Webster's Morris captains AA all-state basketball team
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. -- Throughout his high school basketball career, Brett Morris was often referred to as the "best-kept secret" in the state as Webster County High School is tucked away in an isolated part of West Virginia, an area stuck outside of most media's primary markets.
Some secrets are impossible to keep hidden though, as Morris was selected first-team captain for the Class AA boys basketball all-state team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Morris led the Highlanders within a game of a second consecutive state tournament appearance before Webster was ousted by North Marion in a thrilling double-overtime Region 1 co-final.
He finished his senior season leading the Highlanders in five statistical categories with averages of 25.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 4.6 blocks.
He's joined on the first team by a pair of Bluefield players - junior guards Lykel Collier and Anthony Eades - who helped the Beavers capture their first Class AA state championship since 1996.
Eades, who averaged 19.3 points and shot 42.2 percent from 3-point range, joins Morris as the only repeat selection to the Class AA first team. Collier, last year's second-team captain, averaged 13.4 points, 8.2 assists and five rebounds.
A trio of Big 10 Conference schools that moved down from Class AAA to AA this season and advanced to the semifinal round of the state tournament - Fairmont Senior, Bridgeport and Robert C. Byrd - are represented on the first team by one player apiece.
For the Polar Bears, senior Travon Horton, who averaged 18.5 points and seven rebounds, was picked after leading his team against Bluefield in last Saturday's title game. Bridgeport's Tyler Sprouse, who averaged 14.7 points, three assists and 2.5 steals, was the Indians' top scorer and helped his team advance to the state semifinals
RCB sophomore Devonti Birch has emerged as one of the state's most versatile players and was the Eagles' leading scorer at 13.2 points per game, along with averages of 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 steals, for a team that also advanced to the state semifinals.
The first team is rounded out by Chapmanville's Mackenzie Martin and Liberty Raleigh's Levi Cook.
Martin averaged a double-double with 21.2 points and 11 rebounds per contest, as did the sophomore Cook, who averaged 23.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, 4.1 blocks and 3.1 steals.
Fairmont Senior junior point guard Jarin Hilson is the captain of the second team. He averaged 16.8 points and six assists and is joined by Summers County's Taron Ayers (27.5 ppg, 3 assists), Westside's Corey Bowles (19 ppg, 4 assists, 3 steals), North Marion's Matt Cain (12 ppg, 5 reb), Ritchie County's Andrew Davis (18.8 ppg), Scott's Matt Dolan (17.0 ppg), Sissonville's Zach Null (17.8 ppg, 4.5 assists) and Tolsia's Morgan Stacy (13.9 ppg).
The captain of the third team is Bluefield's Michael Yost (15 ppg). He's joined by Mingo Central's Austin Banks (15.7 ppg, 6.1 reb, 8.5 assists), Wyoming East's Brett Bowling (16.9 ppg), Westside's Justin Cogar (17.0 ppg, 8.5 reb), Poca's Noah Frampton (14.1 ppg), Bridgeport's Jordan Haywood (13.8 ppg, 5.7 reb, 2.8 assists), Robert C. Byrd's Iziah Hill (10.3 ppg, 5.7 reb, 2.8 assists) and Fairmont Senior's Shaquille Washington (11.5 ppg, 9.8 reb).