Kayla Newman, Alcoa Middle Blount County Player of the Year
Newman is an eighth-grader. She led the team in scoring, averaging 11 points per game. She had a season-high 20 points against South-Doyle. Newman is a great, all-around player and has a bright future ahead of her. While at Alcoa Middle, she has won three Blount County championships. This season, Newman was voted to the Parks and Rec Christmas Tournament All-Tournament team, the Blount County Tournament All-Tournament Team, All-Blount County and Blount County Player of the Year. Kayla is the daughter of Kenny and Karen Newman.
Laila Bangash, Maryville Middle
Bangash was a great, all-around player for the Lady Bulldogs. She was the team’s leading scorer, playing both the shooting- and point-guard positions. Bangash progressed throughout the season, becoming a team leader, both on and off the court, by the end of the year.
Jennifer Houser, Carpenters Middle
Houser led the Lady Cougars in minutes played, assists and was instrumental in initiating the offense.
Emily Herron, Union Grove Middle
Herron averaged 5.0 points and had many games in double figures. She was a key defensive player who was quick to get out on the fast break. Herron was a game-changer and created her shots through steals and penetration.
Bailey Sellers, Alcoa Middle
Sellers is a seventh-grader. She averaged 4.0 points per game and has a great understanding of the game. Sellers had a season-high 11 points against Union Grove. Sellers was voted to the Parks and Rec Christmas Tournament All-Tournament Team and selected All-Blount County. Bailey is the daughter of Mike and Kristi Sellers.
Kelsey Whitteaker, Eagleton Middle
Whitteaker, an eighth-grader, led the Eagleton Middle Lady Royals in scoring and steals this past season. She has been the starting point guard for the past two years. She was named to the Area 4 Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association All-Tournament Team. Kelsey is the daughter of Glen and Teresa Whitteaker.
Tara Shields, Alcoa Middle
Shields is a sixth-grader. She averaged 9.0 points per game. She had a season-high 14 points against Sacred Heart. She has outstanding touch and can shoot from anywhere on the floor. Shields was voted to the Parks and Rec Christmas Tournament All-Tournament Team, the Blount County Tournament All-Tournament Team, named the Jaycees Classic Most Valuable Player and All-Blount County. Tara is the daughter of Trent and Terri Shields.
Shelby Spradlin, Carpenters Middle
Spradlin led Carpenters in scoring and was the Lady Cougars second-leading rebounder.
Bethany Massey, Heritage Middle
Massey, an eighth-grader, was a three-year member of the varsity team. Her versatility to play inside and outside has been a great asset. One of the team’s top rebounder, Massey averaged 8.0 points per game. She was named to the Blount County Tournament All-Tournament Team and the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association All-Tournament Team. Bethany is the daughter of Phil and Gerri Massey.
Kassi Knight, Union Grove Middle
Knight was the player inside opponents had to concern themselves with. The athletic 6-footer, only a seventh-grader, led the team in rebounds and blocked shots. She averaged 4.0 points per game, often battling double teams. She was a team leader despite her youth.
Haley Talbott, Union Grove Middle
Talbott was the leading scorer in a very balanced offense, averaging 6.0 points per game. Her season-high was 20 points. Talbott was also a key rebounder and the top defensive player on the team. She provided leadership and is described by her coach as “the player to make things happen.”
Amber Click, Union Grove Middle
One of the county’s top 3-point shooters, Click’s outside scoring played a pivotal role in the Lady Wildcats reaching the Blount County Middle School championship game this past season.
Leah Thomas, Heritage Middle
Thomas has been a two-year member of the Heritage varsity. She played both the point guard and wing positions for the Lady Mustangs. Thomas was one of the top defenders and averaged 7.0 points per game. She was selected to the Blount County Tournament All-Tournament Team. Leah is the daughter of Mark and Datha Thomas.
Travis Moths, Carpenters Middle
Moths was a huge part of the Cougars’ success this past season. He was Carpenters’ leading scorer, second-leading rebounder and finished second in assists. He always played extremely hard and is a consummate competitor. Moths is the son of David and Kellie Moths.
Cody Carroll, Maryville Middle
Carroll was the Bulldog point guard this season. As the floor leader, he did what was needed for the team to succeed, whether it be scoring himself or making the nice pass for the assist. Defensively, Carroll was very disruptive to opposing point guards. He could change the tempo of the game with his quickness and anticipation. Cody is the son of Kevin and Susan Carroll.
Malik Love, Alcoa Middle
Love led the Tornadoes in steals and assists and was a major contributor from his point guard position. With his quickness, he created many opportunities for his teammates to score. Love was named to the Blount County Tournament All-Tournament Team and the Blount County Kessler’s Christmas Classic All-Tournament Team.
Peyton Wall, Union Grove Middle Blount County Player of the Year
Wall was Union Grove’s leading scorer and top rebounder. He is a great athlete with a lot of potential. At season’s end, Wall was named the Blount County Player of the Year.
Austin Morgan, Alcoa Middle
Morgan led the team in scoring and was second among Tornadoes in rebounding. With his versatility, he played both small forward and guard and was a hard matchup for most teams. Morgan was named to the Blount County Tournament All-Tournament Team and the Blount County Kessler’s Classic All-Tournament Team.
Isaac Edmiston, Maryville Middle
Edmiston was a great all-around player for the Bulldogs. At 6-foot-2, he possessed guard skills with his shooting and passing ability. He was also an outstanding shot blocker and rebounder, along with being a smart defensive player. His leadership was key to the Bulldogs’ undefeated season. Isaac is the son of Paul and Kay Edmiston.
Zach Wilburn, Heritage Middle
Wilburn is a three-year member of the Mustangs basketball team. He was the junior varsity most valuable player as a seventh-grader and the team’s offensive most valuable player as an eighth-grader, leading the team in scoring and free throws. Zach is the son of Alan and Kim Wilburn.
Cody Brimer, Heritage Middle
Brimer was a three-year member of the Mustangs basketball team. This past season, he was the team’s defensive most valuable player. Brimer often drew the toughest defensive assignments for the Mustangs and excelled. Cody is the son of Billy and Debbie Brimer.
Brandon Tipton, Union Grove Middle
Tipton is a very athletic and heady player. He played a variety of positions for Union Grove. Tipton has great leadership skills and always plays hard.
Austin Hayworth, Union Grove Middle
Hayworth led the Cougars in steals and 3-pointers made. He was also one of the team’s best on-the-ball defenders. Hayworth has good instincts for the point guard position.
R.T. Byrd, Eagleton Middle
Byrd, an eighth-grader, played for Eagleton each of the last two seasons. He led the team in rebounds and blocked shots. Byrd was named to the Area 4 Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association All-District Team. This past season, Byrd served as the Eagleton team captain.
John Garrett, Maryville Middle
Garrett was an outstanding combo guard. He could score on the drives to the basket, pull-up jumpers or the 3-point shot, making him tough to defend. Adept at making the key plays, Garrett is the guy who you want with the ball in his hands at the crucial points in the game. John is the son Craig and Sheri Garrett.