Tobias Moore does not consider himself the best defensive player on his own team.
Opposing coaches, however, disagree.
Despite averaging 8.8 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.5 blocks per game and dedicating himself during the offseason to becoming a complete player, Gatesville’s senior post was surprised to find out he was named District 8-3A Defensive MVP.
“I thought it might be somebody else,” Moore said. “I thought our point guard Justin Massey guarded most of the best players, but I guess the other coaches saw something different out there.”
Moore recorded at least nine rebounds in eight of his team’s 10 district games, including five double-digit showings, and only had six games all season without posting at least one block and one steal.
While Moore might not be certain he deserves the accolade, Gatesville head coach Thomas Winkler has little doubt the district’s coaches made the correct decision.
“I thought he was an unbelievable defensive player for us this year and in a lot of different areas,” Winkler said. “He is a guy who can guard anyone from a point guard to a post. We could play him on anybody, and there were games where one guy would be hurting us, and we would switch Tobias over to him.”
In addition to his defense, Moore averaged team-highs of 15.5 points and 4.4 assists per game, while guiding Gatesville (17-16) to the area round of the playoffs, where No. 3 Kennedale ended the Hornets’ season.
Senior forward Danny Byrd and junior guard Seth Martin were both placed on the first team, while sophomore Justin Massey and junior De’Quan Cross landed on the second team.
“It shows you what those other coaches think about us,” Winkler said, “and it means a lot more when your opponents are telling you how good your players are.”
Byrd averaged 12.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game and was the overall vote leader after joining the team in mid December due to the deep postseason run by Gatesville’s football team.
Martin led the Hornets in 3-pointers and was third on the team in scoring (10.0 ppg) and assists (2.4 apg), while serving as an outside complement to Moore’s and Byrd’s inside presence.
Despite playing with multiple starting lineups and using a deep bench to spread minutes across the roster, Lampasas produced two first-team and two second-team selections on the 8-3A All-District team, joining Gatesville as the only other team to achieve the feat.
Seniors Mason Murray, who averaged nine points and a team-high 4.4 assists per game, and leading scorer Shayne Cofield (11.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg) were each placed on the first team, while classmate Cullen Singleton (9.3 ppg) and junior Shonderious Howard (6.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg) landed on the second team. Additionally, Levi Holland and Gary Spencer, who led the team with 2.6 steals per game, were both named honorable mentions for Lampasas (20-11, 4-6).
“Statistically, our guys don’t always stand out,” Shivers said, “but if you asked me what guys were out best players off the lineup, those are the ones I would have listed. It worked out the way it should have, and it was nice to get that many guys on there.”
Area girls receive
Lampasas senior guard Julie Mize was the lone Lady Badger to land on the 8-3A All-District First Team, but three teammates were also recognized. Junior Sierra Rash was a second-team selection, while guard Miranda Maceyra and post Chasity Fields were both honorable mentions for the Lady Badgers, who were 7-23 overall and 3-7 in district.
Gatesville (11-18, 2-8) had two players make the list under head coach Chris Carroll. Hornets senior guard Sara Ridling and junior point guard Sarah Latham were each placed on the second team.
Ridling led the team in scoring with seven points per game and was second in assists (31), while Latham averaged 4.7 points on 30 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc and produced a team-high 48 assists.