Americus Times-Recorder Girls and Boys Basketball Players of the Year, plus First and Second-Team All-Area selections
Published 9:20 pm Thursday, April 12, 2018
AMERICUS – It is time to give honor to whom honor is do. Several boys and girls’ basketball players from Americus-Sumter, Southland Academy and Schley County High School have distinguished themselves through their play throughout the 2017-18 season. Without further ado, we begin with the Americus Times-Recorder Girls and Boys Players of the Year:
Americus Times-Recorder Girls Player of the Year: Jykiera Long, Americus-Sumter
Americus-Sumter Senior Point Guard Jykiera Long put the team on her shoulders this year, leading the Lady Panthers to a 24-8 record and to the GHSA Class 4A Final Four. Long was the catalyst for the Lady Panthers. She averaged 16 points and 5 rebounds per game for the Lady Panthers. She also averaged 4.5 steals per game and 3 assists per game. Long scored over 1,400 points in her career. She hit 150 three pointers, tallied 500 rebounds, 600 steals and 200 assists in four years.
Americus Times-Recorder Boys Player of the Year: Joshua Lusane: Americus-Sumter
Americus-Sumter junior forward Joshua Lusane has been named the Americus Times-Recorder Player of the Year for his performance during the 2017-18 season. Lusane led the Panthers to a 25-4 record and a berth into the second round of the GHSA Class AAAA State Basketball Tournament.
Lusane averaged 15 points per game and eight rebounds per game. He also averaged two assists per game and 2.6 steals per game. He was named to the 2017-18 First Team All-Region Team.
2017-18 Girls All-Area First Team
Sophomore Small Forward DeAsia Ford (Americus-Sumter)
Ford averaged 9 points and 7 rebounds per game. She also averaged 3 steals and 2.5 assists per game. While the stats may not seem impressive, Ford played a key role in the Lady Panthers’ success.
Senior Guard Kathleen Kinslow (Southland Academy)
Kathleen Kinslow, the daughter of Southland Head Coach Ty Kinslow, had a tremendous year for the Lady Raiders. Kinslow scored 220 points this year. She tallied 59 assists and 67 steals. Kinslow broke the school record with 114 three-pointers made in her career. Kinslow helped lead the Lady Raiders to a 22-5 record and a trip to the second round of the GISA State Tournament.
Senior Guard Cassi Bass (Southland Academy)
Bass scored a total of 215 points this year, along with tallying 27 assists and 50 steals. Bass broke the single-season record for three-pointers in a season with 51.
Sophomore forward Brianna Pope (Americus-Sumter)
While the stats may also not seem impressive, Brianna Pope deserves a spot on the All-Area Team. Pope helped lead the Lady Panthers to the GHSA Class 4A semifinals. Pope averaged 7.6 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game and 1.6 steals per game for the Lady Panthers.
Junior guard Sydney Payne (Southland Academy)
Sydney Payne scored 202 points, pulled down 108 rebounds and tallied a total of 58 assists to help lead the Lady Raiders to a 22-5 record and a berth in the second round of the GISA Class AAA State Basketball Tournament.
2017-18 Girls All-Area Second Team
Junior forward Macy Williams (Southland Academy)
Macy Williams scored 174 points, grabbed 140 rebounds and blocked 34 shots for the Lady Raiders.
Junior forward Savanna Banks (Southland Academy)
Banks had a tremendous season for the Lady Raiders. She scored a total of 119 points, grabbed 137 rebounds and blocked 38 shots for Southland.
Senior point guard Shidajah Johnson (Americus-Sumter)
Though her numbers may not seem impressive, Johnson played a key role in the Lady Panthers’ success. Johnson averaged 5.8 points per game, but she did much of her work on the defensive end, averaging 2.1 steals per game.
Freshman point guard Nyja Carson (Americus-Sumter)
Here’s another player whose numbers may not seem impressive. However, Carson did the little things throughout the season to help lead the Lady Panthers to the state semifinals. Carson averaged 4.4 points per game, but like Johnson, Carson contributed on the defensive end. She averaged 2.4 steals per game for the Lady Panthers.
Freshman forward Dasani Minter (Schley County)
The Lady Wildcats may not have had a great season, but Freshman forward Dasani Minter had a solid campaign for Schley County. Minter averaged close to 10 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game. That performance during the 2017-18 season puts on the Americus Times-Recorder All-Area Second Team.
2017-18 Boys All-Area First Team
Senior point guard Eric Hall (Americus-Sumter)
Eric Hall helped lead the Panthers by averaging 16 points per game and four rebounds per game. Hall also averaged 5.5 assists per game and 2.4 steals per game.
Senior guard Siage Batten (Southland Academy)
Batten had a tremendous year for the Raiders, leading them to one of the best seasons in school history at 19-7. Batten was named to the GISA All-State Team this year. He broke the school record for the most free-throws made in a season at 153. Batten has also been selected to play in the GISA All-State Senior All-Star Game. Batten averaged 21 points a game this season, along with six rebounds per game.
Senior guard Alex Roach (Southland Academy)
Roach set a school record with 164 three-point shots made. He also was named to the All-Region Team this year and was named Region Player of the Year this year. Roach scored over 1,000 points in his career.
Senior forward Harrison Bell (Southland Academy)
Southland’s Harrison Bell was also an important cog in the Raider machine. A prolific three-point shooter his entire career, Bell tied the school record this year with seven three-point shots made in a single game. He was named to the All-Region Team this year, and has hit 106 three-point shots in his career.
Sophomore center Zykevious Walker (Schley County)
Though the Wildcats did not have a winning season, Zykevious Walker put up winning numbers worthy of All-Area status. Walker averaged a double-double per game for Schley County. He averaged 12 points per game and 11 rebounds per game. Walker also averaged two assists per game for the Wildcats.
2017-18 Boys All-Area Second Team
Sophomore guard Traveon Brown (Americus-Sumter)
Traveon Brown was another important cog in the Panthers’ engine. Brown averaged 10 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game. Brown also averaged three assists and two steals per game for the Panthers.
Junior shooting guard Jordan Taylor (Schley County)
The Wildcats went 12-14 this past season, but Jordan Taylor’s performance is worthy of being All-Area status. Taylor averaged 11 points per game, four rebounds per game and three assists per game.
Senior forward Sh’Qual White (Americus-Sumter)
Though his numbers may not seem impressive, Sh’Qual White played an important role in the Panthers success this past season. White averaged 8.5 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game. He also averaged one assist per game and 1.1 steals per game for the 25-4 Panthers.
Junior forward Chandler Studdard (Southland Academy)
Studdard averaged close to 10 points per game and three rebounds per game. While that might not seem a lot, it was very important in the success of the Raiders in the 2017-18 season. Studdard was solid on the defensive end for the Raiders as well.
Junior forward Parker Weldon (Southland Academy)
Studdard’s teammate, Parker Weldon, was another un-sung hero for the Raiders. He averaged close to 10 points a game for Southland. Weldon did the little things well, which has earned him a spot on the Americus Times-Recorder All-Area Second Team.