SIKESTON -- Post-season all-state awards were announced with four Southeast Missouri basketball players receiving recognition.
The Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Class 1, 2 and 3 All-State teams included Portageville's Willie Hassell and Charleston's Ashton Farmer on the Class 3 first team, Bell City's Jeff Liggins on the Class 1 first team and Charleston's Jamarcus Williams on the Class 3 second team.
Hassell, the Standard Democrat boys Player of the Year, was chosen to the first team for the second straight year.
"He's certainly deserving of it," said Portageville coach Jim Bidewell. "He's a committed, coachable athlete who puts in the extra time (to get better). I can't think of anybody else more deserving than he is."
The talented 5-foot-10 senior point guard led Portageville to a 22-6 season and a district final appearance. He averaged 20 points, 5.0 steals, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.
The consummate unselfish player, Hassell was noted for playing within the team concept and making teammates around him better.
"It's a great honor," said Hassell. "It's icing on the cake after a good season."
Farmer, a 6-6 center, was the lone senior starter on a Charleston team that finished second in the 2005 Class 3 state tournament.
He helped his team to two other third-place finishes in 2003 and 2004.
"I'm really proud of Ashton," said his coach and father Danny Farmer. "He was very instrumental in us placing second in state. All year long he was double- and triple-teamed and he still put up some big numbers."
A second-team all-stater last season, Farmer led the Bluejays in scoring with 19.2 ppg while averaging 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.2 blocks.
"It's an honor to be chosen," said Ashton Farmer.
"It makes all the hard work seem worthwhile to be selected as part of that team."
Liggins, undersized as a 6-foot center, showed an uncanny ability to mix it up with bigger players inside.
"What he does, at his size, is just incredible to me," said Bell City coach David Heeb. "He's a first-class individual on the court and off and a kid that really deserves an honor like this. In the last two years, he's really matured as a team leader, also."
The junior led Bell City to a fourth-place finish in state this season, averaging 13.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 2.0 blocks.
Williams, a 6-4 sophomore leaper in his second season in a starting role, was the Bluejays second leading scorer at 14.5 ppg and leading rebounder with 9.5 per contest.
A 30-point, 14-rebound effort in Charleston's state quarterfinal win showcased Williams' tremendous upside.
"Jamarcus always came through in the big games," said Danny Farmer. "He was a relentless rebounder who played at a much higher level than a typical sophomore."
Hassell, Farmer and Liggins were also selected the Missouri Coaches Association All-State team.
On the girls side, Charleston's 6-foot-3 senior Shytoria Davis was selected as a second team all-state member.