By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Their respective teams have been ranked among the state’s best all season.
And now so, too, are T.T. Flowers and Rafael Tyler.
The two Lake County standouts were each named finalists for Miss and Mr. Basketball honors today.
They have each scored more than 2,000 points during their decorated prep careers with Flowers leading the Lady Falcons to the No. 1 spot in the girls’ state rankings while Tyler was the MVP of the boys’ Class 1A state tournament last season when LC won the title.
Each has been an all-stater in the past.
Rachel Garland of Moore County and Wayne County’s Kelsey Risner joined Flowers as finalists on the girls’ side, while Alex Fountain of Wartburg and Booker T. Washington’s Martavious Newby are boys’ finalists along with Tyler for the honor, which is based on regular season play.
Flowers averaged 14.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and three steals per-game while leading the Lady Falcons to a 28-3 mark during the regular season.
She was the most outstanding player in the 22nd annual Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic and has led LC to the state tournament in two of her previous three seasons.
Garland, a finalist last season, is bound for Trevecca. She’s averaged 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.8 steals per-game.
Risner has signed with Union after leading WC to the state title last season. She’s averaged a double-double (17.9 points, 10 rebounds) during the 2011-12 campaign.
Tyler, after leading the Lake County boys to the state title a year ago, has averaged 17 points and shot 47 percent from the field this year.
He has stiff competition for the prestigious individual award as Newby was a finalist a year ago in 2A for BTW, which posted a 25-0 record this year as the season-long No. 1 team in Class A.
The Ole Miss signee has averaged 23.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and four assists.
Fountain is a 6-8 junior who averages 23.5 points and 12.2 rebounds.
The presentation of the Miss Basketball Awards for Classes A, AA, and AAA will be given during the championship awards ceremony for each class on Saturday, March 10 at the Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.
The boys’ award will be given during the championship awards ceremony for each class on Saturday, March 17 at MTSU.
A statewide committee of sportswriters selected the finalists and winners based on performance during the 2011-12 regular season. Academics and character were also taken into consideration.
High school head basketball coaches and members of the media nominated the finalists.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 2.22.12