Loganville Christian head coach Mark Davis is the 2017-18 Walton Tribune Boys Coach of the Year.
With the conclusion of basketball season The Walton Tribune is pleased to announce its 2017-18 All-County basketball team.
The 2017-18 basketball season was a down year for many local teams with just four teams, making the post season. But there was still a surprise playoff team among the veteran playoff teams.
Leading the boys and girls all-county teams are Loganville Christian Academy boys coach Mark Davis and George Walton Academy girls coach Lori Hines as Boys and Girls Coaches of the Year.
Davis led his team to the Georgia Independent School Association Elite Eight in his 13th year at the helm of the LCA program.
“First, let me say I am honored to be named (Coach of the Year) by The Tribune,” Davis said. “I was blessed this season to coach young men that love the game. Their dedication to the sport and each other was very encouraging to me.”
Hines, in her eight year at GWA, helped lead her team to a seventh straight trip to the state playoffs.
“I am very grateful to have tough, smart and unselfish basketball players that have got their team to the state tournament for the seventh straight time this season,” Hines said. “I also have had and have now outstanding assistant coaches, in Jim Smiley and Matt Reynolds. This was one of my tougher seasons in the last 10 years here…and to end at the state tournament was a lot of hard work that paid off.”
Monroe Area’s girls team returned to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years this season. Led by a towering force in the paint, Akeria Ponder, the Lady Hurricanes posted a 10-19 record.
Ponder finished the season with an average of 18.4 rebounds per game and an eye popping 6.1 blocks per game, both of which rank among the best in the county.
“I just told her we don’t need you to score,” Monroe Area girls coach David Radford said. “We need you to play defense and focus on rebounding. I think that was a huge relief for her. We found her strength and she really bought into it. We never would have made state without her.“
For her outstanding senior season, Ponder is being named The Tribune’s Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
While Loganville may have barely missed the state playoffs, Jamar Moore still put up outstanding numbers during the 2017-18 season. Moore averaged a double-double on the season with 16.0 points per game and 11.0 rebounds per game, placing him first and second, respectively, in Walton County in those two categories.
“Jamar was our anchor all season. He consistently led us in scoring and defensively was dominant on the boards for us to be successful,” Loganville head coach Josh Grayson said. “I think his biggest improvement was in re bounding. We weren’t particularly big this year so we really leaned on him on the boards. If he didn’t get it, we weren’t going to be successful.”
For his outstanding season, Moore is being named The Tribune’s Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
First team selections for the boys include LCA’s Caleb Towns, Walnut Grove’s Jailen Robinson, George Walton’s Brelan Holston and Monroe Area’s Isaiah Glasper and Elijah Goodman.
Honorable mention selections for the boys include Walnut Grove’s RJ Selman, Loganville’s Sheldon Arnold and Akil Covington, Monroe Area’s Devin Sheets and Michael Gray, Social Circle’s Ennis Wilfolk, George Walton’s Grant McDonel and LCA’s Tre Stafford and Andrew Cheek.
First team selections for the girls include Walnut Grove’s Ky Cooper, Social Circle’s Amiyah Williams, Loganville’s Alerriya Butler and Janae Charles and George Walton’s Baylee Bowers and Taryn Shelnutt.
Honorable mention Selections for the girls include Walnut Grove’s Hope Yancey, Destinee Long and Natavia Durham, Loganville’s Ty'Ceana Reid and Janae Charles, Monroe Area’s Jamilah Jones and Tydasia Davis, Social Circle’s Asia Williams and Loganville Christian’s Cassie Boatwright.
The Tribune’s All-County team is selected by a panel consisting of Tribune sports editor Brett Fowler, Tribune owner and publisher Patrick Graham and correspondent David Johnson.