The Gallatin News, Hendersonville Standard and the Portland Sun, which are under the Main Street Preps umbrella, has named their 2019-2020 All-Sumner County boys basketball teams.
The Station Camp Bison have been named Team of the Year following a 22-11 season, a trip to the Region 5-AAA semifinals and finishing second in the District 9-AAA tournament to state tournament qualifier Mt. Juliet. Bison senior Kavon Blankenship has also been named Player of the Year. JPII's Sabino Otira earned 6th Man of the Year honors.
Coach of the Year honors went to Portland coach Darryl Travis and our inaugural Student-Athlete of the Year Award went to Pope John Paul II’s Matthew Shipley.
Nominations and statistics were sent by the coaches with the Main Street Preps sports staff making the final decisions.
Nominations were pulled from all nine Sumner County High Schools including Beech, Gallatin, Hendersonville, Merrol Hyde, Pope John Paul II, Portland, Station Camp, White House and Westmoreland.
Below are the full teams.
Player of the Year: Kavon Blankenship, Station Camp
Why Chosen: Kavon was often the best player on the floor each game for the Bison this season. There is no doubt he lead them and the Bison went as far as he did. He was always the opponent’s focus point and still managed to find a way to get his. He scored 16 points per game, secured 4 rebounds, dished 4 assists, and secured 1.5 steals per game. He was named to the All-District and All-Region team and will continue his career at Bryan College.
Coach of the Year: Darryl Travis, Portland
Why Chosen: Travis led Portland to a 15-15 record and a sixth seed in the District 9-AAA tournament. Portland’s 15 wins were their best since 2003-2004, and their most wins in District 9-AAA since joining the league in 2009. Travis always got the best out of his team and led them to upset wins over Lebanon, Gallatin, and Beech.
Team of the Year: Station Camp Bison
Why Chosen: The Bison finished as the only team in Sumner County to play in the Region 5-AAA Semifinals. They ended the year with a 22-11 record and second in the District 9-AAA tournament.
6th Man of the Year: Sabino Otira, Pope John Paul II
Why Chosen: Sabino was a big relief for head coach Charles Wade to turn to off the bench for the Knights this season. He scored 10 points per game, secured 4.3 rebounds and shot 53% from the field. Otira also shot 38% from behind the arc and tallied 61 offensive rebounds. His outstanding play off the bench resulted in him getting the start the final seven games of the season.
Student-Athlete of the Year: Matthew Shipley, Pope John Paul II
Why Chosen: The list of reasons Matthew Shipley has been chosen as our Student-Athlete of the Year are plentiful. He averaged a 4.25 GPA, scored a 36 on his ACT and logged 150 service hours. He earned a Spring internship at Vanderbilt Maureen Gannon Lab for diabetes research as a data analyst. He is a junior representative in the House of Gregory and is a JPII Ambassador. He is part of the Youth Government and a member of Mu Alpha Theta. He is also a founding member of the JPII Men’s Volleyball Club. He won 1st place in the Algebra II competition in his region and his a Golden Tate Scholar. He also won the JPII Science and Innovation Symposium Silver Award for his research with Iron Nails and Hydrochloric Acid. He received recognition for scoring in the top 15 percent of students nationwide on Spanish performance and achievement.
Mitchell Eagle, Portland
Why Chosen: Portland enjoyed one of their best seasons in recent memory this year and a large part of that credit goes to Eagle. He was often the focal point for any team the Panthers played this season, and still he was able to get his while still finding a way to get his teammates involved. A good rebounder and a knack for attacking the rim, Eagle will continue his career at Bryan College.
Kaleb Powell, Beech
Why Chosen: Beech was a well-balanced team this year as all five scorers could get them a bucket at any given moment. However, the team was lead by junior guard Kaleb Powell. He averaged 14.5 points, 3.7 assists and 4 rebounds per game. He also registered 45 steals and often guarded the opposing team’s best player. He tallied 480 points scored this season.
Eli Thurston, Station Camp
Why Chosen: Thurston scored 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1 steal per game for the Bison this season. He was named to the All-District team as well as the All-Tournament team. He was a real threat behind the three-point line and was a tenacious offensive rebounder. He will continue his career at Bryan College.
Sam Specht, Pope John Paul II
Why Chosen: Sam is a really good offensive player in one of the toughest leagues in the state at the DII-AA level. Despite being the guy other teams focused on, Sam still managed to average 17 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1 block per game. He scored 500 points, shot 53% from the field, 36% from behind the arc and 88% from the free throw line.
Durstin Adams, White House
Why Chosen: Adams was the offensive threat for the Blue Devils this season, averaging 19 points per game and secured 5 rebounds per contest. He was named to the District 9-AA team along with the All-Region team. He was the best big man in the county this season on both ends of the floor.
Asher Wolthers, Merrol Hyde
Why Chosen: Asher was an offensive juggernaut for the Hawks this season. Not only did he lead his team in scoring, he lead them in rebounds and was always the focus of every team the Hawks played. He averaged 19.6 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. He earned regular season All-District as well as All-Tournament. He had 14 games of 20 or more points, eight games of at least 25 and five games with at least 30. He scored a season high 34 points twice.
Kristian Shaw, Beech
Jacob McDonald, White House
Beljwok Adaing, Gallatin
Dairius Bell, Portland
Cameron Gerlach, Station Camp
Harrison Autman-Springer, White House
Jyquale Matthews, Beech
Kheller Die’, Station Camp
Drew Paige, Beech
Noah Ring, Gallatin
Owen Lampton, Hendersonville
Isaac Stinson, Merrol Hyde
Luke Fleming, Beech
Mike Martini, Pope John Paul II
Dawson Mitchell, Westmoreland