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March 23, 2006
Jones, Rack top LSWA Class 3A all-state
By JOHN LENZ
Written for the LSWA
The victors don't always get the spoils.
That was the case this season on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Class 3A All-State basketball teams. The Fair Park boys and the Capitol girls won their respective state championships, but the top individual honors went to other teams.
Fair Park senior center Eric Tramiel was named to the All-State first team after averaging 18 points and 9.7 rebounds per game for the state champions. But Winnfield's Damon Jones, a Northwestern State signee, was voted the Class 3A boys Most Valuable Player by a statewide panel of sports writers after averaging 31 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for Winnfield.
Jones edged out Tramiel and Chris Gradnigo of state finalist St. Louis. Gradnigo, a 6-6 junior, led St. Louis to the No. 1 regular season final ranking, averaging 20.9 points, 9.12 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.
Likewise on the girls side, state champion Capitol placed two players on the All-State first team in post players Teagra Clifton (6-0, Jr.) and Tysheka Grimes (6-1, Sr.,), who each averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game for the Lady Lions.
But for the third year in a row, Franklin's Alexis Rack was voted the Class 3A MVP after leading the two-time defending champion Lady Hornets back to the state finals for the third consecutive year, where they lost to Rack, a 5-6 senior who has signed with Mississippi State, averaged 25 points, four rebounds, 10 assists and six steals per game for Franklin.
Veteran Rayne coach Louis Handy was voted the 3A boys coach of the Year after leading the Wolves (27-8) back to the Top 28 for the second year in a row. It was the sixth Top 28 team for Handy, who has posted over 500 career coaching victories. Handy was selected over the three other 2006 Top 28 coaches, Marksville's Chris Dupuy, Fair Park's Ronald Preston and Wossman's Dale Zimmerman.
The girls Coach of the Year is Mansfield's Kendra Cunningham, the former Pelican High Sweet 16 standout who guided the LadyWolverines to a 25-13 record and their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1988. Capitol's Alvin Stewart was also considered for the state's top coaching honor.
Rounding out the boys All-State First Team are Rayne's Jeremy Larry (6-5, Sr.; 13.6 ppg., 9.3 rpg.) and Albany's Jarvis Guillory (6-1, Sr.; 24.7 ppg., 5.7 rpg.).
Voted to the second team are Jarrell Jones of Wossman (17 ppg.), Alfred Showers of Independence (20.5 ppg.), Thomas Ricard of Amite (21.3 ppg.), Javoun Martin of Marksville (22.2 ppg.) and Kevin Cochran of Grant (14.6 ppg.).
The girls first team also includes Rack's Franklin teammate, Adrienne Johnson, who averaged 24.3 points and 13 rebounds per game, and Jena's 6-3 center Nora Brooks, a Southern Mississippi signee who averaged 16.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per game for the Lady Giants.
The 3A girls second team consists of Albany's Marley Milton (21.5 ppg.), Marksville's Cresmon Whittington (17.2 ppg.), Loranger's Brittanie Alston (20.1 ppg.), Mansfield's Sharday Cotton (18.3 ppg.) and West Feliciana's Asia Wright (16 ppg.).
NOTE: John Lenz covers high school sports for The Hammond Star.
Girls Class 3A All-State
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Alexis Rack, Franklin
COACH OF THE YEAR: Kendra Cunningham, Mansfield
HONORABLE MENTION: Katelyn Gary, Teurlings Catholic; Shae Anthony, Pearl River; Ashley Augurson, Wossman; Tiffany Foster, Amite; Ebonie Guidry, Crowley; Shawna Semien, St. Louis; Roslyn Wilmer, Marksville; Kelli Jenkins, Plaquemine; Rachel Vigers, Redemptorist; Keaundra Augustus, Patterson; Antoinette McKnight, Independence.
Boys Class 3A All-State
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Damon Jones, Winnfield
COACH OF THE YEAR: Louis Handy, Rayne
HONORABLE MENTION: Andre Elliott, Wossman; Storm Warren, Richwood; Clarence Verrett, Franklin; Ben Guillory, Northwest; Cody Worsham, Parkview Baptist; Karl Jackson, Independence; Marlon Draper, Avoyelles; Jonathan Norman, Albany; Quincy Senegal, Rayne.