COLUMBIA - The Missouri Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association released the Class 3A-4A all-state teams today with 10 area players getting honored.
In Class 3A boys, Sikeston's Lontas McClinton was picked as a second team member while New Madrid County Central's Dereke Tipler and Ronland Ranson were selected for first team and second team respectively.
It was a fitting end to McClinton's junior year, where he averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds per game and was the SEMO Conference leading scorer.
He was also first team all-conference and first team all-region.
"He really came on this season and played well and was very consistent," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "He was a good scorer for us, plus he was an outstanding rebounder and he became a good defender. He turned the corner for us this season and really turned into a fine player."
McClinton made huge strides from his sophomore year where he didn't finish the season. Holifield said he was a changed person.
"His attitude was so good this season," said Holifield. "He matured so much as a player and as a person. I just can't say enough about how much his work ethic improved. If he continues to do this he has a chance next season to be an outstanding player."
Tipler capped his brilliant career with his second straight first team all-state selection. He was also a second team member as a sophomore.
The senior led the Eagles to the Class 3A championship game for the third year in a row where they finished second this year. Tipler led the Eagles to consecutive state championships the previous two years.
"Yeah, it definitely was a great career," said NMCC head coach Joby Holland. "Not many people can say they were a three time all-stater. He's meant so much to our school. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to coach him. His best days are ahead of him and I'm excited about his future. I'm real pleased with the legacy he left behind at New Madrid County."
Tipler averaged 20 points and eight assists this season for the Eagles and became NMCC's all-time leading scorer with more than 1,600 points. He was also the school's all-time assist leader with more than 600.
Tipler's play the last three years will earn him a place among the area's best point guards.
"There's been a lot of good ones with Anthony Beane at Bernie, the (Antonio) Sykes kid at Portageville and Michael Morris at Charleston," said Holland. "But I don't see how you could say that any of them were better than Dereke. He has to be right there with the best of them that's ever come through. I can't think of many kids that have been all-state three years in a row. That's a great feat and puts him in a class by himself."
Tipler gave an oral commitment to attend Southeast Missouri State University. He will be able to sign a letter of intent April 10.
Ranson, who was also a three-year starter for the Eagles, was selected after averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.
Holland thought it was an award that was overdue after Ranson had a solid sophomore season.
"Coach (Lennies) McFerren and I thought he really probably should've made it his sophomore year -- Dereke got it and Ricky Smith got it and it's hard to get three guys on there -- Ronland was just kind of the odd-man out," said Holland. "But he had a great sophomore season and this is something, in my mind, that's been waiting to come for some time and I'm glad he finally got it. He had a great year for us and had a really good post season to get us to where we were."
The Eagles, which fell to MICDS in the championship game 53-51, ended up ranked No. 2 in the state with a record of 28-4 under first-year head coach Holland.
"It was disappointing not to win it this last time, but as the days go by you realize what a good accomplishment it was," said Holland. "Finishing second in the state, we'll take that. You can't complain with the season we had and the kids we've had. It's been a good run. (Tipler and Ranson) have been kind of the backbone of the program for the last three years. No telling how many passes went from Dereke to Ronland. They were a big part of our offense."
Park Hills Central finished ranked No. 9 with a 26-3 record. MICDS head coach Don Maurer was named coach of the year in Class 3A.
Brandi Cox of the Doniphan Donettes was selected first team all-state while Fredericktown's Nickey Tucker was picked for second team all-state.
Fredericktown, which defeated Sikeston's girls in the district championship game 49-41, finished ranked No. 8 in the state with a record of 22-8.
In Class 4A, Poplar Bluff junior standout Tony Webb was selected second team all-state after leading his team to the school's first district championship in nine years.
Poplar Bluff, which lost to eventual 4A runner up DeSmet in the sectional round, finished ranked No. 5 in Class 4A with a 24-4 record.
DeSmet's Bob Steiner was named 4A coach of the year.
Poplar Bluff's girls team, which finished third in the state with a record of 28-4, had two players named all-state. Senior Ashley Williams was a first team selection and senior Nicole Rivers was a second team selection.
Cape Central's Sarah Hyslop and Jackson's Jenna Leet were named second team all-staters.