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Times’ all-Pinellas County basketball teams

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Sat. March 22, 2014 | Rodney Page and Bob Putnam

Times’ all-Pinellas County basketball teams

Girls
Player of the year: SG Meagan Thomas, Sr., Dixie Hollins
Why we picked her:
How could we not? Thomas ended her four-year career at Dixie Hollins as the school’s best-ever player. She scored a total of 2,385 points, including 657 this year. Even though she is 5 feet 7, Thomas was able to get to the basket against just about anyone. She also averaged 32 percent of her 3-point shots (88-of-277). Teams often double teamed, and sometimes triple teamed, Thomas. She still led the Rebels to their first district championship and region tournament appearance, averaging 26.4 points and 4.4 assists. “She made everyone around her better,” coach Kelley Jones said. “Once they saw how Meagan played, they knew they had to step it up.” When she was a freshman, Dixie Hollins won seven games. This season, the Rebels won 19 — with Thomas scoring 51 percent of her team’s points
Most impressive accomplishment: Thomas said it was winning the school’s first district championship. The Rebels defeated Mitchell 58-36, and Thomas scored 39 points. “There’ll be a banner up in that gym and it will always be there,” Thomas said. “When we come back in 10 years or 20 years, we can look up there and know we did that. We talk about that all the time.”
Did you know? Thomas wasn’t even sure she would make the varsity team as a freshman. She didn’t start playing the sport until she was in sixth grade. Not only did she make the team, she averaged 24.1 points per game. “I thought I would play JV the first year,” Thomas said. “When I made varsity I was surprised.” Jones was not. “I could tell when I first saw her that she was a player,” she said. “She was scoring right away.” Thomas became so proficient that she may have her No. 11 jersey retired. “We’ve talked about that,’’ Jones said.
Future plans: Thomas plans to play in college, but she’s not sure where just yet. Schools like Daytona State, Charleston Southern, Prairie View A&M and St. Petersburg College have shown interest.

Coach of the year
Will White, Northeast.
The Vikings went 21-8 and eclipsed 20 wins for the first time in school history. They also made the region tournament for the first time since 1986. The Vikings have steadily improved since White — now in his third season at Northeast — took over.

First team
G Carley Plentovich, So., Calvary Christian:
Averaged 15.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists; same type player as her twin sister, smooth jump shot and good moves to the basket.

G Savannah Plentovich, So., Calvary Christian: Averaged 16.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists; helped lead team to a second straight Class 3A state semifinal.

G Alex Alford, Sr., Clearwater: Good ball handler and shooter who had the green light as soon as she crossed midcourt; averaged nearly 16 points per game in her fourth year as a starter.

G Amber Jennings, Sr., Palm Harbor University: East Lake transfer fit right in with the Hurricanes, averaging 14.5 points and hitting 36 percent of her 3-pointers.

C Jordan Berenbaum, Sr., St. Petersburg: Tough player underneath who also had a smooth jump shot; averaged 12 points and 5.6 rebounds.

Second team
G Katie Horan, Jr., Osceola
G Lazasha Baskins, Sr., St. Petersburg
F Siyana Allen, So., Lakewood
F Niaya White, So., Boca Ciega
G Emily Dine, Sr., East Lake

Honorable mention
Admiral Farragut:
Charlisa Jenkins; Boca Ciega: Kourtney Brown, Zoi Thompson; Calvary Christian: Kasey Howard, Saje Schlatterer; Clearwater: Deja Blunt, Madison Rubino; Countryside: Andrea Petrovic, Kellie Gaston, Kristin Gaston; Dixie Hollins: Shea Jemmott, Kinza Khan; Gibbs: Bria Bostick, Shelbria Murphy, Jessica Takdari; Indian Rocks Christian: Autumn Frost, Hayley Morten, Brooke Morten; Keswick Christian: Madison Span, Bekah Baxter; Lakeside Christian: Tyra Collins; Lakewood: Deja Swinton; Largo: Dionna Lee, Samantha Gilbert; Northeast: Madison Schmidt, Maddie Winningham, Emina Podzic, Lisa Waithe, Laura Fizell; Northside Christian: Madison Vaughn, Ryanne Jackson; Osceola: Jamie Green, Brooke Sponheimer; Palm Harbor University: Megan Ingram, Chardonay Aldrich, Kaylin Ingram, Julia Ingram, Michaela Leonard; St. Petersburg: Angel Brown, Simone Wilson, Michael LaShon Everhart, Brinesha Myrick, Victoria Uhatafe; St. Petersburg Catholic: Claire Hryniewicki; Seminole: Savannah Walker, Paige Lawson; Tarpon Springs: Zoe Lekakis, Jasmine Johnson, Tia Tucker

Boys
Player of the year: G Jacobi Boykins, Sr., Lakewood
Why we picked him:
Boykins missed most of last season after breaking his neck in a car accident, and returned this year to become one of the county’s most dynamic players on offense. He teamed with Anthony Lawrence Jr. to provide a one-two scoring punch that carried the Spartans to the Class 5A state championship game, where they lost to Plantation American Heritage. What set Boykins apart was how well he played at the end of the season. He averaged a team-high 21 points this season and scored 22 or more in eight of his final 10 games, including a career-high 34 in a triple-overtime win against Bradenton IMG and 25 in a win against Cape Coral Mariner in the region final to put Lakewood in the state semifinals for the first time since 2008.
Most impressive accomplishment: Boykins was named Lakewood’s MVP during the state tournament. He had a series of dunks in the fourth quarter of the Spartans’ win against Gainesville Eastside in the semifinals. His best performance, though, came in the championship game when he had 28 points, 13 rebounds and two steals.
Did you know? Boykins’ mother, Yolanda Ivey, was born deaf, and Jacobi had to learn sign language by the time he was 5 years old.
Future plans: Boykins has already signed to play basketball at Louisiana Tech. He said will not play with an AAU team this offseason and will concentrate on workouts before going off to college.

Coach of the year
Jerry Woodka, Tarpon Springs.  
It was uncertain how well the Spongers would fare this season after losing their best player, JT Aguilar, to graduation. But Woodka, in his second stint coaching at Tarpon Springs, helped a young team come together to set 10 school records, including longest win streak (11) and most wins (26). Success continued after the regular season with the Spongers winning their first district title since 1978 and their first playoff game since 1947.

First team
G Marco Behori, Jr., Seminole:
Warhawks’ most consistent scoring threat averaged 19 points and scored 20 or more in eight games.

G Barry Brown, Jr., Gibbs: On a team ravaged by injuries, Brown was the catalyst, averaging 20 points, five rebounds and three steals.

G Dayon Griffin, Sr., St. Petersburg: Louisiana Tech signee averaged 22 points and scored 32 in overtime loss to Winter Park in 8A region final.

F Brandon Jones, Sr., Largo: Pinellas Park transfer was a force inside, averaging 16.3 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

G Anthony Lawrence Jr., Jr., Lakewood: Led the Spartans to the 5A state final and had a triple double in four games.

Second team
F Ben Clare, Sr., St. Petersburg
G Brady Grimm, Jr., Shorecrest
G Donavan Hale, Jr., Largo
G Trai Halton, Jr., Tarpon Springs
F Jay Joyer, Sr., Shorecrest

Honorable mention
Admiral Farragut:
Da’Juan Johnson, Michael Obindu; Boca Ciega: Raeshon Dunbar, Shondell Williams; Calvary Christian: Chris Kolaxis, Eddie Williams, Paxton Wilson; Canterbury: Devin Levi, Kyle Shealy; Clearwater: Darien Asberry, Rasim Avmet, Chase Ierna; Clearwater Central Catholic: Randle Ignacio, Conner Lusnia; Countryside: Anthony Hinson; Dixie Hollins: David Secin; Dunedin: Sam Ralston; East Lake: Cody Carden, Trevor Godfrey, Kyle Mogged; Gibbs: Daniel Davis, Sajon Ford, Shaq Speights, Antonio Walker; Indian Rocks Christian: Ryan Ferguson, Jacob Seitman; Lakeside Christian: Tre Dodson, AJ Walker-Collins; Lakewood: Mike Clark, Joc Ellison; Largo: Jonathan Crawford, Curtis Reed; Northeast: Keith Harrington, Eric Pedersen; Northside Christian: Demetrius Jackson, Stephen Senderhoff; Osceola: Cotye Curry, Chase Ridenour; Palm Harbor University: Joe Pigozzo, Joe Walker; Pinellas Park: Nick Preradovic, Terrance Whitaker; St. Petersburg: Darius Banks, Terrell Burney, Pro Wells; St. Petersburg Catholic: Pasqual Artise, Nathan Dion; Seminole: Tanner Cowan, Connor Frain; Shorecrest: Marcus Blake, Kenny DeVaul, Tyee Johnson; Tarpon Springs: Scottie James, Mitchell Wilcox

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