The interaction between Darnell Rogers and Kyia Hough during Thursday’s All-Area basketball photo shoot was natural and relaxed. That’s to be expected from two confident teenagers that don’t need their mouths to talk about their hoops abilities.
Rogers, a sophomore from Indian Land, is The Herald’s Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year, while Hough, a senior at Lancaster, is the Girls’ Player of the Year.
Rogers’ confidence is impressive considering he’s just a 10th-grader and stands only about 5-foot-3. But, as his coach Nate Smith points out, he’s played varsity since seventh grade, longer than any of his teammates, and his ability with a basketball simply makes his height a non-factor.
Rogers averaged over 25 points, six assists and five steals per game for the Warriors. He was voted Region 4-AA Player of the Year and was named All-State in Class AA after guiding the Warriors through a perfect region slate, and into the Upper State championship game where they lost to eventual state champs Newberry.
“It’s a great feeling, knowing that I worked so hard for my team to do what we did,” said Rogers. “It’s a great feeling, getting all the wins that we did.”
Hough’s confidence is even more solid now after a testing junior year of high school that rattled the bedrock of her self-belief, then settled it even further in stone. The 5-foot-5 point guard blew out her knee during an AAU practice and missed her entire junior year, but rehabbed vigorously with the help of her dad. She’ll play basketball at Western Carolina next season.
“It’s an honor for me to be named player of the year, knowing that I was out my total junior year, I didn’t think I could come back and get player of the year,” said Hough.
Hough led the Bruins with 15 points per game, 2.7 assists and 40 steals in 21 games. She was also named Region 3-AAAA Player of the Year and was an All-State selection, while leading Ronnie Robinson’s team to an undefeated run in the region.
Player of the Year: Darnell Rogers, Indian Land
Coach of the Year: Nate Smith, Indian Land
Tyreece Brice, South Pointe – All-State senior guard and Region 3-AAAA Player of the Year led South Pointe with 17.6 points per game, in addition to six assists and two steals. Brice, who will play in the North-South all-star game, shot 56 percent from the field and had a penchant for dunking over unsuspecting opponents.
Anthony Johnson, South Pointe – All-State senior forward was the Herald’s All-Area Player of the Year last year. Johnson is a high-flyer that suited South Pointe’s style perfectly, averaging 17 points, eight rebounds and 2.4 steals per game, while shooting 58 percent from the floor. Johnson will also represent South Carolina in the Clash of the Carolinas All-Star game against North Carolina’s best.
John Gore, Chester – All-State senior forward averaged 20 points and eight rebounds per game for the Cyclones, who won Region 3-AAA. Gore was a first team all-region selection and will play in the North-South all-star game.
Darnell Rogers, Indian Land – All-State sophomore guard was also named Region 4-AA Player of the Year after averaging 25.2 points, six assists and five steals per game.
Warren Vinson, Rock Hill – All-Region senior guard shot 40 percent from 3-point range, and averaged 18.5 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals per contest.
Nigel Simpson, Great Falls – Diminutive junior point guard was named Region 3-A Player of the Year, while scoring 15 points and dishing out over three assists per game for the Red Devils.
Luke Hamrick, Westminster Catawba Christian – Senior guard averaged 22 points per game for the Warriors, and shot 39 percent from 3-point range against a number of Charlotte private school powerhouses. Five-foot-11 guard has Division I, II recruiting interest.
Jamarcus Culp, Great Falls – Athletic senior averaged a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds per game en route to All-Region 3-A selection.
Tommy Sanders, Chester – Junior guard was an All-Region 3-AAA pick after scoring 16 points and dishing out eight assists per game for the Cyclones.
Deshaw Andrews, York – Junior forward led Region 3-AAAA in scoring, averaging 26 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for York.
Daurice Simpson, York; Derries Hampton, Indian Land; Riley Hilton, Nation Ford; Clenzo Ross, Northwestern; Bryce Allen, Clover.
Player of the Year: Kyia Hough, Lancaster
Coach of the Year: Ronnie Robinson, Lancaster
Phoebe Johnson, Lancaster – senior post player averaged 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game for the Bruins. Johnson, who signed with UNC Wilmington, was an All-Region and All-State selection and will play for the South Carolina squad in the Clash of the Carolinas against the N.C. all-stars.
Kyia Hough, Lancaster – senior point guard averaged 15 points, 2.7 assists and one steal per game. Hough will play for Western Carolina next season and was named All-Region and All-State this season. She’ll represent the Upper State in the North-South all-star game too.
Aubriana Thompson, Northwestern – All-Region performer averaged 15 points per game, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists per game for the Trojans.
Asia Potts, Rock Hill – 5-foot-5 dynamo led her region in scoring at 18.2 points per game and also averaged 5.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 5.3 steals per contest; All-Region 3-AAAA performer as well.
Rikoya Anderson, Lewisville – Eighth-grader led the Lions with 21 points and 12.2 rebounds per game in her second season on varsity.
Paige Samuelson, Northwestern – 6-foot-4 Cornell signee averaged eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocks per game.
Taylor Yarborough, Nation Ford – senior guard scored 12.1 points per game to go with 6.4 rebounds and three assists. Yarborough, who has signed with Belmont Abbey College, missed a chunk of the regular season due to injury.
Alixis Roccia, Nation Ford – junior point guard was selected Region 3-AAAA Newcomer of the Year after averaging 11.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game for the Falcons.
Telliya Patton, Clover – tall senior averaged 10.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.34 blocks per game en route to an All-Region selection.
Deja Marshall, Chester – sophomore averaged 14.6 points per game for the Cyclones, in addition to five rebounds, three assists and 2.5 steals.
Ieshia Love, Northwestern; Deiona Davis, South Pointe; Arianna Grevious, Fort Mill; Elizabeth Edmunds, Clover; Carrie Lee Lancaster, York.