Eight local players receive recognition by Missouri sportswriters
JEFFERSON CITY -- Several local basketball players have earned post-season honors as the Missouri all-state high school basketball teams and final rankings have been released.
Sikeston's Michael Porter once again was named to the Class 4 first team. The 6-5 junior averaged 19.6 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game in helping lead the Bulldogs to a 22-4 season.
"Michael has been such a great player for us," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "He continues to improve each and every year and this year he really stepped up and was a great leader for our team."
As a team, Sikeston finished the season ranked fourth after losing to eventual state-champion Notre Dame in the Class 4, District 1 championship game.
"It is such a great honor to be recognized as one of the top teams in the state," said Holifield. "We lost to a great team in districts and with so many other good teams in Class 4, it is truly an honor to be viewed as one of them."
In Class 4 girls, Dexter's Katelyn Heil earned first team all-state honors as well. The 5-10 junior averaged 18 points per game to go along with her 7.7 rebounds per game and led Dexter to a district championship and a 22-5 record.
"(Katelyn) is a very good leader, not only on the court but off the court as well," Dexter coach Chad Allen said. "She was the player we looked to go to when the game was on the line."
In Class 3 boys, New Madrid County Central's Kony Ealy was named to the first team. The 6-5 sophomore averaged 15 points and 8.8 rebounds for the state quarterfinalists.
"The biggest thing about Kony was that he continued to improve every day as the year progressed," said NMCC head coach Travis Day. "He was dominant on the boards and was a huge part to our quarterfinal run. Hopefully, this success will motivate him to work hard and continue to get better."
Charleston senior Brian Parham earned second team honors after scoring 16 points per game and pulling down eight rebounds per game.
In Class 3 girls, Portageville junior Brittney Walker earned second team honors after scoring 16.3 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game and 5.1 steals per game. She also helped her team to a 25-4 record and their first district title since 1988. Portageville finished the season ranked No. 7 in Class 3.
A trio of Scott County Central players earned all-state honors with 6-1 senior Caleb Johnson and 6-0 senior Drew Thomas named to the first team and 6-0 senior D.D. Gillespie named to the second team.
Johnson averaged just under 15 points per game and 8 rebounds per game while Thomas scored 19.5 points per game and grabbed 6.5 rebounds. Gillespie averaged 18.3 points per game.
"I am just tickled to death for these guys to be selected for all-state," said SCC head coach Ronnie Cookson. "They were the three team leaders for us this year and I couldn't think of any three more deserving. They came in every day ready to work hard and was a huge part to our successful season."
As a team the Braves finished the season ranked second in state after losing to eventual state champion Jefferson 70-68 in the Class 1 semifinals.
A complete list of the all-state can be found in today's scoreboard while the all-region list will be in Wednesday's edition.