and 37 against Pilot Point. Horton was a District 8-4A first-team selection each of the past two seasons. Bridgeport coach Clayton Shipley said Horton is one of the hardest working players he has ever coached and the type of talent that can’t be replaced.

Cate Zuniga

Cate Zuniga. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Cate Zuniga
Slidell
Zuniga was monumental for Slidell on both ends of the floor, especially defensively. She averaged an eye-popping 4.8 steals, as her ability to play on the perimeter or on the block created mismatches for opponents. A District 21-A first-team selection, Zuniga played point guard for the first month of the season as Bailey Meyer recovered from a knee injury. Zuniga finished the year averaging 13.9 points and was an all-tournament selection at the Slidell, Perrin and Windthorst Tournaments.

Hunter Horner

Hunter Horner. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Hunter Horner
Slidell
Horner led the charge in Slidell’s frantic comeback bid in the Class A regional quarterfinal against Irving Universal, recording a steal and transition layup to get the Greyhounds back in the game. Although Slidell fell in the final seconds, Horner was a pivotal part of the Greyhounds’ defense throughout the season. The junior was a District 21-A second-team selection and averaged 8.9 points and 1.1 steals. Horner played key minutes all year and proved to be a lock-down defender on the perimeter.

Avery Luig

Avery Luig. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

SIXTH MAN

Avery Luig
Decatur
The District 9-4A Sixth Man of the Year provided the Lady Eagles with a much-needed spark off the bench. When Decatur’s leading scorer went down with an injury in the second half of district play, Luig rose to the occasion. The 5-foot-7 junior averaged 6.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in district. Coach Lindsay Griffin said Luig stepped up in a big way, assuming the role of leading scorer as if she had been there all year.

Darrell Simpson

Darrell Simpson. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Darrell Simpson
Northwest
A menace inside, Simpson helped anchor the paint for Northwest off the bench. The 6-foot-7, 320-pound senior averaged 4.5 points and five rebounds. Simpson shot an efficient 58 percent from the field and provided a jolt when the Texans needed it most. Against Fort Worth Southwest in the 5A regional quarterfinals, Simpson finished with eight points and had a key putback late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Ashley Ingram

Ashley Ingram. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Ashley Ingram
Bridgeport
Ingram was a force for Bridgeport in the paint and presented problems for nearly every team the Sissies played. The 6-footer helped Bridgeport clean the glass and dominate the interior. She was named District 9-4A Newcomer of the Year, averaging 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Ingram was also named to the TABC all-region team.

Hunter Richey

Hunter Richey. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Hunter Richey
Alvord
Richey was named District 11-2A Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds during his freshman season. His size at 6-foot-1 gave Alvord another option down low, as he played the most minutes of anyone on the team. Richey’s rebounding ability was a big reason Alvord finished the year 20-12 and made it back to the postseason for the second straight year.

Dallas Taylor

Dallas Taylor. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

COACH OF THE YEAR

Dallas Taylor
Bridgeport
Taylor led Bridgeport to a 21-7 overall record despite dealing with a handful of injuries. 6-foot-2 post Delaney Ingram went down with a broken wrist in December and missed most of 9-4A play. Starting point guard and leading scorer Emily Vidal suffered an ACL tear at the end of the year and missed the Sissies’ playoff game. Bridgeport also had several other players get injured throughout the year, but Taylor and the Sissies never blinked. Bridgeport knocked off Sanger in district play, who advanced to the regional final before losing to eventual state champion Argyle.

Mike Hatch

Mike Hatch. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Mike Hatch
Northwest
Hatch picked up his 600th career win and led the Texans to the most victories in a season (34) in school history. Northwest averaged 70.6 points and finished the year 34-6 before bowing out in the 5A state championship to Port Arthur. The Texans went undefeated in District 6-5A play and won 18 in a row before falling in the state final.

BOYS FIRST-TEAM

Layton Shelton
Slidell
The two-time District 21-A MVP led Slidell back to the regional quarterfinal, averaging 14 points and 4.3 rebounds. Shelton guided the Greyhounds’ offense all season and was adept at penetrating the lane and shooting from the outside. He was an all-tournament selection at the Slidell and Era Invitationals and was named to the Class A all-region team last year.

Wilson Hicks
Decatur
Hicks averaged 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds, leading Decatur back to the postseason. The 6-foot-3 guard was a District 9-4A first-team selection and guided the Eagles to a third-place finish in district. Hicks shot 48 percent from the field and 46 percent from beyond the arc and was Decatur’s primary scoring option.

Mason Hix
Northwest
A District 6-5A first-team selection, Hix emerged as one of Northwest’s top scoring threats in his only season with the team. The UT-Arlington signee had a game-high 27 points in the Texans’ loss to Port Arthur in the 5A championship, earning him all-tournament honors. Hix shot 58.2 percent from the field on the year and averaged 13.1 points, helping Northwest go undefeated in district play.

Slayton Pruett
Slidell
The 6-foot-6 sophomore burst onto the scene in his second year, averaging 11.9 points and 8.9 rebounds. Pruett was a huge interior presence for Slidell, altering shots and protecting the rim. He averaged 2.2 blocks and was a District 21-A first-team selection this season and a second-team selection last year.

Sammie Freeman
Northwest
Freeman nearly averaged a double-double, notching 10 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-9 post shot an efficient 58 percent from the field and was a mismatch in the paint for almost every team Northwest played. Freeman led the Texans past Alamo Heights in the 5A state semifinals, posting a 13-point, 17-rebound double-double. He was also named to the District 6-5A first-team and to the 5A state tournament team.

GIRLS FIRST-TEAM

Kylee Fitzgerald
Decatur
Fitzgerald was Decatur’s second-leading scorer, averaging 7.1 points. She gave the Lady Eagles much more than points. Fitzgerald frequently got her teammates involved, averaging 5.3 assists. She was a District 9-4A first-team selection and matured throughout the season. Decatur coach Lindsay Griffin said Fitzgerald was an outstanding point guard and her ability to take care of the ball and facilitate is what made their offense function.

Miranda Smith
Alvord
Smith was a District 11-2A first-team selection and led Alvord in scoring with 12 points. She also averaged four rebounds, two steals and two assists per game. The 5-foot-6 senior guard was MVP of the Alvord Tournament and named to the TABC all-region team. Her aggressiveness on both ends of the floor helped Alvord finish district 6-4 and make the playoffs.

Paytin Bullard
Boyd
The 5-foot-8 sophomore led Boyd in scoring, averaging 16 points and seven rebounds. Bullard dropped 33 points in a game against Holliday and was named to the District 8-3A first-team. Bullard posed a significant problem for defenders with her height advantage and was able to post up on the block or knock down outside shots.

Paycee Edgett
Alvord
Alvord’s 5-foot-10 post averaged 10 points and six rebounds and was the Lady Bulldogs’ second-leading scorer. Edgett was a District 11-2A first-team selection and was also named all-tournament at the Alvord and S&S Tournaments. Edgett’s play around the basket kept Alvord in numerous games. Her size created several mismatches and her ability to put the ball on the floor helped the Lady Bulldogs maintain pivotal spacing.

Delaney Ingram
Bridgeport

Ingram broke her wrist in December and missed most of district play but was a huge problem for teams when she was on the court. At 6-foot-3, Ingram averaged nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks. When paired with her 6-foot sister Ashley, the Sissies had a dynamic 1-2 punch on the inside. Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor said before getting injured Delaney was possibly the most dominant center in Wise County.

BOYS SECOND-TEAM

Reuben Rodebaugh
Boyd
In his first season with the Yellowjackets, Rodebaugh was named to the District 8-3A second-team. He led Boyd in scoring, averaging 13 points. He also dished out 3.5 assists per game. Rodebaugh shot 40 percent from beyond the arc and developed into a crafty facilitator as the year went on. Boyd coach Jacob Hines described Rodebaugh as an excellent point guard and a great leader on the floor.

Jayton Malone
Alvord
The sophomore guard led Alvord in scoring, averaging 11.5 points. He shot 37 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent at the charity stripe. Malone was a District 11-2A first-team selection, leading the Bulldogs to a 20-12 record and postseason appearance. Alvord coach Aaron Tefertiller said Malone is the engine that makes the machine go, as Malone served as the Bulldogs’ floor general all season.

Jerod Blanks
Chico
The two-time unanimous District 11-2A first-team selection led Chico in points, assists and 3-point percentage this season. Blanks averaged 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He made 72 3-pointers on the year and shot 80 percent at the free throw line. Blanks scored 41 points against Chillicothe and led the Dragons back to the playoffs.

Danny Richardson
Paradise
Richardson was honorable mention for District 8-3A, averaging 13.3 points and 1.5 rebounds. He led Paradise in scoring and was always a threat to shoot, especially from behind the 3-point line.

Connor Richardson
Boyd
Boyd’s best defensive player, Richardson averaged 2.2 steals to go along with 11.5 points. Richardson’s athleticism and speed on the perimeter allowed him to harass opponents and disrupt passing lanes. Richardson could also space the floor, stepping out and hitting the occasional 3.

GIRLS SECOND-TEAM

Danielle Gilmore
Chico
Gilmore shot 40 percent from the field on the season and averaged 6.6 points during district play. She was a District 11-2A second-team selection and started on varsity as a freshman. Chico coach Jody Carter said she was the Lady Dragons’ best defender due to her quickness and desire.

Morgen Davidson
Bridgeport
The backbone of Bridgeport’s defensive intensity, Davidson averaged eight points, five rebounds and two steals. Davidson was the District 9-4A Defensive Player of the Year and helped lead Bridgeport to a 21-7 overall record. Behind her defensive prowess, the Sissies surrendered just 42.3 points per game.

Kaycee Martin
Paradise
Martin was Paradise’s second-leading scorer, averaging 9.8 points. Her outside shooting helped the Lady Panthers space the floor and opened driving lanes for point guard Maddie Mitschke. Martin had a buzzer-beater against Holliday to help Paradise start 6-1 in district play. She was also a District 8-3A first-team selection.

Gracie Isham
Decatur
Isham led Decatur in scoring, averaging 9.4 points and five rebounds. She was a District 9-4A first-team selection and one of the Lady Eagles’ best outside shooters. Isham also crashed the glass to the tune of 2.8 offensive rebounds. Decatur coach Lindsay Griffin said Isham became the offensive threat the Lady Eagles needed as the season progressed.

Hunter Rogers
Paradise
A three-year varsity member, Rogers poured in 8.1 points and seven rebounds per game during her senior season. She was a District 8-3A second-team selection and was a versatile threat shooting from the perimeter and on the block. Rogers drained several critical 3-pointers throughout the year and was capable of providing timely rebounds on the offensive and defensive ends.

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