Daily Leader All-Area boys’ basketball
When his team needed a point guard to step up into that ultra-important role, Brookhaven Academy senior guard Gavin Brogden did what had to be done. A more natural scoring guard who had started off the ball as a junior, Brogden became the one to handle the pressure from opposing defenses for the Cougars.
Averaged 11.1 points per game for a BA team that crushed their MAIS District 4-4A competition and finished 8-0 in division play. Added 3.2 rebounds per game, a career high 2.9 assists per night along with 1.9 steals per contest for coach Josh Watts.
An instinctive player with a quick first step that he sets up with a low dribble, the 5-foot-10 Brogden is a repeat Daily Leader All-Area selection. Has signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball at Co-Lin next year. An MAIS All-Star game participant and All-District player.
On a young, inexperienced team, West Lincoln senior point guard Ty Brotherns was a steadying presence for the Bears. Brotherns scored, distributed and rebounded while rarely coming off the court this season.
Averaged 13.8 points per game for coach Brooks Smith. Added 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 1.8 assists per game as a senior. Had a career high 42 points in a loss at Puckett, including seven made 3-pointers.
Came on as a junior starter and upped his averages this season. Missed much of his sophomore season due to injury. Can play either guard position. Was the only returning starter for the Bears. An All-Region selection.
A long, knockdown shooter who uses his athleticism to go up and over smaller defenders, Brookhaven Academy senior guard Dylan Fortenberry has been a high impact player for the Cougars in his two seasons at the school. The 6-foot-4 Fortenberry is especially good at shooting the corner 3-pointer to stretch opposing defenses.
Averaged 9.2 points per game for coach Josh Watts. Added 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals per night for the Cougars as a senior. Scored 16 points in his final game, a buzzer-beating loss to Hillcrest in the 4A South State Tournament.
An MAIS All-State wide receiver who was also a Daily-Leader All-Area selection in football. Starts for the BA baseball team as well. Transferred to BA as a junior after previously living and playing in Melissa, Texas.
Enterprise and coach Shane Adams really found their groove this season as they were as good as any team in the area at dictating the pace to their competition. A huge part of that was having a savvy veteran like senior point guard Hib Johnson running his team.
As a senior Johnson averaged 10.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for the Yellow Jackets. One of the best free throw shooters in the county. A three-year starter after transferring from Lawrence County after his freshman season.
Crafty with the ball and a true point guard who got his team into their half court sets every time he was on the court. One of his greatest abilities was to take contact and finish in the lane. Helped his team finish second in the Region 7-2A regular season standings.
The scouting report that opposing teams went over before playing Wesson always had this word beside the name of senior guard Larson Lewis — shooter. Lewis worked to make himself one of the best spot-up threats in Region 7-2A as his senior season was his best yet.
Scored 15.2 points per game for coach Rusty Newman while pulling down 3.1 rebounds each night and dishing out 2.2 assists a contest. Named co-region player of the year after leading Wesson to a 7-1 division record.
Doesn’t need to have his feet set to get a shot off. Improved over his career at putting the ball on the floor and scoring while going towards the basket. The 6-foot-3 Lewis is also a key pitcher for the Cobra baseball team.
A hard worker who’s dedicated himself to improving and has seen that effort pay off in his career, Bogue Chitto junior guard Tae Nelson can heat up quicker than any scorer in the area. Nelson’s ability to shoot from deep was a huge part of BC hosting a playoff game after finishing as Region 7-2A tournament runners-up.
Averaged 10.4 points per game playing both guard positions for coach Robby Walters. Added 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.1 steals per game. Exploded for 30 points including nine made 3-pointers in an early season win over Loyd Star.
Not just a spot-up shooter, but someone who can get their shooting motion off from a dribble. Quick footed and a capable defender, especially in the open court. Named to the All-Region team. Scored 12 points in the region tournament semifinals when Bogue Chitto knocked off top seeded Wesson.
There are few teams in the area who have the type of post presence that Lawrence County senior forward Juan Rhodes provided his team. Wide shouldered and standing 6-foot-5, Rhodes brings the type of toughness that’s needed in a rugged Region 6-4A that included state champs Lanier and state runners-up Raymond.
Scored 16.5 points per game for coach Pat Bridges while pulling down 7.2 rebounds per night. Also added 2.1 steals per game. An All-Region selection who averaged 12 points and seven rebounds per game last season as a junior.
The type of player who’ll get some community college looks due to his size, Rhodes has a great motor and stays active on offense and defense. High percentage shooter as most of his baskets came in the paint.
The same hustle, grit and determination that made Wesson senior guard Antrelle Sims so good on the football field translates to his game on the hardwood. Sims’ baseline to baseline speed is unmatched in the area and huge part of Wesson finished as regular season champs in Region 7-2A.
Scored 12.3 points per game for coach Rusty Newman. Also averaged 5.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.2 steals per game for the Cobras. Played inside for most of his career before transitioning to point guard as a senior.
The Daily Leader All-Area MVP in football. A Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. football signee as a wide receiver. Named co-region most valuable player in hoops and elected Mr. Wesson by his peers.
Just a sophomore, Loyd Star guard Julius Smith is transitioning into being the guy who goes and gets a bucket when his team needs someone to score. Led a very young Loyd Star team in scoring as they captured the Region 7-2A tournament title.
Scored 8.1 points per game on a balanced team for coach Seth Britt. Added 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. Also the starting quarterback for the Hornet football team.
Was a leading scorer in junior high as this same young group of Hornets had great success in seventh and eighth grades. Averaged 4.3 points per game as a freshman. At 5-foot-10 and 180-pounds, can use his size to push past smaller defenders and get into the paint. Shoots the ball high with a soft touch. Could transition into a point-forward that gets teammates open as defenses focus on him.
When he turns it on, there are few players in southwest Mississippi that can go toe-to-toe with Brookhaven High senior guard La’Darius “Duke” Thrasher. Thrasher has played point guard and off the ball in his career, but as a senior his biggest need was to score the ball for the Panthers.
Thrasher did that by averaging 19.4 points a night for BHS coach Marcus Flippin. One of the best vertical jumpers in the area, he also averaged 5.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game for the Panthers.
The type of player who continues to rise when he jumps and finishes at or above the rim. A MAC North/South All-Star game selection as a junior and a Mississippi/Alabama All-Star participant as a senior. A Hinds C.C. basketball commit and three-time Daily Leader All-Area selection.
Jaheim Ball, Lawrence County
Connor Bradshaw, Wesson
Tristan Buffington, Bogue Chitto
Casen DeHart, Loyd Star
Demeriuntia Jackson, Brookhaven High
Elijah Kennedy, Brookhaven High
Tra Mackabee, Bogue Chitto
Taylor Presley, Enterprise
Enrico Price, West Lincoln
Blake Thornton, Loyd Star