Local Sports

Fearless competitor

Having a dominant force in the paint who can score, play defense and rebound is a key element of a good basketball team.

Sebring's Jamiese Wiley was a rock at forward by starting every game the last two years, and the 5-foot, 11 inch senior averaged 14.6 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals a game this season to lead the Blue Streaks to the state playoffs.

"Jamiese averaged a double-double and was a crucial component in every facet of our team," said Sebring girls basketball coach Mike Lee. "She worked hard, was very strong, fearless and was extremely dedicated to her team and teammates."

Wiley was voted the FACA District 16 5A Player of the Year and she was selected to play in the North/South FACA All-Star game.

For her accomplishments and ability, Wiley has been selected as the Highlands Today 2014 All-Highlands Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

"It means the most to win this award," said Wiley. "I worked really hard this season and did everything I could for the underclassmen and our team.

"I worked and pushed myself so I wouldn't have any regrets."

The Team

Toryana Jones, junior, Avon Park - Jones played point guard and averaged 19.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.3 steals and 2.3 assists per game for the Red Devils.

"Toryana really improved this year," said Avon Park girls basketball coach Paulette Daley. "She overcame a lot of double teams to help us win games."

Quiahja Williams, sophomore, Lake Placid - Williams played point guard and averaged 10.6 points and 5.2 rebounds a game to help the Green Dragons win the district championship.

"Quiahja is good at slashing to the basket and is a consistent player," Lake Placid girls basketball coach Jackie Coyne said. "She handles pressure well and we look forward to great things from her in the coming years."

India Washington, freshman, Walker Memorial Academy - Washington averaged 13.3 points and 13.2 rebounds a game to help the Eagles go 17-0 in the regular season, win the district title and a state playoff game.

"India became a legitimate low post player this season," said Walker Memorial girls basketball coach William Farmer. "She learns quickly and wants to excel."

Jazmin House, senior, Sebring - Being the other half of the twin towers in the paint, House was a co-captain and averaged 8.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks a game to help the Blue Streaks reach the state playoffs.

"Jazmin was the most consistent player on our team," said Lee. "She started every game this season and always played hard."

Connie Dewberry, senior, Avon Park - Dewberry played guard and averaged 6.2 points, 3.1 assists and 2.3 steals a game for the Red Devils.

"Connie improved as a ball-handler and her defense this season," Daley said.

Shaquavia Gayle, junior, Lake Placid - Gayle averaged 5.8 points a game and was the Green Dragons defensive stopper.

"Shaquavia was great in transition and she guarded the other team's best player and shut them down," said Coyne.

Toni Garcia, sophomore, Walker Memorial Academy - Garcia played forward and averaged 7.7 points, 12.1 rebounds and 4.1 steals a game for the Eagles.

"Toni is an around player, is very unselfish and strong on both ends of the floor," said Farmer.

Christacia Dawkins, junior, Sebring - Dawkins was a force at point guard and averaged 8.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

"Christacia led by example and is a consummate team player," Lee said. "She is committed to getting better and we're glad she's returning next year."

Brianna Roque, senior, Avon Park - Roque was solid at forward averaging 5.1 points and 4.2 rebounds a game.

"Brianna worked hard to improve her scoring and rebounding," Daley said.

Keziah Maranan, Walker Memorial Academy - Maranan played guard and averaged 10 points, 4.1 assists and 3.2 steals per game.

"Keziah is our top 3-point shooter, a good passer and sees the floor well," Farmer said.

Anne Webber-Callahan, junior, Lake Placid - Callahan averaged 4.6 points a game and was a consistent player at several positions.

"Anne was a mismatch for the other team at guard or forward and played solid offensively and defensively throughout the season," the Green Dragon coach said.

Imani Tate, junior, Avon Park - Tate was a hard worker and averaged 7.5 rebounds a game.

"Imani had a great work ethic and executed what we wanted when she was in the game," said Daley.

Lisette Marisigan, junior, Walker Memorial Academy - Marisigan averaged 9.3 points, 3.4 assists and 3.4 steals a game.

"Lisette was our floor general and ran our offense," Farmer said. "She was the engine that made us go."

Raveen Gobourne, junior, Lake Placid - Gobourne averaged 9.6 rebounds and 4.9 points a game for the Green Dragons.

"Raveen was a force to be reckoned with on the glass," said Coyne. "She controlled the boards and scored inside."

Honorable Mention

Lydaliz Rodriguez, sophomore, Sebring - Rodriguez was a tenacious defender who was assigned the opponent's best player to guard.

"Lydaliz wreaked havoc on the other team by taking their best player out of their offense," Lee said. "She was our defensive stopper."

Breauna Washington, senior, Walker Memorial Academy - Washington played center and averaged 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks for the Eagles.

"Breauna was our best defender and shot blocker in the paint," said Farmer.

Jenny Herstein, sophomore, Lake Placid - Herstein handled the ball and could shoot the 3-pointer with accuracy.

"Jenny gained a lot of experience at point guard and that's only going to make us a better team," Coyne said.

Kayla Sharpe, sophomore, Avon Park - Sharpe played forward and center and was a solid rebounder.

"Kayla was very coachable and improved her post game," Daley said.

Lahna Sedatol, sophomore, Lake Placid - Sedatol came on strong as the season progressed to play a big part in the Green Dragons success.

"Lahna learned a lot this season and we expect big things from her in the future," said Coyne.

Olivia Burnett, junior, Sebring - Burnett started 15 games for the Blue Streaks and gave them solid depth.

"Olivia is a consistent player and gained a lot of experience this season," Lee said. "She will play a big role for us next year."

Coach of the Year

For guiding both of their teams to the state playoffs, Sebring's Mike Lee and Lake Placid's Jackie Coyne have been selected as the Highlands Today 2014 All-Highlands Girls Basketball Co-Coaches of the Year.