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Class 1-3 all-state teams released

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

(Photo)
Willie Hassell
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association released the All-State basketball teams for Classes 1-3 today.

In all, 15 boys and girls from Southeast Missouri were selected to the all-state teams, the highest honor given out by the Missouri media.

Charleston senior point guard Marcus Biles was picked as a first team selection.

The 5-7 Biles averaged 16 points, four rebounds and five steals per game for the Bluejays, who finished third in the state with a 27-4 record.

"Biles just had a super senior season," said Charleston head coach Danny Farmer. "He was our catalyst. We could turn him loose anytime. Against most teams he could do what he wanted to do."

(Photo)
Jennifer Hoots
Charleston junior Ashton Farmer was picked as a second team all-stater for the second year in a row.

The 6-foot-6 forward had to adjust to playing center this season, but he still had a solid year, averaging 15.4 points and six rebounds per game.

"We lost (Kewain) Gant from last year and Ashton kind of took over his role on the inside," said Farmer. "He's coming back so that's something to build on. We have Ashton returning with a bunch of younger kids. That will be a big nucleus for us -- gives us something to start with."

Also from Charleston, Lady Bluejay senior Missy Whitney was picked as a first team all-stater after making second team last year.

Whitney senior year was nothing short of spectacular as she averaged 22.3 points, 11 rebounds and numerous other intangibles that don't show up in the box score.

"Missy's got a lot of talent," said Charleston head coach Kelly Barnes. "She's a good ballhandler. She's just great. She can score, play inside, play outside.

"You name it, she can do it. I'm extremely happy for her. She deserves it and she's a hard worker."

The 6-foot-1 Whitney was the biggest reason for Charleston's late postseason run, where she led the Lady Bluejays to their first district championship since 1986 before finishing up in the state quarterfinals with a 21-7 record.

"She's a great team leader," said Barnes. "She's really come through for everybody."

Portageville junior point guard Willie Hassell was selected as a first team all-stater. The 5-foot-10 Hassell averaged 18.2 points 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 steals per game this season.

"I'm surprised but he's definitely deserving," said Portageville head coach Jim Bidewell. "I think Willie really improved from his sophomore to junior year. He guarded well, he handled the basketball and he did the scoring. His game was pretty much complete this year. I'm just tickled for him that he was able to get this honor. He's one of the best guards that I've coached."

Scott City junior Mark Dannenmueller and Caruthersville junior Kyle Hubbard were other players in the area that were selected as second team all-staters in Class 3.

Amanda Lance of Twin Rivers was picked as a first teamer on the girls side while Kennett's Rachel Brown made the second team.

Caruthersville finished ranked sixth in the state in Class 3 with a 20-9 record.

In Class 2, East Carter's David Reynolds made first team all-state. Senath-Hornersville's Jerrad Duffel was picked as a second team all-stater after guiding the Lions to the final four.

On the girls side, only Breonna Young of Neelyville was picked as an all-stater, making the second team.

Senath-Hornersville finished ranked No. 6 in the state after finishing fourth.

In Class 1, Bell City's Dominitrix Johnson was picked as a first team all-stater. He previously was selected as a second teamer twice.

"It's the third year in a row that he's been selected to some kind of an all-state team," said Bell City head coach David Heeb. "He deserves everything he gets because he works real hard at it. He's just another in a line of good players that we've had."

Johnson's numbers tell the story as he averaged 29.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game in leading the Cubs to the Class 1 state championship for the second time in three years.

Seven times the 6-foot Johnson surpassed 40 points this season.

"We didn't really run into anybody all year that could just stop Dom," said Heeb. "He had a couple games where he didn't shoot as much. But we didn't see anybody that could just stop him. When the other kids got better, it sure made us hard to beat having a guy like that on the team."

Heeb was also picked as the Class 1 Coach of the Year, marking the second time he's been selected.

"It's an honor because there's a lot of good coaches in the state," said Heeb.

"You've certainly got to have good players. They don't pick the losing coach, you've got to win. And you've got to have good players to do that."

Scott County Central's Chris Pullen was picked as a first team all-stater.

The 6-foot-3 senior forward averaged 21.6 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks per game for the Braves this season.

"He's the hardest working kid that I've been around in years," said Scott Central head coach Melvin Porter. "You ask him to do something and he will go to the end of the world to try to do it. At the first of the season I made the statement that he's a coaches dream. He really is. He was the one player if you ever talked to the other teams, they always said 'we've got to find a way to shut down Chris Pullen.'"

Pullen helped lead the Braves to their first district championship since 1995 before losing to Bell City in the sectionals.

Scott Central, despite the early playoff exit, finished ranked fifth in the state in Class 1 with a 17-12 record.

Also from Scott Central, the Bravettes' Jennifer Hoots and Janet Penrod were both picked as second team members.

Hoots, a 5-8 senior, averaged 19 points and eight rebounds per game.

"I was really looking forward to Jennifer making first team all-state," said Scott Central head coach Semona Penrod. "Second team all-state can't live up to the time and effort Jennifer has put in here at Scott Central. I think of her as much more special and worthy of a higher honor. But it's good for her to be recognized with the second team. She definitely deserves it."

Janet Penrod averaged 18.6 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Bravettes.

Getting the honor was a pleasant surprise for her mother.

"I'm really proud of that," said Coach Penrod. "I'm really surprised that she made it because she struggled this year with a bunch of injuries. Sometimes when you have a point guard they're overlooked a little bit. She did quite a bit all the way around. She's not the quickest cat in town, but I think she is deserving as well."

Find the rest of the all-state list in the scoreboard on page 7. The Class 4-5 all-state teams will be released on Thursday.