First Posted: 12/23/2011
The prep basketball season is at a standstill and Christmas is around the corner.
With that, what better time than now to dish out some dubious awards — gifts, if you will — to the Robeson County hoopsters who’ve highlighted the 2011-12 season thus far.
Best 3-Point Specialist
To: Colby Johnson, Lumberton … Defenders don’t dare blink when this sharp-shooter is locked and loaded at the 3-point line. Or five feet beyond it. Really, anywhere past half-court is in play for Johnson to rip twine. His highlighted shooting display thus far came on Dec. 9 when he buried five 3-pointers — four in the third quarter alone — to help spark a Pirates’ eventual 72-70 win over Cape Fear. Speaking of that game …
To: Lumberton … An Austin McNeill scoop at 10 seconds. A Markes Fletcher steal at mid-court at 3 seconds. A dribble at 2. An off-balanced runner at 1. And an improbable bank shot at zeroes. Cue: Pirates faithful flooding center court in euphoria and Cape Fear fans frozen in shock.
Best Window Cleaner
To: Charlton Townsend, Fairmont … Better get a body on this kid, and even if you do, he’s likely coming down with the pill. His rebounding and playing style brings to mind Charles Barkley — an undersized big man who makes up for his lack of height with savvy physicality, quick elevation and a nose for the ball. On top of that, like Sir Charles, Sir Charlton is a strong finisher at the rim.
To: Juwan Jones, Purnell Swett … Everyone saw how quick Jones is on the 100 yards of gridiron, returning interceptions, punts, you-name-it, in dizzying fashion. To say the least, he translates his speed well on the 90 feet of hardwood. His crossover is low to the floor and done in one fell swoop. If it were being depicted in a comic book the verb “Whoosh!” would accompany the frozen frame of him tripping up a defender.
To: Antonio Henderson, St. Pauls … I haven’t come across many passers at the prep level better than Henderson. The senior seems to have a knack for threading the needle and finding the millisecond teammates are open, probably before the Bulldog receiving the pass even knows it. I have no stats to back this up but roughly 90 percent of the passes he makes are no-looks. But not in the unnecessary, showoff-y kind of way. The kind of no-looks that misdirect defenders and lead to easy buckets.
Best Way To End This Column
To: Readers … Have a Merry Christmas.
Reach Sports editor Kaleb Roedel at 910-272-6111 or [email protected]