With the media’s release for All-Conference teams in the college ranks recently released, the sports staff at the Sampson Independent have selected their picks for the first-ever Sampson Independent’s All-County Boy’s Basketball team.
There was one player selected from each of the five public county school teams, and a Coach of the Year selected as well. Although there were many great players and coaches in the county this year, the staff dwindled the team down to 5 players and one coach.
The pick from the Clinton Dark Horses’ 19-9 squad that finished 3rd in the Four County Conference is EJ Howard. One of the team captains, Howard did it all for the Horses and head coach Randy Jordan. He averaged over 10 points and right at 7 rebounds per contest for a very deep Dark Horse bunch. Howard did far more for the Dark Horses than can ever show up in a box score, and for that, he earns his spot on this team.
The stretch-four Midway player had a great senior season and was best for the Raiders down the stretch of the season. His 29 points at Clinton in the playoffs and 16 points at undefeated Farmville Central, nearly led to the Raiders to the upset of the year in the East Region. Those two games don’t nearly do justice to the body of work Smith had throughout the year, and a much-improved jumper made him much more difficult to guard this season.
Union’s leading scorer and floor general gets the nod as the player representing the Spartans on this team. Chavious’ energy and dedication helped him perform at a high level throughout the season, and although it didn’t transfer into many wins, helped the Spartans get their program headed in the right direction.
Hobbton’s senior shooting guard was a force to be reckoned with in the Carolina 1A Conference. The Wildcats’ leading scorer at nearly 20 per game, King could score from everywhere on the hardwood, and was a great team leader. King’s best attribute was possibly making the players around him better, and he made huge plays for the Wildcats when they needed them throughout the year; none bigger than a pair of free throws that helped them upset Neuse Charter in the first round of the NCHSAA 1A State Playoffs.
Johnny Owens, the 5’11 junior guard from Lakewood, was a sharp-shooter than could also finish at the rim. He helped the Leopards contend night in and night out in the Carolina 1A Conference, and led the team in scoring at nearly 16 points per game. Owens also provided a huge spark defensively for Lakewood, averaging right at 3 steals per game, and was usually a great on-ball defender.
Coach of the Year: Alfonza Hooper
Hobbton’s head coach led them to their best finish in years, as he won 12 games and exceeded many expectations. The key win for Hooper and his squad came in the first round of the state playoffs when they knocked off Neuse Charter, the 7 overall seed in the East Region for the state playoffs. Hooper and the Wildcats did much more than they were predicted to do, and Hooper got as much out of this team as seemingly imaginable.