As we near the conclusion of the first month of the basketball season, we thought it would be great to look at our leading contenders for the Boys D&D Sports Network “Player of the Year” award. As the players return from Christmas Break, we will see what Santa has brought these D&D Sports Stars.
( The candidates are listed in alphabetical order and not in ranking.)
Scotty Browning – SR. – Logan High School (5-2)
Browning a 6-1 guard is an electrifying scorer. He is the leader of the Wildcats and averaging over 20 points per game. So far this season Browning and the Wildcats have already defeated 1A rival Tug Valley. Browning will have the opportunity to lay his claim to “Player of the Year” on 1/13 and 1/20 when the Wildcats take on Scott and Chapmanville in two prime time matchups.
The Wildcats are currently ranked 4th in the WV coaches poll in class AAA and 5th in the D&D Coverage area rankings.
Zander Carter – SO. – Ashland Blazer High School (6-4)
Carter is an amazing athlete which is leading the Tomcats in scoring with a 23.6 PPG average. Carter is scoring on all levels, he is shooting 50.3 % from the field overall and 32% from behind the arch. As all good scorers he is also getting it done at the foul line connecting on 38 of 52 for 73%. Carter is also averaging nearly 7 rebounds a game.
The Tomcats are playing arguably the most difficult schedule in the D&D Coverage area. The next big test for Carter is when the Tomcats play host to Pikeville on January 7th.
Currently the Tomcats are ranked 3rd in the 16th Region RPI rankings and 3rd in the D&D Coverage area rankings.
Sal Dean – SR. – Chapmanville High School (4-0)
“Swaggy” Sal Dean has made the transition from Kentucky basketball to West Virginia basketball with no problem. “Swaggy Sal” is averaging nearly 18 points per game and continues to make those around him better. Dean, a true point guard, makes the difference for the Tigers.
As the Tigers enter the new year a big test will await Dean. They will host a 3 game home stand that will include Wayne, Scott and Logan. All three teams are ranked within the Top 10 in their respective classes. Currently the Tigers rank 3rd in the WV Class AA coaches poll and 2nd in the D&D Sports rankings.
Reece Carden – SR. – Scott High School (3-1)
Carden is off to a quick start as he attempts to lead his Skyhawks to another Class A state tournament appearance. Carden is averaging 28.3 PPG while shooting 49% from the field.
Carden and his Skyhawks currently sit 8th in the WV Coaches rankings in Class AAA. The Skyhawks have not yet broke into the D&D Sports Top 10 this season. The Skyhawks will be tested on January 10th as they travel to Chapmanville to take on the Tigers. This game will be a prime opportunity for Carden to stake his claim to the D&D Player of the Year honors.
Parker Davis – SR. – Tug Valley High school (2-2)
The “Dunkasaurus” Parker Davis is having another fabulous year. Davis continues to help lead his Panthers by scoring nearly 19 points a game. Davis has definitely developed over the past few years and this could possibly be his year to bring the D&D Player of the Year award to Naugatuck.
Tug Valley currently sits 7th in the WV Class 1A rankings and 9th in the D&D coverage area rankings. After the New Year, a big test awaits Davis as he and his Panthers will play host to Logan in the rematch of their loss earlier in the season.
Zachary Otis- SR. – Bath County High School (9-1)
Did someone say offense? Zack Otis is an elite level scorer who lives for the big moment. Otis is averaging 30.3 PPG which will place him in the top 5 in the state of Ky. He is shooting 55.3% from the field and 47.1% (16-34) from behind the 3 point line. He also snags almost 7 rebounds per game.
The Wildcats have stayed quietly under the radar of many in the D&D coverage area. They are currently ranked 2nd in the 16th Region in the RPI rankings. Even with the high RPI ranking, the Wildcats have yet to break the D&D Top 10. Two big contests await the Wildcats in early January as they travel to Besty Layne on January 7th and to Ashland on the 12th. If the Wildcats were to win these games, everyone will know who Zach Otis and the Bath Co Wildcats are.
Jaylan Rigdon- JR. -Pike Co Central High School (6-3)
With the departure of Josh DuToit, Rigdon now has the opportunity to showcase what a truly amazing player he is. Rigdon is one of the Top 2 point guards in the D&D Sports coverage area. He can score, rebound and control the offense.
Rigdon is averaging 27.9 PPG while shooting over 59% from the floor. The place where Rigdon excels is getting to the foul line. Rigdon is connecting on 77.4 % as he is 41-53 on the year. Rigdon also averages over 9 rebounds per game from his point guard position.
The Hawks currently rank 4th in the 15th Region RPI rankings and are currently 10th in the latest D&D poll. Rigdon and the Hawks have two huge games coming up as the take on Breathitt and Boyd County immediately after Christmas.
Brady Robinson – SR. – Betsy Layne High School (8-2)
The Ultimate Athlete is having a breakout year and putting up some highlight reel dunks in the process. Robinson is averaging 24 points a game on 48% shooting from the field. Robinson has matured into a leader on the court for the young Bobcats and is making a difference this season. Robinson like all great scorers is getting it done at the foul line. He is converting nearly 85% on 27-32 shooting. Robinson is also using his athletic ability to secure a career high 5.4 rebounds per game.
Betsy Layne currently sits 5th in the 15th Region RPI rankings and currently 8th in the D&D Sports Top 10. Robinson and the Bobcats have several chances to shine in the upcoming weeks. The Bobcats will take on Breathitt Co, Bath Co and Shelby Valley in the next few weeks.
Rylee Samons – SR. – Pikeville High School – (5-2)
Last season when it was announced Samons would take part in Senate Bill 128 to reclassify for his senior, he automatically became the front runner for this years player of the year. As we near the conclusion of the first month Samons has not disappointed as he is putting up some remarkable numbers.
Samons is averaging 26.6 PPG on an amazing 62.6 % from the floor. What is even more impressive Samons is shooting 56.6% behind the 3 point line. He is also pulling in nearly 8 rebounds per game.
Samons will have several opportunities to impress the fans as they take on Ashland and Letcher County Central in the upcoming weeks. Pikeville currently sits in 1st place in the 15th Region RPI rankings and are ranked 4th in the D&D Sports Top 10.
Jacob Spurlock – FR. – Boyd County (9-1)
The Freshman sensation has arrived in Boyd County. Jacob Spurlock has already became the leader of the Lions. Spurlock is averaging 20.2 points per game on nearly 46% shooting form the field. Spurlock is shooting 38% from behind the 3 point line while also averaging 6 rebounds per game.
The Lions currently sit a top both the 16th Region RPI ranking and the D&D Sports Top 10 ranking. On January 2nd the Lions have a showdown with Pike Central and then on February 3 the Lions will have the rematch with Ashland. It is going to be fun to watch this young Freshman continue to develop.
As you can see with these player profiles, we are truly blessed here in the D&D Coverage area. As for me, I am unclear who the favorite would be right now but I’m just excited for the rest of the season.