The N.C. Basketball Coaches’ Association named its All-District teams on Wednesday, and there was plenty for 1A girls’ state finalist Mount Airy to celebrate.
Two-time Northwest 1A Conference Player of the Year Jo Snow was one of only two 1A players named to the All-District 11 first team on the girls’ side of the selections, while her teammates Asherah Smith and Shaunae Sawyers were both selected to the third team. For the boys, the Granite Bears’ Caleb Arrington was of only two 1A players named to the first team.
Janiya Downs, a 5’10” junior point guard from South Rowan who averaged 21.2 points and 12.8 rebounds per game, beat out Snow for District Player of the Year. Two other players from the area joined those two on the first team. Parkley Hennings, a sophomore post player from Forbush, made the cut after leading the Lady Falcons to a share of the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference title. Alexis Pardue, a 5’10” forward from East Wilkes, was named to the first team after helping her team go 23-5 and reach the fourth round of the 1A playoffs. Abigail Wilson, a sophomore from West Rowan, claimed the other spot on the first team.
Coach Bradley Shore of Forbush was named as the District’s Coach of the Year.
Another Rowan County player, Caleb Mauldin of West Rowan, was named as the District 11 boys’ Player of the Year. Two NW1A players joined him on the first team. Arrington claimed one of the spots and South Stokes big man Ben Bowen the other. Rounding out the first team were Jamarius Hairston of Jesse Carson and Bryant Greene of Watauga.
The NW1A was also represented on the boys’ side by Winston-Salem Prep, which plays in District 7. Conference Player of the Year Daivien Williamson was chosen to the first team in that district, with Chaz Gwyn on the third team.
The girls’ second team was dominated by players in the southern part of the region, while the third team was filled with local athletes. North Surry senior Mikaela Johnson was named to the third team, along with the two Lady Bears, Forbush guard Nicole Scott, and Victoria Young of 2A state finalist North Wilkes.
Hennings, the co-Player of the Year in the WPAC, and Scott led Forbush in scoring as the team posted a 23-5 record and reached the third round of the 2A playoffs. Snow averaged 12.6 points and 4.4 assists for the Lady Bears. Smith led the team this season with 17 points per game, while Sawyers tallied 11 points, 4.7 rebounds and four assists.
Johnson, who has already signed with High Point University for next season, averaged 14.5 points and 10.3 rebounds. North Surry won the WPAC Tournament title, marking the eighth straight season in which the Lady Greyhounds won a league title of some sort.
The girls’ second team consists of Carson’s Olivia Gabriel, North Iredell’s London Likes, Bryanna Troutman of Salisbury, Malaya Cowles of Wilkes Central and Emily Phillips of North Wilkes.
For the boys, Arrington led the way for a Mount Airy team that ranked among the state’s top 10 1A teams all season. He averaged 17.7 points per game in his senior season.
The only other local players named to any of the boys’ All-District teams were Isaac Spainhour of West Stokes, who made the second team, and Cass Griffin of Starmount, who made the third team. Griffin, a 6’4” senior guard, helped the Rams vault from 9-16 a year ago to a 24-4 mark this season and a Mountain Valley 1A/2A Conference title.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.