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Charlotte Observer honors All-Region high school basketball players of the year

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

Two Union County high school basketball standouts are the 2012-13 Charlotte Observer All-Region players of the year.

Wake Forest recruit Shelton Mitchell of Cuthbertson High in Waxhaw wins the boys award. He led his team to a second straight N.C. 2A state championship appearance. Mitchell is generally considered a top 25 recruit nationally in the junior class. He said on Twitter that he plans to transfer to Oak Hill (Va.) Academy next season.

Heavily recruited sophomore Stephanie Watts of Weddington High is the girls player of the year. Watts has more than 10 high major Division I offers.

Each year, the Observer annually selects an All-Region team for players outside Mecklenburg County, plus an All-Mecklenburg team. Finally, an All-Observer team is announced that lists the top overall players in the newspaper’s 133-school coverage area in North and South Carolina.

Players had to be nominated by their schools to be considered for the teams, which were selected by the newspaper’s high school sports staff. The All-Mecklenburg team will appear Saturday, followed by the All-Observer team Sunday along with Mr. and Ms. Basketball for North and South Carolina.

Both Watts and Mitchell were selected to the N.C. Associated Press all-state teams by a statewide panel of 22 media members.

Watts, a 5-10 sophomore, averaged 22.1 points and 9.9 rebounds. Mitchell, a 6-3 junior, averaged 20.4 points and 4.2 assists this season.

The All-Region coaches of the year are Cuthbertson’s Mike Helms and Porter Ridge’s Ina Thompson, two more Union County coaches.

Helms led Cuthbertson (29-4) to a second straight N.C. 2A state championship game. Thompson led Porter Ridge to a 26-4 record and an appearance in the N.C. 4A Western Regional championship game, one game short of the state final.

It was Porter Ridge’s first trip to the regionals.

Charlotte Observer 2012-13 All-Region Basketball Teams

GIRLS

FIRST TEAM

Stephanie Watts, Weddington, 5-10, So., G: Southern Carolina conference player of the year averaged 22.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 5.5 steals and shot 51 percent from the floor.

Adiyah Ussery, Crest, 5-8, So., G: N.C. Coaches District 10 player of the year averaged 22.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, three assists and shot 57 percent.

Brielle Blaire, Salisbury, 6-3, Jr., F: Averaged 24.1 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 3.5 blocks. Has more than 1,500 career points and scored nearly half her team’s points this season.

Madi Story, Bandys, 5-10, Jr., G: Two-time all-state pick averaged 18 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.6 apg and 3.7 spg. Led her team to 27-3 record and fourth straight N.C. Western regional berth.

Bre Armstrong, Forestview, 5-8, Sr., F: Averaged 18.4 ppg, 15.9 rpg, 5.2 spg, 4.2 apg. Big South 3A Conference player of the year.

SECOND TEAM

Shay Steele, West Rowan, 6-2, Sr, C; Asha Jordan, Monroe, 5-6, Jr, F; Yazmen Hannah, Hickory, 5-8, So., G; Kelly Dulkoski, Carson, 5-8, Sr, G; Akela Branch, Albemarle, 6-0, Jr., F

THIRD TEAM

Lauren Arney, East Burke, Jr., G; Taylor Petty, Newton-Conover, 5-9, So., G/F; Emry Tsitouris, Parkwood, 5-11, Jr., F; Divonnie Powell, Central Cabarrus, 5-2, Sr., G; Jasmine Huntley, Porter Ridge, 5-4, Sr., G

Girls Player of the year: Watts, Weddington

Girls coach of the year: Ina Thompson, Porter Ridge

BOYS

FIRST TEAM

Shelton Mitchell, Cuthbertson, 6-3, Jr., G: Top 25 national recruit has committed to Wake Forest; averaged 20.4 ppg, 4.2 apg and led his team to a second straight N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2A state finals appearance. Will play at Oak Hill (Va.) next season.

Clay Byrd, East Burke, 6-1, Sr., G: UNC Greensboro recruit averaged 26.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals. Scored 2,274 career points.

Gabe DeVoe, Shelby, 6-3, Jr., F: Averaged 20.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.5 apg and 1.8 steals. Led team to 48-11 record the past two seasons. Has 4.2 GPA.

Connor Burchfield, Concord, 6-4, Jr., G: Averaged 19.6 pppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.7 apg and led his team to a 24-3 record. First team All-District selection has scored nearly 1,400 career points.

Bunyon Tyson, Anson Sr., 6-4, Sr., G: Averaged 26.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 5.3 apg, 3.3 spg. Southern Carolina conference player of the year and District 8 player of the year.

SECOND TEAM

Travis Waldrop-Rodriguez, East Rutherford, 6-6, Jr, F; Josh Gaither, Statesville, 6-2, Sr., F; Oshon West, North Rowan, 6-4, Sr., F; Jaylen Reid, Rock Hill, 6-7, Sr., F; Derrick Copeland, A.L. Brown, 6-1, Sr., PG

THIRD TEAM

Brad James, Bessemer City, 6-6, Sr, F; Kishawn Pritchett, Lake Norman, 6-5, So., F; Devonte Boykins, East Rutherford, 6-1, Jr., G; Chris Wray, Shelby, 6-6, Sr., F; Trever Hyatt, East Burke, 6-3, Sr., G

Boys Player of the year: Mitchell, Cuthbertson

Boys Coach of the year: Mike Helms, Cuthbertson

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