The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

March 28, 2013

Five boys named finalists for year’s top hoops player

The list of candidates for The Register-Herald Boys Basketball Player of the Year probably could have included 15-20 deserving candidates. The talent pool in the area was just that deep.

But in an attempt to stay consistent, The Register-Herald sports staff — after plenty of analysis and debate — managed to narrow the list to five finalists.

Here’s a look at the candidates.

TaRon Ayers (Summers County) — The junior point guard led all of Class AA in scoring, averaging 27.5 points per game to go along with three assists per contest. Ayers had the ability to get to the rim and knock down the outside shot, and he helped the Bobcats to some big wins, including Liberty and Shady Spring.

Chase Connor (Shady Spring) — The leading scorer in Class AAA, the senior, who left Shady as the school’s all-time points leader, averaged 27 points and 6.4 assists per game for the Tigers. The jump to Class AAA didn’t impact the talented guard, and he was a first-team all-state selection for the second-straight year.

Keith Mullins (Greater Beckley) — A first-team Class A all-state pick, Mullins helped Greater Beckley Christian reach the state tournament for the first time since 2007. The senior wing averaged 19.1 points per game, along with five blocked shots and 5.5 rebounds. He also averaged 2.8 assists per game and made 73 3-point shots.

Donté Nabors (Woodrow Wilson) — The junior guard led the Class AAA runner-up Flying Eagles in scoring, averaging 20 points per game, but scoring was just a small part of his impact. He also averaged four rebounds and two assists for Beckley, which won 19 straight games on its way to the finals.

Rondale Watson (Greenbrier East) — The Oak Hill transfer made a huge impact for the Spartans, helping them to the best start in school history at 15-0. The junior guard averaged 21.6 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals per game, helping Greenbrier East reach the region co-final and end the season in the top 10 in Class AAA.

The Register-Herald sports staff — Cam Huffman (sports editor), Gary Fauber (assistant sports editor), Dan Stillwell (staff writer), J. Daniel Rollins (staff writer) and Rusty Udy (sports clerk) — will vote on the winner, and the award will be announced in the April 5 Register-Herald.

— Who should be the

player of the year? E-mail chuffman@register-herald.com or send a

message on Twitter to @CamHuffmanRH

with your thoughts.

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