Another basketball season is in the books.
Columbia County did not have a team make a deep playoff run this year, but there were still a few high points.
Harlem basketball was put back on the map by a freshman whiz kid, Evans continued its recent tradition of consistent play with another solid season, and several players emerged from minor roles a year ago to become standouts this season.
Here are the players who were most impressive during the 2011-2012 basketball season.
All Columbia County 1st Team
Reggie Reid (Harlem); 5-foot-11 freshman guard
Reid burst onto the scene like no freshman since former Evans star Fredie Williams. Reid quickly established himself as a must-see attraction in Harlem. He led the county in scoring at 19.9 points per contest. He averaged 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.8 steals per game. He was named first team All-Region in 3-AAA, a terrific and highly competitive region. Also, he single-handedly got people talking about Harlem basketball, and that has not happened in a very long time.
Myles McDavid (Evans); 6-foot senior guard
I have been singing McDavid’s praises since he averaged 13.6 points and 5.4 assists per game and earned first team All-County honors as a sophomore at Grovetown. As a junior, he got acclimated with his new surroundings at Evans, but this year we saw the real McDavid. He earned first team All-Region honors in 2-AAAA and helped Evans win 15 games. Along the way, he averaged 16.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He helped lead Evans to a 9-0 record vs. Columbia County teams.
Damien Foreman (Evans); 5-foot-11 sophomore guard
Foreman was key to McDavid having such a big year. He got better and better as the season went on. By the end of the year, there were times where he might have been the best player on the floor. He averaged 12.1 points, 5.1 assists and 2.4 steals. He was rewarded for his efforts with All-Region honors.
Chris Hall (Lakeside); 6-foot-3 senior guard
For the second consecutive year, Hall averaged more than 17 points per game and earned first team All-County honors. He did everything John Kucela asked of him, pouring in 17.1 points, grabbing 5.4 rebounds and dishing out 3.6 assists per game. The assists number illustrated to me a major improvement in his game from a year ago. He managed 17 points a night despite constant double-teams.
Thomas Brown (Greenbrier); 6-foot-4 senior center
Of all the first team, I might be most proud of Brown. Perhaps it is because he is the biggest surprise to me. Two years ago I would have never imagined he would be in the discussion for county player of the year, in basketball, anyway. The Air Force football signee had a monster season for the Wolfpack. Last year he emerged as a great role player, but I wondered how well he would do with Chad Waddell, Justin Cofer and Dejon Brittan no longer drawing attention of opposing defenses, leaving Brown free to roam the lanes for easy baskets. Well, he passed this year’s test with flying colors. He averaged 14 points and led the county with 9.2 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game. He was also first team All-Region.
Nick Fortenberry (Augusta Christian); sophomore guard
One of the area’s best pure shooters. Averaged 15.3 points per game and three assists, and shot 84 percent from the free-throw line.
C.J. Cooper (Grovetown); junior guard
Called the heart and soul of the team by head coach Bill Madigan. Averaged 13.4 points per game.
Alonzo Hill (Harlem); senior forward
Had a great season, despite giving up 4 to 6 inches per game to his opponents. Averaged 13.3 points and 5.9 rebounds. Career high 34 points vs. ARC.
Jacob Buchanan (Evans); junior forward
Did the dirty work for Evans. Averaged 13.1 points per game and was second in the county with 8.7 rebounds per game.
Sam Powell (Lakeside); sophomore forward
Has potential to be very good player. Averaged nine points per game and led the Panthers with 6.1 rebounds per game. All-Region selection.
Dylan Farmer (Harlem)
Tyler Moore (Evans)
Matt Epps (Evans)
Delano Hulse (Greenbrier)
Zach Woo (Greenbrier)
Mark Weidenaar (Lakeside)
Jordan Rose (Lakeside)
Austin Roper (ACS)
Ashton Grant (ACS)
Mike Downing (Augusta Prep)
Ben Guthrie (Augusta Prep)
Frank Hull (Augusta Prep)
Coach of the Year
Kevin Kenny (Evans)
Evans went 15-11 this season. That gives Kenny and the Knights 130 wins over the past seven seasons. That averages to 18.6 wins per season. This year might not have been Evans’ best during that run, but Kenny did one of his best coaching jobs. He had a first-year starter at point guard and very little size, yet he managed to go 9-0 vs. Columbia County foes.
Kim Chambers at Harlem deserves a nod for the job he did.
Player of the Year
Eric Marshall Award
Reggie Reid (Harlem)
This came down to McDavid and Reid. In the end, it was hard to ignore what Reid did to energize the fans, and not just at Harlem. I heard from more than a dozen people who went to watch Harlem simply to see the freshman who was getting all the hype. Each one of them came away impressed.
It was so nice to see the fans at Harlem have something to cheer about. Reid helped guide the team to its most wins in five years. The Bulldogs had won only nine games over the past three seasons.
Reid led the county in scoring with an average of 19.9 points per game, and is ahead of the pace of the county’s all-time leading scorer – Matt Scott, of Lakeside. He also grabbed 5.2 boards per game, incredible for a 5-foot-11 freshman. Reid led Harlem in assists (4.1) and steals (2.8) as well, and he shot a solid 46.8 percent from the floor. Hall of Fame point guard Isaiah Thomas shot a higher percentage just twice in his 13-year NBA career.
Like many great point guards, Reid had a knack for getting to the free- throw line. He went to the line more than any player in the entire area, an astonishing accomplishment for a freshman. If he can improve his 64 percent free-throw shooting he could become one of the most prolific scorers in the state before he is done. Reid already is garnering attention from several Atlantic Coast Conference schools.