Johnson and McCoy are 2012-13 The Herald’s All-Area Basketball Players of the Year

bmccormick@heraldonline.comApril 20, 2013 

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    2012-13 All-Area basketball teams

    Boys

    Player of the Year: Anthony Johnson, South Pointe

    Coach of the Year: Larry Davis, Lewisville

    First team

    Qua Walls, Lewisville: A senior, Walls averaged a double-double that belied his 6-foot-1 size, while helping lead the Lions to a Class A state championship.

    Jaylen Reid, Rock Hill: The 6-foot-7 All-State selection averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and two steals per game. Reid was selected to the Carolinas Classic All-Star game.

    Anthony Johnson, South Pointe: The 6-foot-3 junior averaged 18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals per game. Johnson was named Region 3-AAAA Player of the Year, and was an All-State selection.

    Rakym Felder, Indian Land; The 6-foot freshman averaged 21 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds per game for the Warriors. Felder was named Region IV-AA Player of the Year, as well as Lancaster County Player of the Year.

    Nate Motley, Rock Hill: The senior point guard averaged 15.5 points, 8 assists and 3 steals per game as an All-Region 3-AAAA selection. Motley also played in the North-South All-Star game.

    Second team

    P.J. Heath, South Pointe: The senior post player averaged a double-double for the Stallions, 14 points, 10 rebounds, and nearly two blocks per contest. Heath was also an All-Region 3-AAAA choice.

    Carson Smith, Nation Ford: The wing averaged more than 15 points and nearly 7 rebounds boards per game for the Falcons and was a mismatch headache for opposing defenses.

    Arnaldo Toro, Clover: The 6-foot-7 sophomore earned Region 3 Newcomer of the Year after averaging 11 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for the Blue Eagles.

    Shakale Worthy, Lewisville: The guard was named the state's Class A Player of the Year by the High School Sports Report, and led all scorers with 17 in the Lions' state title game victory.

    Deuce Dunlap, Lancaster: The 6-foot junior guard scored more than 16 points per game and was an All-Region 3-AAAA choice for the Bruins.

    Honorable mention

    Harrison Lancaster, Fort Mill

    Rontavious McClure, Northwestern

    DeShaw Andrews, York

    Haydan Sawyer, Indian Land

    Roderick Howell, Rock Hill

    Riley Hilton, Nation Ford

    Taylor Hoover, Clover

    Warren Vinson, Rock Hill

    Mardarius Bailey, Lewisville

    A.J. Jackson, Westminster Catawba Christian

    Girls

    Player of the Year: Mariah McCoy, Northwestern

    Coach of the Year: John Bramlett, Northwestern

    First team

    Mariah McCoy, Northwestern: The 5-foot-7 senior guard did a little of everything, averaging 15.3 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists per game for the Trojans. The University of Maryland-Eastern Shore signee was the Region 3-AAAA Player of the Year, as well as a North-South All-Star game selection.

    Taylor Yarborough, Nation Ford: The -All-State selection averaged 20.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Yarborough, a 5-foot-8 junior, lead the Falcons in four major statistical categories.

    Asia Potts, Rock Hill: The junior point guard scored nearly 13 points per contest, grabbed 3.4 rebounds and dished 3.8 assists en route to an All-Region 3-AAAA selection.

    Aubriana Thompson, Northwestern: The junior guard averaged 13.5 points, 7 steals and 3 assists per contest, while earning a spot on the All-Region 3-AAAA team.

    Phoebe Johnson, Lancaster: The 6-foot-4 All-Region selection was a difference maker in the paint for the Bruins. Johnson, a junior, averaged 11.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3 blocks per game.

    Second team

    Ze’Kiya Knox, Rock Hill: The senior guard averaged 12.3 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals and one block. Knox was an All-Region 3-AAAA selection.

    Elizabeth Edmunds, Clover: The 5-foot-11 sophomore averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds per game for Clover. Edmunds was an All-Region selection.

    Carrie Lee Lancaster, York: The -6-foot sophomore center averaged a double-double, 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game and was an All-Region 3-AAAA selection.

    Ashley Jaggers, South Pointe: The -senior averaged 11 points, 9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. All-Region 3-AAAA selection.

    Chelsey Dorsey, Rock Hill: The senior guard averaged more than 10 points per game, 4.6 assists, 3.7 steals and hit 35 3-pointers this season.

    Honorable mention

    Cat Casey, Westminster Catawba Christian

    Aaliyah Knox, Clover

    Sha’Shay Alexander, Northwestern

    Rikoya Anderson, Lewisville

    Shaunte Young, Rock Hill

    Natalie Henderson, Northwestern

Pregame warm-ups would find The Herald's 2012-13 All-Area Basketball Players of the Year laser-focused, their heads nodding slightly, gazes intently locked.

But you'd have to listen closely, because you wouldn't hear much. South Pointe junior Anthony Johnson and Northwestern senior Mariah McCoy didn't need to tell opponents what was about to hit them. They would just show them instead.

“You don't always have to be boisterous, or be the one that stands out the most,” said South Pointe coach Melvin Watson. “Those types of kids that just go about their business and understand what it takes to help their team win, those types of kids, you call them winners. They're not gonna jeopardize that for publicity for themselves.”

Johnson and McCoy both have impressive statistics this past season, but more importantly led their teams to a combined 43-5 record. For that, Johnson is The Herald's All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year and McCoy is the girls' All-Area Player of the Year.

“It feels pretty good to get it,” Johnson said, with a shake of his shoulders. “I didn't think I'd get it.”

McCoy, a senior, said she wasn't surprised due to the amount of work she puts in, proving that quiet doesn't necessarily suggest a lack of confidence.

Both players' coaches were thrilled, and like McCoy, not surprised.

South Pointe’s Watson said of Johnson: “He's one of those guys whose leadership skills are on display on the basketball court. He plays extremely hard, team-first type of guy and never complains. That type of player you love to coach.”

And John Bramlett, Northwestern’s girls coach, could have been talking about the same person when he described McCoy. “She's what I would say is a coaches' dream. She scored 967 points in her career and she's been playing with me since she was a freshman. She should have had well over 1,000, but because she chose to involve other people, you know, passing the ball in situations where we wanted her to shoot, it kind of shows you what kind of character she has, what kind of player she is.”

McCoy was an almost behind-the-scenes-type operator, one that did a number of the little things that don’t get noticed by the average fan, but invariably make a team better.

“I just like to be a facilitator, and play through my teammates,” she said.

Johnson, a 6-foot-3 junior, did many of the same things, the main difference being when he led fast breaks for thumping one-handed jams, or exploded for 30-point games. Those dunks came from “his athleticism and his length in our press, because his arms are so long, and his anticipation is unbelievable,” Watson said. “He reads the next pass very well.”

Watson said he was most impressed with Johnson in mid-season when, with several key Stallion players sidelined with injuries, the junior led the team , averaging around 25 points per game over a two-week stretch, including a 32-point effort against Rock Hill.

When the injured players returned, “He didn't try to force things, he just played within the flow of the game and played with those guys being back,” Watson said. “That's an indication of maturity. I remember coaching him in JV, real slender guy. You bump him and he would fall on the floor. But to see him mature and be where he is right now, I'm really proud of him.”

Johnson and McCoy are second cousins, so maybe some common genetics are at work. Barely above a whisper, Johnson said he gets his stoic demeanor from “my momma. She don't really talk a lot; she always quiet.”

You don't have to be loud to be seen on the court. Whatever the source, both of these players know that.

Coaches of the Year: Davis, Bramlett

Bramlett is the Girls' Basketball Coach of the Year honors, while Lewisville's Larry Davis earned the top coaching honor for the boys after leading the Lions to their first state title since 1976. Bramlett's team dominated Region 3, spent almost the entire season ranked in the state and advanced to the third round of the playoffs, before losing to Wade Hampton High School.

Davis helped the Lewisville finally break Great Falls' grip on Region 3-A, as well as Class A as a whole. Davis' coaching job was seen his team's performance in the second half of the state title game. They broke open a five-point game with a 26-9 run to claim the title in just Davis' second year at the helm.

Bret McCormick •  329-4032. Twitter: @BretJust1T

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