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All-Roanoke-Chowan boys basketball team announced

AHOSKIE – The fourth annual All-Roanoke-Chowan Boy’s Basketball team was announced here last week.

Seven young men from Bertie, Hertford and Northampton counties were chosen as First Team honorees while an additional seven were chosen for the Second Team.

Leading the way is 2006-2007 Player of the Year Kent Bazemore. The Bertie High School senior earned the honor for the second consecutive season.

“I believe Kent is one of the most talented kids in the area,” Bertie Head Coach Calvin Moore said. “He has done well in the past two years since I’ve been back from overseas.

“He has great character, which is important to me as a coach,” he added. “He has learned to humble himself. He appreciates all of the accolades he receives.”

Bazemore is also a two-time Northeastern Coastal Conference Player of the Year and was chosen for the North-South game recently.

“Kent has been good for the program,” Moore added. “He helped lead us to a place where Bertie hasn’t been for a long time. We’re back to the point where the program is good.

“I’m honored as a coach,” he continued. “The other kids have grown and developed with him.”

Moore said he was proud of Bazemore’s success and accomplishments.

“I’m proud of the team and I’m proud of what Kent has been able to accomplish,” he said. “I’m so proud of him for this honor and of all the kids who made the All-Roanoke-Chowan Team.”

This year’s Best Offensive Player is Ridgecroft School senior Chris Hill. The left-hander was one of the top scorers in the area and helped lead his team to a second place finish in the Tarheel Independent Conference and a berth in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association playoffs.

“I think Chris is well-deserving of any award he receives,” Ridgecroft School’s Tim Boone said. “It’s an honor for Ridgecroft basketball.”

Boone said he thought Hill was a good person as well as a good player.

“Chris is a good kid and is as deserving as anyone,” he said. “I think Chris as an individual is more concerned with winning than any kind of individual award and he played his game that way.”

Boone said many times Hill could have scored even more points than he did, but was more concerned about distributing the basketball.

“He made every player on his team better,” Boone said. “While I’m sure he is pleased with the award, I have no doubt he would rather have won a championship. He’s always a team player.”

The final individual honoree is Marcus Burnell, who was selected as the area’s Best Defensive Player.

“Marcus has one of the biggest hearts of anyone on the team,” HCHS Head Coach Charles Simmons said. “It takes a special athlete to want to play defense night in and night out. He’s that type of young man.”

For the second time in the four-year history of the award, Joe Mizelle of Bethel Christian Academy was named Coach of the Year.

The veteran coach, who has more than 700 career victories to his credit, could have had a difficult season. After losing Trey Denton, and his 1,000 career points, the Eagles could have been in rebuilding mode. They weren’t.

All Mizelle and his team did was grab a second-place finish in the season-opening Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament and win the North Carolina Christian Athletic Conference state championship.

Five of the seven members of the All-Roanoke-Chowan First Team are new to the unit. The only returning players are Bazemore and Hill. Joining them on the unit are Burnell, Bethel Christian Academy’s Larry Caldwell, Hertford County High School’s Lamar Monger, Northeast Academy’s Drew Pinnix and Lawrence Academy’s Judd Whitehead.

Whitehead was Second Team both his sophomore and junior seasons while Caldwell, Burnell and Monger were all on the Honorable Mention Team a season ago.

The Second Team begins with three Hertford County High School teammates. They are Patrick Downing, LaMarcus “Buck” Jenkins and Tydreke Powell.

Joining them on the squad are Ridgecroft School’s Bryan Britton, Bethel Christian Academy’s Josh Freeman, Lawrence Academy’s Marshall Ellis and Bertie’s Brandon Brown.

The Bears placed a total of five players on the first two teams of the 2006-2007 All-Roanoke-Chowan Team.

“I think it speaks well for our basketball program,” Simmons said. “If you look at our basketball success, football success and our other sports, I think it speaks well of our overall program.

“As a coaching staff, we’re trying to combine good grades, success and exposure to help our kids have a chance at playing at the next level,” he added. “Our success with the All-Roanoke-Chowan teams certainly help toward that goal.”

Rounding out the All-Roanoke-Chowan Team were the Honorable Mention candidates.

Those candidates were Bertie High School’s Travis Bond, Gray Harrell of Lawrence Academy, Ryan Davis of Northeast Academy, Stephen Miller of Bethel Christian Academy, Ridgecroft School’s Evans Jones and Tripp Plaunty of Ahoskie Christian School.

Notes…Kent Bazemore becomes the first repeat winner for Player of the Year on the boy’s team… Four schools have had a player on the First Team for all four years. They are Bertie High School, Hertford County High School, Northeast Academy and Ridgecroft School… No school has won all four individual awards in the four years of the awards… Past Players of the Year have included Mark Williams (NCHS-East), Rich Edwards (Northeast) and Bazemore… Best Offensive Players have included Thomas Ward (Lawrence Academy) and LaMarcus Bond (Hertford County High)… Best Defensive Players have included Jermaine Norfleet (Bertie High), Wes Ward (Ridgecroft) and LaMarcus Jenkins (Hertford County).