Shelby’s Gabe DeVoe treated his senior season as a chance to make his case as the state’s top player.
West Craven’s Jamie Cherry was one of the state’s best every year of her career and now has a final honor to go with it.
The two on Friday were named the 2013-14 Associated Press high school basketball players of the year for North Carolina.
DeVoe, a Clemson recruit, received nine votes from statewide sports writers to win the honor. A Parade All-American, he averaged 34 points to lead the state. He also was a two-time AP all-state selection.
DeVoe said he worked on improving his ball-handling and expanding his game during the offseason.
“In AAU you see a lot of good players and a lot of the rankings,” DeVoe said. “I guess being from a small area you don’t get the exposure and the things you would like, so I just wanted to prove that I’m one of the best players in the state.”
Cincinnati recruit Gary Clark of Clayton was second with six votes, and High Point Wesleyan Christian’s Theo Pinson – a North Carolina recruit and McDonald’s All-American – was third with four votes.
On the girls’side, Cherry received 15 of 25 votes to win. Cherry, a guard headed to North Carolina, finished her career as the No. 2 scorer in state history and was named to the AP all-state team for the fourth straight year earlier this week.
“She steps on the floor with a different confidence than everybody else,” West Craven coach David Fernandez said.
Cherry, who is 5-foot-6, averaged 33.2 points and set a state record with 12 3-pointers in a playoff win against Erwin Triton. She said she has modeled her game after former Tar Heels star Ivory Latta, an assistant coach at UNC. .
“When I was younger, I always watched film on her just so I could be able to do things like she did,” Cherry said. “I felt like we had similarities in our game, and I guess because we’re the same height and I feel we have the same attitude and same love for the game.”
Providence Day’s Jatarie White, last year’s player of the year and a South Carolina recruit, was second with four votes. Duke recruit Azura Stevens of Cary and three-time AP all-state pick Madi Story of Bandys each received two votes.