The talent level for girls basketball in Columbia County has increased dramatically over the past decade. Not only are the girls better, but there is much more depth as well. Therefore, the task of selecting season superlatives has gotten extremely difficult. This season was no different. The county only produced one 20-win team, but more and more colleges are starting to make recruiting trips to the county, and the improved talent on the girls side is a big reason why.
Here is the 2016-17 All-Columbia County Girls Basketball Team:
Player of the Year: Destiny Marshall (Senior/Grovetown) - She might be the younger sister of NFL All-Pro Brandon Marshall, but Destiny is certainly making a name for herself. This season she led the county in scoring with more than 23 points per contest. She topped 2,000 points for her high school career and piled up plenty of hardware, too: First Team All-Region and Region 3-AAAAAA Player of the Year, GACA First Team All-State, GACA State Player of the Year. She has signed to play at The College of Charleston.
Coach of the Year: Jaime Echols (Grovetown) - Echols led the Lady Warriors to the Region 3-AAAAAA title for a second consecutive season, piling up 21 wins - despite the fact that he graduated his star point guard two seasons ago and County Co-Player of the Year, Kwajelin Farrar, last season. It marks the fourth consecutive 20-win season for Echols and Grovetown. Over that span, Grovetown has amassed an astounding 101-24 record.
Lexi Jeffcoat (Guard, Junior/Evans) - Jeffcoat has started since her freshman season and has blossomed into one of the top guards in the CSRA. She was a First Team All-Region selection and also earned All-State honors. This season, she averaged 15.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.8 steals. She will be a favorite for County Player of the Year honors next season and will likely get several scholarship offers.
Sydney Grayden (Center, Senior/Greenbrier) - The 6-foot-2 standout has signed to play at Augusta University and she could be a real diamond in the rough for the Jaguars. This season, she averaged 12.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per contest. She ended her career as Greenbrier's all-time leader in block shots with 236.
Elizabeth Metress (Guard, Senior/Grovetown) - Metress was a First Team All-Region player after averaging 10 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. Her father is Augusta University head men's basketball coach Dip Metress, and you only have to watch her play for a few minutes to know she is a coach's kid. She sees the floor as well as any player in the area and always seems to be in the right place, making the right decision. She did all the little things for the Lady Warriors and will be sorely missed next season.
Ayana Collins (Forward, Junior/Grovetown) Collins has already eclipsed 1,000 career points with another prep season to go. She averaged 12 points, 10.8 boards, and 4.2 steals per game this season as she earned First Team All-Region honors. She was also a GACA All-State choice.
Destiny Marshall (Guard, Senior/Grovetown) Marshall averaged 23.4 points on the season, topping 30 points in a game six times with a season high of 38 points.
Yasmine Avery (Forward, Junior/Greenbrier) All-out hustle 24/7 from this young lady. She posted 9.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game.
Natalie Wilson (Guard, Junior/Greenbrier) Averaged 10.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.1 steals per game.
Kiyana Nelson (Forward, Junior/Evans) First Team All-Region. 8 points, and nearly 5 rebounds per game.
Harper Sims (Forward, Senior/Augusta Prep) Averaged 12.8 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per game. Three-time All-Region choice.
Parker Ray (F-C, Junior/Lakeside) 9.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest for the Lady Panthers.
Banks Collier (Guard, Senior/Augusta Prep) She averaged 10.2 points, 7.8 assists, and 4.3 steals. (Led county in assists and steals).
Evans: Renee Smith, Alexis McClain, Samantha Richey, Fatima Diallo
Grovetown: Savannah Giles, Destiny Lucas
Lakeside: Caroline Johnson, Caitlyn Cox, Faith Wright
Augusta Prep: Jamie Holodak, Molly Joseph, Catherine McCollum