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Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014

Southeast Missouri's New Year Awards

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Break out the party favors and prepare to kiss 2003 goodbye. It's time to hand out Southeast Missouri's Annual New Year Awards.

Top team:

Jackson Indians

Right now, Jackson looks like the area's best team. The Indians are 11-1, and their only loss came to an out of area team. Some might argue either Charleston or Poplar Bluff's case for the top spot, but Jackson beat the Bluejays on Monday and the Mules started 0-4 while waiting on Tyler Hansbrough to come back.

Top offensive team:

Dexter Bearcats

When it comes to putting the ball in the hole, you won't find a better team than Dexter. Against a good schedule, the Bearcats have averaged 72 points per game. Guards Josh Miller and Chris Guethle both have the capabilities of getting hot. Derek Demaree may be the best inside-outside player in the area.

Top defensive team:

Charleston Bluejays

Like most years, Charleston sets the standard when it comes to playing team defense. The Bluejays utilize their quickness and athleticism to contest nearly every shot and they make it difficult on many teams to make simple passes. They're allowing 52 points a night.

Surprise team:

Jackson Indians

Most gave up on Jackson after a season-opening loss to Farmington. But the Indians rebounded, winning their next 11 straight, beating the likes of Dexter, Columbia Hickman, Parkway Central, Charleston and Cape Central.

Top offensive player:

Dominitrix Johnson, Bell City

You won't find a better offensive player than Johnson. He can score from any spot on the floor and doesn't miss when the game is on the line. He seems to top himself night to night.

Top defensive player:

Marcus Biles, Charleston

Biles has extraordinary quickness and is the best on-the-ball defender in the area. When he's on the court, opposing teams have trouble just getting the ball up the floor.

Top rebounder:

Tyler Hansbrough, Poplar Bluff

No player dominates the boards like Poplar Bluff's 6-foot-9 all-stater. Sure, being the biggest player on the floor doesn't hurt, but he has a nose for the ball and he is relentless in attacking the glass.

Top 3-point shooter:

Jordan Sanders, East Prairie

When he's open, East Prairie's Jordan Sanders is lights out from behind the 3-point arch. His outside shot has been killing teams in the early season.

Most underrated:

Trentez Lane, Charleston

Farmer and Biles get all the attention at Charleston, but Lane is a big reason why the Bluejays are 10-1 right now. The 6-foot senior is solid in all aspects of the game and is probably the Bluejays' headiest player.

Top shot blocker:

Matt Rogers, Doniphan

When it comes to blocking shots, Doniphan's Matt Rogers is the area's best. The 6-foot-8 sophomore's presence in the middle forces many teams to adjust how they play.

Top senior:

Dominitrix Johnson, Bell City

Johnson would be a star on any team in the area. He's definitely the best point guard we've seen around here since NMCC's Dereke Tipler.

Top junior:

Tyler Hansbrough, Poplar Bluff

Hansbrough is one of the top high school players in the nation. No other junior in the tri-state area holds a candle to him.

Top sophomore:

Matt Rogers, Doniphan

Picking the area's top sophomore was a tough call. Doniphan center Matt Rogers gets the nod over Twin Rivers standout Michael Lance. He's averaging nearly a triple-double.

Top freshman: Jamarcus Williams, Charleston

Looking for the next high school phenom? Look no further than Charleston's Jamarcus Williams. There's no telling how good this 6-foot-4 freshman will be in three years.

Top coach:

Mike Kiehne, Jackson

Kiehne has done the best job with the hand he's been dealt so far. The Indians don't have any All-Americans, but they're finding ways to win as a team.