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1A, 2A all-state teams released

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

COLUMBIA - The Class 1A and 2A all-state basketball teams were released today, with 15 area players honored. Class 3A and 4A teams will be released on Thursday.

In Class 1A, Bell City landed three players on the list after winning state with a 29-5 record. Eric Henry is on the first team, while C.J. Hadley and Dominitrix Johnson are second-teamers.

Henry was a second-team all-stater last season and improved in nearly every statistical category this season. He averaged 20 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and two steals per game.

Hadley was also dominant for the Cubs this season, contributing 15.9 points and 12.2 rebounds a night.

Johnson really caught fire in the second half of the season, giving Bell City a third scoring threat. He averaged 15 points, four rebounds and six assists per game.

Bell City coach David Heeb was named 1A Coach of the Year. Richland's Sherome Cole was placed on the first team after an outstanding senior season.

"Not only is he an all-stater in 1A, he would've been considered an all-stater in any class this year," said Richland coach Jimmy Lincoln. "If you had to pick the top 20 kids to come out of Southeast Missouri over the last 15 years, I would say he's one of them."

The 5-foot-10 senior guard led Southeast Missouri in scoring with a 27-point average. He also provided 11 rebounds, four steals and four assists per game.

"He has many offers on the table," said Lincoln. "He went to Kansas City this weekend for a shootout. There were 250 high school players there, and the director of the camp felt he was the number one guy there. He has drawn interest from JUCOs in Colorado, Hutchison, Kan., Johnson County and he's probably got six or seven Division-II offers right now."

South Iron's Chad Middleton and Marquand's Heath Stephens both made the second team in 1A.

In Class 2A, Caruthersville's Bryant Rodgers made first team all-state.

"Even though we didn't have a great season, I think he was one of the best players in Southeast Missouri," said Caruthersville coach Kevin Williams. "He carried us every night. We didn't have a lot of skilled players, and he was able to put us on his back whenever we needed him to. He had a great year."

The 6-foot-1 senior provided 23 points, seven assists and seven rebounds per game for Caruthersville's 14-11 team.

"If you've ever seen him in the gym just playing around, he can really do a lot of amazing stuff," said Williams. "If you really turn him loose, he's got a lot of flare to his game. He can drive, he can shoot the jumpshot and he jumps well. He's got a lot of weapons."

Charleston's Jordy Mixon was placed on the second team after guiding the Bluejays to a 20-9 season.

"All-state is the ultimate honor, and (Mixon) is very deserving of it," said Charleston coach Danny Farmer. "He had a tremendous year for us, especially for being a 5-11 postman. We depended on him."

Mixon averaged 19 points and six rebounds per game for Charleston's quarterfinal team.

"He jumps quick, he has an accurate shot and he's extremely strong," said Farmer. "It's not my coaching, he has developed himself by playing so much basketball."

Mixon was also all-state in football and is hoping to sign a letter of intent somewhere for that sport.

As a team, Charleston finished ranked No. 7 in the final 2A state poll.

"I thought we had a tremendous season," said Farmer. "We wish we could've beaten the state champs, Lutheran North, but we had some bad luck. (Lezcano) Dean went down in the second quarter and that kind of hampered our chances. But we're really proud of our season. Our underclassmen gained some valuable experience and I think it's going to enable us to take off next year."

Clearwater's Jarrett Bonard was also placed on the second team. As a team, Clearwater finished ranked No. 8 in the final poll with a 23-6 record. Lutheran North's Brent Rueter was named 2A Coach of the Year, after going 25-7 and winning the state championship.

On the girls side, Oran's Maria Eftink made second team all-state in 1A.

"She was pretty much unstoppable once we got the ball to her," said Oran coach Susan Diebold. "Even when she was double or triple-teamed, she either found a way to score or got the ball to an open teammate. She really worked on her post moves a lot and she had a nice mid-range jumpshot."

Eftink averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots per game. She will play for Fontbonne College in St. Louis next year.

"She chose to go to a smaller school because she wanted to get the playing time," said Diebold. "I really believe she will be a very good asset to that team, simply because of her leadership and work ethic."

New Haven's Melanie Schmidt was named 1A girls Coach of the Year after her team went 28-4 and won state.

In Class 2A, Notre Dame's Deana McCormick and West County's Liz Mosier both made the first team.

Scott City's Lauren Groves, Notre Dame's Lisa Millham and Bismarck's Katie Taylor were all placed on the second team.

Notre Dame's Jerry Grim was named 2A girls Coach of the Year. His team won state with a 29-2 record.