All-County Basketball 2013-14
Although we're getting into the spring sports groove, memories of the recent basketball still linger. With that in mind, The Daily Courier is proud to present its 2013-14 All-County basketball teams.
These 10 players (five boys and five girls) set themselves apart with their on-court performances throughout the season. Instead of pouring out numbers and thoughts from individual coaches, I decided to offer my personal insights as to why I chose these players for this exclusive list.
Devonte Boykins, East Rutherford, SR. PG
(19 PPG, 8.5 RPG)
My take: Boykins showed the ability to take over a game that I've rarely seen on the high school level. Whether it be scoring, rebounding or getting his teammates involved, Boykins has that next level that few players can match. Not only was Boykins one of if not the most talented player on the floor during every game he played, but he outworked everyone as well. If you're in between Boykins and the basket, you should probably just get out of the way.
Travis Waldroup-Rodriguez, East Rutherford, SR. F
(22 PPG, 7.5 RPG)
My take: There's no question that Wadroup-Rodriguez was one the most gifted scorers to ever come through Rutherford County. The fact that he could use his 6-foot-6 frame to find his shot close to the basket with an array of moves is terrifying enough for opposing coaches, but more worrisome is that he's even more comfortable away from the basket and beyond the 3-point line shooting over 40 percent from long range. Also, an 86 percent free-throw shooter is rare on the prep level.
Rashaun Whitesides, R-S Central, SR. F
(17 PPG, 8 RPG)
My take: Call me crazy, but if I had to choose Rutherford County's best power forward I'd take the 6-foot-nothing Whitesides every time. Despite being incredibly undersized for his position, he still found a way to not only score 17 points per game and also lead the Hilltoppers in rebounding. Whitesides is one of those classic cases of football strength translating to the basketball court as he out-muscled power forwards six inches taller and 30 pounds heavier throughout his varsity career.
Jay'len Hollis, R-S Central, SR. F
(17 PPG, 6.2 RPG)
My take: If you think about signing up for a slam dunk contest and you see that Hollis is already on the list, forget it. Go home. If you don't believe m,e just go ask a pair of Chase Trojans that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hollis took his freakish athleticism to the max this season for the Hilltoppers providing fans from local and opposing schools highlight-reel slams. But aside from his aerial antics, Hollis was a solid big man for a small Hilltoppers lineup especially on the offensive glass.
Jaylon Simmons, Thomas Jefferson, SO. G
My take: It's hard to believe this kid didn't start for much of the season, but if you saw Simmons check into the game you knew that the Gryphons were about to pull away. Simmons help lead Thomas Jefferson to a second-place finish in its first season in the Southern Piedmont Conference with his sweet jumper that led to 50 made 3-points in 2013-14. This kid is just a sophomore, keep an eye on him in the coming years.
Rachel Camp, East Rutherford, SR. G
(28 PPG, 10 RPG)
My take: 3,000 points. What more do I really have to say? Camp is arguably the greatest basketball player, male or female, to ever play in Rutherford County. Every time she stepped on the court this past season she was head and shoulders above any other girl on the floor. No player was better at driving the lane for a layup or fighting through traffic to find an open jumper. The fluidity at which she moved around the court was unparalleled. Even on a team that was loaded with talent, Camp was still the most integral part to any team in the county. We'll be talking about Rachel Camp for a long time.
Te'Ja Twitty, R-S Central, SO. F
(19.5 PPG, 14.2 RPG)
My take: Twitty played on a team where she was the focal point of the defense every night, but none of that mattered. Despite constant double teams and attention, Twitty posted outrageous number every night that made you think Dwight Howard was suiting up for the Lady Hilltoppers. R-S Central head coach Darius Fuller has a real gem to build his team around for the next two years. If Twitty keeps up the pace she's set early in her career, we could be witnessing another all-time Rutherford County great.
Tia Bristol, R-S Central, SR. G
(15.1 PPG, 10.3 RPG)
My take: Bristol was the absolute motor for the Lady Hilltoppers this season. I don't think I saw another player sprint up and down the floor harder or more often. And if you saw Bristol pull down one of her 10 rebounds per game and take off down the floor with the ball, you could almost automatically chalk up two points because she was going to find her way to the rim, pop for a midrange jumper or find her sister, Twitty, under the basket for an easy layup. Bristol will be a huge loss for the R-S Central program on both sides of the ball.
Shay Dewberry, East Rutherford, SR. G
My take: No shooter in Rutherford County, male or female, was more deadly from behind the arc than Dewberry in 2013-14. Dewberry and Camp were a dynamic duo that no team had a chance of stopping. If defenses focused on keeping Camp away from the basket then Dewberry would kill them from deep. If they tried to keep Dewberry from lighting them up with 3s then Camp would attack the paint. Head coach Larry Ross praised Dewberry's performance all season and for good reason. Without Dewberry it's hard to see the Lady Cavaliers dominating the conference the way they did.
Rachel Tevis, Thomas Jefferson, SR. G
My take: The Thomas Jefferson Lady Gryphons made a run to the state playoffs this season, something that most likely wouldn't have been possible without, who head coach Roy Parton often called the quarterback of the team, Rachel Tevis. Tevis set the pace for the team on fast breaks for countless breakaway layups and always found the open girl when defenses keyed on her.
SECOND TEAM ALL-COUNTY
Shakari Jackson, East Rutherford, SR. F
Efrim Borders, Thomas Jefferson, SR. G
Nick Mintz, Thomas Jefferson, SO. G
Mason Fenner, Thomas Jefferson, SR. G
Desmond Whitesides, R-S Central, JR. G
Kyra Davis, Chase, FR. G
Tamara Blanton, East Rutherford, JR. G
Justina Greene, East Rutherford, SR. F
Emily Elgin, East Rutherford, FR. G
Alyssa Edwards, Thomas Jefferson, JR. F