ROCKINGHAM — There was very little suspense when the Southeastern Conference released its boys basketball Player of the Year Tuesday afternoon.
Hoke County’s Tarique Thompson earned his second straight POTY award after leading his team to the regular season and conference championships. Thompson averaged 22.6 points and 11.2 rebounds a game for the Bucks. Hoke reached the third round of the state 4A playoffs before being eliminated by Seventy-First, 54-53.
Rashad Parker, Juwane Harris and Brennen Wright joined their teammate Thompson in garnering all-conference honors.
Richmond placed two players on the all-SEC squad — Shydamion Ellerbe and Jordan Richardson. Ellerbe is a two-time selection. The Raiders advanced to the second round of the playoffs before being ousted by the Bucks. Jalen McDonald was an honorable mention pick.
Pinecrest and Lumberton also had two representatives receive all-conference honors. Adam Cummings and Justin Ray were named from Pinecrest, while Montrae Strother and Demitri Sheridan were Lumberton’s selections.
Rounding out the All-SEC team were: Scotland’s Artemis Robinson and Purnell Swett’s James Chavis.
Hoke coach Quame Patterson grabbed the league’s Coach of the Year award.
On the girls side, Lumberton’s Keanna McNeill was named Player of the Year. McNeill averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds a contest this season.
The Pirates also placed Ailyah Ratley and Asaya Graham on the all-SEC team.
Scotland, the regular season and tournament champions, had four players — Ariel Ratlciff, Destiny Campbell, Quintavia Deberry and Tykera Johnson — named to the all-conference team. The inside duo of Janea Williams and Felicia Painter were Pinecrest’s selections.
Richmond, Hoke and Purnell Swett each had one player selected to the team. Shaquail Wall represented the Raiders, the Bucks’ Shanice Horne was picked and Colleen Chavis was the lone Ram.
The coach of the year balloting was split, allowing Lumberton’s Danny Graham and Scotland’s David Johnson to earn co-COTY honors.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.