Nobody asked me but...another high school basketball season has come and gone (six months until football) and soon selections will be made for all-state teams.
While many eagerly await these selections, an equal number (okay, a few) await with baited breath for the basketball NAMBY's.
The time has come for the first annual basketball NAMB Awards. With the huge success of the football NAMBY's, it is only fair that basketball receive the same posh treatment. Coaches and players are humbled by post season awards, but deep down the only award that will have a lasting impression, is the NAMBY.
So without further adieu the 2006 NAMB Awards as decided by yours truly. As in football, the NAMBY only goes to a player or coach that I personally saw. Here we go...
Offensive Player of the Year - Senior Andrew Halford of the Risco Tigers. Risco had one of its best seasons in recent memory and was led by the offensive production of Halford. In 25 games, Halford averaged 23 points per game and 10 boards a game. Halford shot 64 percent from the field and 32 percent from 3-point distance.
On the year, Halford did not score less than 15 points in any contest, and had five games of 30 points or more. Two games that stuck out for Halford was the 36-point effort against the Bell City Cubs, and the 35-point, 22-rebound game against the Holcomb Hornets.
At 6-foot-2, Halford was a load to stop on the blocks and as the season progressed, develop a perimeter game that was second to none.
Defensive Player of the Year - Senior Matt Rogers of Doniphan. The basketball NAMBY's are usually reserved for the Standard Democrat coverage area, but Rogers could not be ignored for this award. At 6-10, Rogers was a dominating force in the paint. With above average athletic ability for a player of his size, combined with excellent timing, Rogers either racked up blocked shots or forced a shooter in an ill-advised shot.
Rogers' signature game was against the New Madrid County Central Eagles. In an all-around dominant performance, Rogers had 20 points, 19 rebounds and 11 blocks. No player was feared as much, just for his defense, than Rogers was. In the battle of the giants with Will Bogan of Bell City, Rogers held Bogan, who averaged 19 points per game, to seven points in the matchup and had numerous block shots.
Coach of the Year - Gregg Holifield from Sikeston. Holifield turned around the Bulldogs from a nine-win season from a year ago, to a 23-win and second place finish in Class 4. The second place finish is the best in school history in basketball for Sikeston.
Holifield is at his best with in-game adjustments and his greatest asset, is the ability to break down an opponent and develop a game-plan when he has time to prepare. One can only wonder if Holifield was given an extra day to scout Borgia, would the result have been different?
Team of the year - Sikeston Bulldogs. A second place finish in Class 4, with a freshman as a leader, the Bulldogs could win this NAMBY for many a year to come.
Some other individual awards...
Best shooter - Justin Clark from Charleston
Best passer - Jordan Kimball of NMCC
Best rebounder - Jamarcus Williams from Charleston
Best senior - Andrew Halford of Risco
Best junior - Will Bogan from Bell City
Best sophomore - D.D. Gillespie of Scott Central
Best freshman - Michael Porter from Sikeston
Awards for the imagination...
Game of the Year - NMCC over Twin Rivers, 63-61. A 17-foot jump shot at the buzzer by Kimball of the Eagles for the game winner.
Best crowd support - East Prairie
Best mascot - Richland Rebels. Save the colonel.
Best basketball gym - Sikeston Field House. Only thing that can improve the Dog Dome would be circular seating.
And finally, nobody asked me but...next week will be the first annual NAMB Awards for the girls basketball. I know you guys will be on pins and needles. Until then...