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The 2002-03 All-Standard Democrat Basketball Dream Team

Sunday, March 30, 2003

(Photo)
From left: Lontas McClinton, Ashton Farmer, Chris Hyten, Kewain Gant and Eric Henry.
ABOUT THESE TEAMS:

The 2001-2002 All-Standard Democrat Basketball Dream Team is a collection of the top boys and girls basketball players in the Standard Democrat coverage area. The teams were selected by Lance Hanlin, Derek James and David Jenkins. Teams in our coverage area include Sikeston, Dexter, NMCC, Charleston, Delta, Chaffee, Bell City, East Prairie, Kelly, Portageville, Scott City, Oran, Richland and Scott Central.

FIRST TEAM

Dexter, 5-8, Sr.

Hyten wasn't blessed with all the God-given talent in the world, but the 5-foot-8 point guard more than made up for it with his intensity and knowledge of the game. He could best be described as a throwback player, not dominant in any one area, but well-versed in all aspects.

While his ball-handling skills are his biggest asset, Hyten is also a very good shooter, passer and defender. He was tough on the press, very quick and extremely aggressive. When Hyten was on the court, he made the other four Dexter players on the floor better. He averaged 17 points, six assists and four steals per game for the Bearcats this season.

ON HYTEN:

"He's so feisty and tenacious on defense," said Advance coach Jim Hall. "It seems like he gets his hands on every pass and frustrates the player that he's guarding. On offense, if you give him a good look at the basket, he's going to knock down a three. He's also an excellent penetrator on the drive. He's the type of player every coach would love to have."

LONTAS McCLINTON,/b>

Sikeston, 6-3, Sr.

Our choice for Player of the Year, McClinton was the single most dominant player in the area. Playing against much bigger and taller players on a nightly basis, he made up for his undersized 6-foot-3 frame with explosive leaping ability and tremendous quickness in the post.

Despite commanding double and triple teams, McClinton still produced, scoring 20 points with 10 rebounds per game. He also had 62 steals, 55 blocks and he shot 63 percent from the field. He increased his shooting range this year to where he was a consistent mid-range threat and he also hit a few 3-pointers on the season.

Had an uncle Donnie McClinton that was one of the most athletic, 6-2 players, one of the best players around and McClinton comes from that kind of background. He's definitely one of those type of players Southeast Missouri has a tendency to have every three or four years."

ON McCLINTON:

"He was probably one of the top two or three toughest people that we had to guard all year," said Poplar Bluff coach John David Pattillo. "He really increased his range this year and was able to shoot from 15 to 16 feet. And he's always been a very active and very physical post player. He does a nice job of finishing around the basket."

Charleston, 6-8, Sr.

Charleston had the best team in Southeast Missouri this year, and Gant was the biggest reason why. He was a force on both ends of the floor. On defense, he changed the way other teams played, blocking an average of seven shots a game. He was also agile and quick enough to step out and guard his man on the wing.

Offensively, his nice moves and 6-foot-8 frame allowed him to shoot over all opponents and grab every rebound in sight. He also had a nice touch on baseline jumpers. He averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bluejays this year.

ON GANT:

"I thought he did a great job of leading (Charleston)," said Jackson head coach Mike Kiehne. "We were undersized anyway. With him in there, averaging seven blocks a game, it definitely changes the mind-set of your post players. He was huge for them this year, staying poised and keeping those young guys together. His stats didn't change much, but this year, he was a little more offensive-minded."

Bell City, 6-2, Sr.

Henry ended his memorable high school basketball career with an outstanding senior season. The 6-foot-2 guard was one of the top offensive players around, averaging 25 points a game.

He was able to create his own shot with his quickness and athleticism and rarely missed when given an open look. Henry was the driving force behind the Cubs' 24-6 team.

Bell City head coach David Heeb said it best: "When he gets in that groove, there's not a lot you can do about it."

Henry's offensive prowess often overshadowed his work on the boards, where he averaged 12 rebounds per game. He also provided three assists and three steals a night.

ON HENRY:

"Every time he touches the ball, you cringe," said Dexter coach Eric Sitze. "You just know he's going to do good things with it. He's either going to create for himself or he's going to create for a teammate. I also think he's one of the best offensive rebounders I've coached against. He's a great team leader and is a big offensive threat."

Charleston, 6-6, Soph.

After starting on the varsity last year as a freshman, Farmer's transformation into one of the best players in the area came as no surprise. With a big-time basketball body, 6-foot-6, 195 pounds, Farmer could either go inside or outside.

The sophomore averaged 14 points and six rebounds per game in Charleston's balanced offensive attack. He was a player capable of hitting the 3-point shot, and also capable of going baseline and jamming one home. With continued improvement, Farmer could become a dominant force next season.

ON FARMER:

"He's way ahead of your average sophomore," said Notre Dame coach Darrin Scott. "And you can't tell, he's still growing into his body. His perimeter game has improved from his freshman year, and I'm sure he's going to continue to get better and better. He's got the potential to become one of the better players ever to come out of this area. He's already got the size. With two more years, the sky is the limit as far as how much he can improve his game."


SECOND TEAM

Sikeston, 6-2, Sr.

Often overshadowed by his more flamboyant teammate, Morgan was the steady hand that kept his Bulldog team together. Playing point guard, he became known as one of the great clutch shooters in the area.

At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Morgan was bigger and stronger than opposing guards. Always a triple-double threat, he averaged 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game. He also led the team with 43 3-pointers made this year.

Bell City, 5-11, Jr.

After a stellar breakout season last year as a sophomore, Johnson returned this year a more physically mature player. The junior southpaw was simply too quick and too talented for most of the opponents he faced.

Despite playing alongside the school's all-time leading scorer, Johnson still increased his stats in every category as he averaged 23 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals per game.

Charleston, 5-7, Jr.

While most of the focus was on Charleston's enormous front-line, Biles was busy wreaking havoc on opposing guards. He was the motor that made the Bluejay engine run this season.

The 5-foot-7 junior lived up to his family's basketball tradition by averaging 14 points, five assists and five steals per game. He made up for his lack of size with incredible quickness and out-of-this-world leaping ability.

Dexter, 6-5, Jr.

Dexter's team was guard-oriented this season but Demaree's presence in the middle gave the Bearcats that coveted inside-outside threat.

One year removed from junior varsity, Demaree got off to a slow start. But by mid-season he was one of the top post players around. He averaged 17 points and seven rebounds per game this year. He also made 80 percent from the free throw line and he shot 63 percent from the field.

Oran, 6-2, Sr.

At 6-foot-2, Seyer wasn't the biggest post player around. But he developed into an automatic weapon for the Eagles down low.

He was stronger than most forwards and he was quicker than most centers. He was one of the best transition players in the area, scoring probably half his points with fast-break layups. He averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game.

HONORABLE MENTION

Portageville, 6-2, Sr.

Lacking star power from a strong graduated class from last year, Bidewell stepped up and put the Bulldogs on his back this season.

The senior was capable of playing guard or forward as he averaged 17 points, five assists and six rebounds per game. He had tremendous vision, making him one of the top passers in the area and he was a consistent free throw shooter.

Scott Central, 6-4, Jr.

While there were changes in coaching personnel for the Braves, there was always one constant -- Chris Pullen.

The slender, 6-foot-4 athlete, was too much to handle for most of the Braves' opponents as he averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks per game.

Oran, 6-1, Sr.

Throughout the years, Oran's current senior class always had talent. And during that time, Wood was the team's floor general.

He continued that trend this year as he handled the ball the majority of the time and he was the team's top outside shooter. He averaged 16 points, six rebounds and eight assists per game.

Charleston, 6-1, Sr.

On any given night, Hamilton would take his game to another level and become the most unstoppable player in Charleston's star-studded lineup.

The senior only averaged 8.9 points and 3.5 rebounds this year, but he was the team's top defender and he dished out 50 assists. He saved his best for the biggest game, scoring a team-high 24 points in the Bluejays' win against Poplar Bluff.

Dexter, 5-11, Sr.

Clark went from a bench reserve last season, to one of the Bearcats' go-to players this year. He was the most improved player in the area this year which gave Dexter one of the most dangerous teams around.

He averaged 12 points with five rebounds, three assists and two steals per game. He also made 76 percent of his free throws and canned 36 percent of his 3-pointers.


Top offensive player: Eric Henry, Bell City

Top defensive player: Kewain Gant, Charleston

Best shooter in crunch time: Lavar Morgan, Sikeston

Best slam dunker: Ashton Farmer, Charleston

Top rebounder: Lontas McClinton, Sikeston

Top passer: Ryne Wood, Oran

Top shot blocker: Kewain Gant, Charleston

Top free throw shooter: Derek Demaree, Dexter (80)

Top 3-point shooter: Kenyon Wright, Bell City

Top senior: Lontas McClinton, Sikeston

Top junior: Dominitrix Johnson, Bell City

Top sophomore: Ashton Farmer, Charleston

Top freshman: Jordan Kimball, NMCC

Most physical player: Michael Colon, Sikeston

Biggest spark off the bench: Joshua Strayhorn, Charleston

Most capable of carrying a team: Lontas McClinton, Sikeston

Most flamboyant player: Ashton Farmer, Charleston

Best team leader: Chris Hyten, Dexter

Quickest player: Marcus Biles, Charleston

Top ball handler: Chris Hyten, Dexter

Most underrated player: Michael Rose, NMCC

Most improved player: Preston Clark, Dexter

Best all-around team: Charleston Bluejays

Sportsmanship award: Kelly Hawks

Best fan support: Dexter Bearcats

Best band: Charleston Bluejazz

Best cheer squad: Dexter Top official: Jerry Dement

Game of the year: Charleston vs. Poplar Bluff Individual performance of the year: Eric Henry vs. Risco

Coach of the year: Danny Farmer, Charleston

Player of the year: Lontas McClinton


1997-98

* Ed Farr, NMCC, 6-2, Sr.

Jon Beck, Scott City, 5-11, Jr.

Howard Biles, Charleston, 5-10, So.

Denver Stuckey, Kelly, 6-0, Sr.

Gerald Pickering, Portageville, 6-0, Sr.

John Fort, Scott County Central, 5-10, Jr.

Larico Coleman, Charleston, 5-9, Sr.

Bryan Ellitt, Sikeston, 6-5, So.

Jim Hulshof, Kelly, 6-1, Jr.

Tim Lowery, Scott City, 5-10, Sr.

Jreece Johnson, Scott County Central, 5-11, So.

Corey Gipson, Richland, 5-11, Jr.

Pete Rutanga, Richland, 6-4, Sr.

Jason Glastetter, Kelly, 6-1, Jr.

Ryan Weatherspoon, Scott City, 6-6, So.

_

1998-99

* Jon Beck, Scott City, 5-11, Sr.

John Fort, Scott County Central, 5-10, Sr.

Bryan Ellitt, Sikeston, 6-5, Jr.

William Durden, Portageville, 6-3, Jr.

Jim Hulshof, Kelly, 6-3, Sr.

Corey Gipson, Richland, 6-0, Sr.

Torry Saxton, Portageville, 6-2, Sr.

Jreece Johnson, Scott County Central, 5-11, Jr.

Brett Hale, Dexter, 6-0, So.

Jeff Ewing, Charleston, 6-1, Sr.

Jason Glastetter, Kelly, 6-2, Sr.

Ryan Weatherspoon, Scott City, 6-6, Jr.

Quinton Sykes, Portageville, 5-10, Jr.

Daniel Presley, Risco, 6-0, Jr.

Vest Baker, NMCC, 6-1, Sr.

Brandon Barnes, Sikeston, 6-4, Sr.

Scott Mattingly, Dexter, 6-5, Jr.

Billy Loper, Oran, 6-5, Sr.

_

1999-2000

FIRST TEAM

* Bryan Ellitt, Sikeston, 6-5, Sr.

Jreece Johnson, Scott County Central, 5-11, Sr.

Brett Hale, Dexter, 6-1, Jr.

Ricky Smith, NMCC, 6-2, Sr.

William Durden, Portageville, 6-3, Sr.

Howard Biles, Charleston, 5-9, Sr.

Dereke Tipler, NMCC, 5-10, So.

Ronald Watson, Scott City, 6-4, Sr.

Shannon Wright, Dexter, 6-4, Jr.

Ronland Ranson, NMCC, 6-2, So.

Daniel Presley, Risco, 6-0, Sr.

Andre Morgan, Sikeston, 6-1, Sr.

Terrance Gillespie, Charleston, 6-1, Sr.

Scott Mattingly, Dexter, 6-5, Sr.

Ryan Weatherspoon, Scott City, 6-6, Sr.

_

2000-01

* Brett Hale, Dexter, 6-2, Sr.

Dereke Tipler, NMCC, 5-10, Jr.

Lezcano Dean, Charleston, 6-4, Jr.

Tony Jones, Sikeston, 5-9, Sr.

Shannon Wright, Dexter, 6-5, Sr.

Roy Booker, Portageville, 6-0, Sr.

Byron Minner, NMCC, 5-10, Sr.

Sherome Cole, Richland, 5-9, Jr.

Todd Blissett, Scott County Central, 6-0, Sr.

Eric Henry, Bell City, 6-1, So.

Jemorrio Betts, Charleston, 5-11, Jr.

Michael Romas, Kelly, 6-3, Jr.

Ryan Poyner, East Prairie, 6-5, Sr.

Justin Freeman, Sikeston, 6-4, Jr.

Ronland Ranson, NMCC, 6-4, Jr.


2001-2002

*Dereke Tipler, NMCC, 5-10, Sr.

Sherome Cole, Richland, 5-10, Sr.

Jordy Mixon, Charleston, 5-11, Sr.

Lontas McClinton, Sikeston, 6-3, Jr.

Chris Carr, Dexter, 6-7, Sr.

J.T. Williams, Portageville, 6-3, Sr.

Ronland Ranson, NMCC, 6-4, Sr.

Eric Henry, Bell City, 6-1, Jr.

Lezcano Dean, Charleston, 6-4, Sr.

Chad Gill, Dexter, 6-0, Sr.

C.J. Hadley, Bell City, 6-4, Sr.

Eric Booker, Portageville, 6-3, Sr.

Derrell Minner, NMCC, 6-8, Sr.

Nathan Seyer, Oran, 6-3, Jr.

Dominitrix Johnson, Bell City, 5-10, Soph.


2002-2003

*Lontas McClinton, Sikeston, 6-3, Sr.

Kewain Gant, Charleston, 6-8, Sr.

Chris Hyten, Dexter, 5-8, Sr.

Eric Henry, Bell City, 6-2, Sr.

Ashton Farmer, Charleston, 6-6, Soph.

Lavar Morgan, Sikeston, 6-2, Sr.

Dominitrix Johnson, Bell City, 5-11, Jr.

Marcus Biles, Charleston, 5-7, Jr.

Derek Demaree, Dexter, 6-5, Jr.

Nathan Seyer, Oran, 6-2, Sr.

Aaron Bidewell, Portageville, 6-2, Sr.

Chris Pullen, Scott Central, 6-4, Jr.

Ryne Wood, Oran, 6-1, Sr.

Deshaundray Hamilton, Charleston, 6-1, Sr.

Preston Clark, Dexter, 5-11, Sr.

* selected player of the year