Monroe area garners major 3A basketball honors

Players and coaches from the Monroe area claimed the top honors on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 3A All-State basketball teams. Players from the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas also garnered representation.

Rayville High won its first Class 3A girls championship, while Carroll High beat fellow District 2-3A member Farmerville High in the 3A boys title game. Farmerville guard Xairius Larry and coach Johnny Simmons were voted boys Outstanding Player and Coach of the Year. Rayville forward LaDencia Johnson took Outstanding Player honors and RHS coach Amber Obaze-Ford was selected Coach of the Year for the girls by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.

Obaze-Ford coached Rayville to a 27-5 record in her first season at the school. Rayne’s Chester Randall and E.D. White Catholic’s Darin Fontz were also considered for the coaching honor.

Larry averaged 13.7 points and 6.3 assists per game while leading the Farmers out of the second round of the playoffs for the first time and into their first state championship game appearance. Simmons led the Farmers to a 25-7 season and state runner-up finish.

Albany High’s Danielle Keith (19.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and Baker’s Eugenea James (19.5 points, 8.0 rebounds were Baton Rouge area players on the first team that also included E.D. White Catholic’s Jordan Gros (17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds) and Bogalusa’s Gabrielle Alexander (24 ppg, 9.0 rebs).

Baker’s Anitra Whitfield (11.4 points, 4.5 assists), Albany’s Shelby Stewart (12. ppg, 8.0 rebs) and Amite’s Ladayshia Brown (21.0 ppg, 7.0 assists) made the second team.Rayville’s Thomasina Minor (15.3 ppg) and Abbeville’s Derrian Nolan (11.2 ppg) also were voted to the second team.

Parkview Baptist’s James Thompson made the boys first team (21 points, 14 rebounds). Two other Baton Rouge area players, Brusly’s Dimario Jackson (16.1 ppg. 3.2 assists) and Glen Oaks’ Christopher Thomas (18.1 ppg. 11.0 rebounds), made the second team along with Bogalusa’s LaDamion Keys (24 ppg, 15 rebs) and McMain’s Jeffrey Dixon (18.1 ppg).

Richwood’s Reginal Johnson (28.0 ppg, 15 rpg), Carroll’s Josh Johnson (14.0 ppg, 6.0 apg) and Bossier’s Tevin Robertson completed the first team. Carroll’s Robert Pratt (16.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg) also was part of the second team.