All-Suncoast girls basketball
Player of the year
Jerica Coley, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic
Jerica Coley is at her best when the ball is in her hands. The St. Petersburg Catholic guard provides instant fun with her wizardry.
Her first step is so quick she often leaves defenders frozen as she shakes and bakes and shoulder fakes her way to the basket. Her no-look passes have left “Wilson” tattooed on more than one teammate’s forehead.
Everyone knew Coley could score. But she also had to provide leadership this season.
She took on that role with the same determination she shows performing a bounce pass on the run through heavy traffic. Coley averaged 23 points, seven blocks, five steals and four assists per game. And in a district that included eventual Class 3A state champion Tampa Catholic, the Barons did well, finishing as the runnerup and advancing to the region semifinals.
That success was due in large part to Coley, who thrived in the spotlight, playing her best in the biggest games. In four games against Tampa Catholic, Coley scored 42, 29, 23 and 24 points. The Barons won one of the those games and were within striking distance in the other three.
Coley saved her best game for the region quarterfinals against Lakeland Tenoroc. With a teammate out because of injury, Coley stepped up with 39 points and was one assist from a quadruple double. Her performance prompted Tenoroc coach Vic Smith to say:
“We didn’t run out of gas. We ran into Coley. The scouting reports said she was the ice cream, cake and sliced bread. They didn’t lie.”
Coach of the year
Karim Nohra, Wesley Chapel
No coach has done more with less. Nohra, considered by many to be one of the great coaching minds in the Tampa Bay area, guided the Wildcats to their third straight region final in his second season. After taking a brand new starting five that deep last season, he did it this year with three freshmen starters. His most significant moment was an upset of Gulf on its home floor. Nohra pulled off that victory by shutting down North Suncoast Player of the Year Nicole Adams, who was limited to three points.
F Amber Henson, Jr., Sickles: Duke commit is area’s top prospect; with 22.1 points and 12.1 rebounds a game, she led Sickles to Class 5A region final.
F Colette Eule, Sr., Tampa Catholic: Crusaders’ all-time leading scorer, the Air Force recruit played her best at state, leading TC to its first state crown.
G Tamara Taylor, Jr., Boca Ciega: A playmaker on both ends of the court, the USF commit helped the Pirates to three straight final fours.
G Jade Givens, Sr., Jefferson: Embraced challenge to become true point guard this season; UNF recruit led the Dragons to the 4A state semifinals.
G Latavia Dempsey, Sr., Boca Ciega: Florida Atlantic signee finished career with a school record 225 3-pointers.
G Nicole Adams, Jr., Gulf
F Sarah Brennan, Sr., Tampa Catholic
C Shayla Wilson, Jr, Jefferson
F Kamika Idom, Jr., St. Petersburg
G Shantel Houston, Sr., Wesley Chapel
Central: McKenzie Burns, Raqurra Ishmar; Clearwater: Victoria Cecil, Lashe Kirkland; Gulf: Kianna Mills; Hernando: Jasmire Brown; Indian Rocks Christian: Tori Trador; Jefferson: Laurie’ Beaty; Lakewood: Latesha Johnson; Mitchell: Katie O’Brien; Nature Coast: Jen Marshall; Northside Christian: Kayla Walton; Palm Harbor University: Sharee Booze; Plant: Michelle Taylor; Spoto: Deandra Davis; St. Petersburg: Kamyia Smith; Tampa Bay Tech: Jasmine Rodriguez; Tampa Catholic: Meghan Keough; Wesley Chapel: Hannah Noble; Wharton: Shayla Cooper; Wiregrass Ranch: Kelly McCaffrey