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Memorial’s Wesley, Nederland’s Jones take home Depwe honors

Darrell Jones’ mother reminded him of his senior season statistics when he was asked about them.

He was pretty valuable for Nederland during his high school career, after all. And he’s very humble about standing out among Southeast Texas’ best guards.

“I had Jamyus [Jones of Sabine Pass] by me, and he’s a pretty good player,” Darrell Jones said. “I had T.J. [Stanford of Kountze] by me, and he’s a real good player.”

Jones received the award for best guard during Saturday night’s Raymond Depwe Awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn Park Central, which honor the top high school basketball players in the region. By the way, he rang up 18 points, six rebounds and three steals a contest in helping the Bulldogs reach the 5A playoffs again.

Port Arthur Memorial junior Thailan Wesley drew a heavy ovation upon winning the best swingman award. Wesley averaged about 19 points and seven rebounds per game.

“It’s a big blessing,” Wesley said of winning the award. “It’s an honor to have all my support here, and to receive this award, it means a lot to me.”

Silsbee senior Willie Jones, who will play football next season at Texas State, was honored as best center. Jones helped the Tigers win the 4A state championship.

“Anytime you get any kind of recognition, it’s a plus, and it couldn’t happen to a finer young man,” Silsbee coach Joe Sigler said. “He’s one that you’re going to miss, and we will miss. He has been an asset to the Silsbee High School program.”

Coaches and sports journalists across Southeast Texas nominated the finalists and voted for the winner in each category. A finalist field of nine was invited to the ceremony, which saw dignitaries including Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens, Port Arthur Police Chief Patrick Melvin and 136th District Court Judge Baylor Wortham in attendance.

Other finalists included Kountze center Michael Cole, Silsbee swingman Trajan Harris, Nederland center Kevin Howard, Sabine pass swingman Daniel Sam, Sabine Pass guard Jones and Kountze guard Stanford.

Darrell Jones said he has not decided on a college, but he is visiting NAIA school John Brown University in Arkansas on Sunday. John Brown is where Nederland graduate Zach English played the past four seasons.

Wesley will return to Memorial as part of a loaded class that helped the Titans win a share of the District 22-5A championship and reach the regional quarterfinals of the 5A playoffs, finishing in a narrow defeat to eventual state runner-up Fort Bend Marshall. Titans coach Kenneth Coleman was impressed with how Wesley has grown in the two years he’s coached him.

“We just had a conversation, I believe Friday, about how he got to the point he is now, and it was with hard work,” Coleman said. “He’s one of the hardest workers that we have. We want to make sure he continues down that path because it’s been a very good road for him, both basketball-wise and maturity-wise.”
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I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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