Two of the best players in Southwood basketball history earned an appropriate honor on Saturday when Jessy Ellis and Kourtney Pennywell were named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State basketball team.
The dynamic duo of Walker Road helped bring the school’s 11th girls basketball title to the school a couple of weeks ago when they directed a defeat of Natchitoches Central for the 5A state title. They also stood out last weekend in the All-Star game played at Centenary College.
“I’m proud of both Jessy and Kourtney because both had great seasons and they finished the season strong,” Southwood coach Steve McDowell said. “They were also honored with the Coaches’ Association selection, so they’ve had a great year.”
Ellis, the MVP of the state championship game and of the all-star contest, was selected the LSWA 5A Player of the Year. Sulphur’s Helen Lefevre, whose team was dominated 62-40 in the semifinals by NCHS, was named the Coach of the Year over McDowell, whose team was 33-1 and won its 11th title.
“Jessy’s game improved so much over last year and she was able to finish around the basket,” McDowell said. “She and Kourtney were outstanding in the championship game.”
Named honorable mention girls all-staters were Byrd’s Diamond Willis (15.0 points, 6 rebounds) and Captain Shreve’s Alexis Burnstine (18.9 ppg, 9.7 rpg).
The 5-foot-1 mastermind of the Southwood offense, Ellis averaged 18.1 points and 7.4 assists per contest. She had a game-high 20 points in the Lady Cowboys’ 44-25 win over the Lady Chiefs in the championship contest. Pennywell, a force inside with Keona Favis, Aerial Robertson and Aerika Robertson, put up 15.8 points while pulling down 6.8 rebounds.
On the boys’ 5A All-State team, Ruston’s Jerry Melton was a second team selection after the 6- 1 senior averaged 26.0 points per game.
Byrd’s Chad Lott (25 ppg, 8 rpg, 4 assists), Parkway’s Broderick Jefferson (27.5 ppg), Captain Shreve’s Jesse McWright (15 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.4 assists), Derrick Pace 15.4 ppg., 10 rpg), along with Colin Smith of Natchitoches Central, were honorable mention selections.
“Chad is one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever coached. In fact, he’s in the weight room right now,” Byrd coach Rusty Johnson said. “After the Scotlandville game, he realized he has to work even harder.”
LSWA CLASS 5A ALL-STATE BASKETBALL
Class 5A girls
Victoria RachalNatchitoches Central5-716.5
Moesha KinardNew Iberia5-8Jr.19.8
Abby LeeWest Monroe5-11So.15.1
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Jessy Ellis, Southwood COACH OF THE YEAR: Helen Lefevre, Sulphur
Jyar Francis, Ponchatoula; Kali Koenig, Mandeville; T’Erika Bell, Ouachita; Chelzee Matthews, West Monroe; Kierra Anthony, New Iberia; Darian Dees, Terrebonne; Eris Stone, Thibodaux; Ariele Davis, Pineville; Brianna Brown, McKinley; Catherine Hodson, St. Joseph’s Academy; Diamond Willis, Byrd; Alexis Berenstine, Captain Shreve; Gabby Delaune, Dominican; Halie Matthews, West Jefferson; Shannon Jones, H.L. Bourgeois.
Class 5A boys
Elex CarterEast St. John6-7Sr.7.6
Ja’Cardo HawkinsEast Ascension6-7Jr. 17.1
Donald LeBlancSt. Amant5-10Sr.15.5
Trevon EvansSouth Lafourche6-1Sr.22.6
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Damian Jones, Scotlandville COACH OF THE YEAR: Carlos Sample, Scotlandville
Javaughn Williams, East Ascension; Brandon Eddlestone, Northshore; Matt Felger, Jesuit; Tre’von Jasmine, East St. John; Jordan Cornish, Brother Martin; Jalen Gray, Brother Martin; Jonathan Dalton, West Jefferson; Montelle Chatman, Covington; Yettra Specks, Ouachita; Chad Lott, Byrd; Broderick Jefferson, Parkway; Jesse McWright, Captain Shreve; Derrick Pace Captain Shreve; Tre’Lun Banks, Scotlandville; Julian Thomas, Comeaux; Isaac Allridge, H.L. Bourgeois; Kaleb Ratliff, Westgate; Trevon Cole, Thibodaux; Dillon Mandeville, New Iberia; Colin Smith, Natchitoches Central.