Memorial leads large group of award winners. Nederland, PNG well represented for district honors.

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Eleven local girls basketball players earned all district honors this past week, with Memorial’s five awards leading the way.

Nederland and Port Neches-Groves came away with three each.

Memorial’s Charnel Jones was named the District 21-5A Newcomer of the Year after transferring to the Titans from Sabine Pass.

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Gabrielle Roy earned first team honors, and Jernye McZeal made the second team. Erial Fontenot and Amonti Edwards were honorable mentions.

Memorial Head Coach Kevin Henry was pleased to see his players earn recognitions from other coaches in the district.

“It feels good,” he said. “For them to earn that, it goes to show you the respect that they attained throughout the season from opposing coaches. It is a testament to the hard work they put in, and they have something to show for it.”

Henry said Jones’ experience was priceless as the team made a playoff push late in the season.

“She came in with a lot of positivity,” Henry said. “She had been to the playoffs before, where the returning girls hadn’t.”

Through the majority of the season, Memorial’s players worked their offense through the post. Roy and McZeal played a large role in the team’s success.

“(Roy) did an excellent job,” Henry said. “I just wish we could’ve had more. Her and several other girls feed off each other. One night, Gab might have a big night scoring, but it is coming off assists from her partner. Just to have that impact, it was a bonus. She is high energy and goes after every rebound.”

Nederland guard Ava Wiltz (1) drives the lane against Barbers Hill. (Chris Moore/The News)

Nederland point guard Ava Wiltz earned first team honors, and teammates Maggie Baker and Sydney Nelson earned second team and honorable mention, respectively.

For PNG, point guard Emerey Riley made the first team. Fellow Indians student athletes Kyleigh Bushnell made second team and Mariela Dublon earned honorable mention.

“Anytime you get a girl recognized, it feels good,” PNG Head Coach Lance Robertson said.

“These girls deserve every bit of it. Those three girls are definitely hard workers.”

PNG’s Emerey Riley drives by a defender. (Chris Moore/The News)

The three teams are likely remain competitive next season, as all but two of the players who earned district honors return next season.

“We have high expectations going into next year,” Robertson said. “We just have to keep it going from the spring and into the summer.”

Of the 11 players, PNG’s Dublon and Memorial’s Fontenot are the only seniors.

Crosby’s Sequoia Carroll was named the district’s MVP, while Beaumont United’s Princess Anderson earned Offensive Player of the Year and Barbers Hill’s Cynthia LeCompte earned Defensive Player of the Year.

Barbers Hill and Beaumont United walked away with the most awards with 11.