It’s early January, and that means it’s time for some midseason basketball awards.
Mind you, this is based on what I’ve seen and heard. We have dozens of teams around here, so I’m bound to have missed something.
Nevertheless, all these recipients are deserving of recognition.
• Best Glue Guy: Every time I watch Biggersville, Te’lick Barnett seems to be doing a dozen different things.
The 6-foot-2 senior is active on both ends of the floor. He averages 15.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game, and he shoots 50.4% from the field.
Hunter Stacy makes the Lions go on offense, but Barnett is the heart and soul of this team.
• Best Glue Girl: Azariah Buford is a point guard, but she’s been having to play off the ball a good bit due to how thin Lafayette is in the post.
It’s not a problem for Buford, because she’s so versatile. She averages 15.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and – get this – 6.3 steals per game.
She can change a game on either end of the floor.
• Breakout Boys Player: College coaches need to start paying closer attention to Kylan Blackmon.
The Oxford senior is averaging 26.1 ppg and 7.1 rpg, and he makes 40.2% from 3-point range. He’s played well against some top competition, averaging 27.5 ppg and 9.8 rpg over six games at two prestigious tournaments last month.
Last season, Blackmon averaged 17.0 ppg and 4.7 rpg. He’s playing at another level now.
• Breakout Girls Player: Freshman Mary-Grace Storment’s emergence for Belmont has taken a good bit of scoring pressure off Macie Walker.
Walker is averaging close to 20 ppg, as she did last season, but teams are more likely to pay for focusing on her thanks to Storment (11 ppg).
• Breakout Boys Team: Pine Grove was 15-2 heading into Thursday night’s game against Falkner. The Panthers won only nine games last season. Seven years ago, they won one game.
• Breakout Girls Team: Tupelo Christian entered our rankings a couple of weeks ago for the first time ever. Led by point guard Ainsley Hale, the Lady Eagles are 12-4 after a tough 35-33 loss to South Pontotoc on Tuesday.
• Best Boys Performance: Pine Grove sophomore Carson Rowland likes to go big. Back in the spring, he tied a national record by hitting three home runs in one inning.
On Tuesday, he scored 46 points in a 69-59 win over Falkner. Rowland made 16 of 27 field goals, plus he had eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.
• Best Girls Performance: R’Daztiny Harris knows how to light up a scoreboard.
On Dec. 13, the Hickory Flat senior scored 49 points in a 73-72 overtime win against Myrtle. She shot 20 of 42 from the field, plus she had 15 rebounds, four steals and three blocks.
Harris, who is surrounded by a young team, is averaging 26 ppg.