Lometa dominated its district this season. Now, it is clear why.
The Hornets earned at least a share of all the superlatives and finished with every player on the roster being represented in some fashion on the 28-1A, Division II All-District teams.
For Lometa head coach Aaron Nuckles, the display of admiration from his peers was humbling.
“Basically, those coaches are saying they want our players on their team,” he said. “They are voting for us because they think we are better than their kids. So, it is a big-time honor.”
In addition to sweeping the superlative awards, the Hornets landed two players on the first team, three on the second team and had three honorable mentions.
Senior wing Eric Nichols received the most prestigious honor, being named MVP after averaging a team-high 16.2 points to go with 8.5 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 2.7 assists.
“The thing about him is he can score, but he also played defense,” Nuckles said. “He was doing it all. It was just an all-around effort for him.”
Lometa’s senior post Shane Stone earned co-offensive player of the year after the award was split three ways because the coaches could not come to a consensus.
Despite averaging 8.9 points for the season, Stone increased his production to 11.8 points per game during district, scoring at least 14 points four times, including a pair of 20-point outbursts.
A pair of Lometa sophomores walked away with individual accolades as well, with Kyle Molter being named defensive player of the year and Ivan Jasso receiving the newcomer of the year award.
One year after being named newcomer of the year, Molter became the Hornets’ third consecutive player to be the defensive player of the year.
Molter averaged 7.7 points, a team-high 9.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals and a block per game this season, while Jasso (10.5 points, 3.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 steals) was the only Hornet to play in every game this season, scoring at least five points in each outing as he helped Lometa produce a 20-7 overall record, including an unblemished run to the district championship.
Seniors Justus Alaniz and Pedro DeLuna both completed their high school careers by receiving first-team honors, while underclassmen Connell Barnett, Carlos Perez and Adrian Rivera, who are all freshmen, landed on the second team.
Additionally, sophomores Reid Moore and Kendall Willis, along with junior R.J. Haggard were each named honorable mentions.
Despite graduating several important pieces responsible for helping the Hornets remain state-ranked all season before falling in the area round of the playoffs to No. 3 Oakwood, Nuckles believes plenty of potential is returning.
And he is already setting the bar accordingly high.
“It will be cool to see if these kids can keep it up,” Nuckles said. “Those young guys are off to a good start, and after the Oakwood game, I told them, ‘The bar has been set. You don’t want to just win 17 or 18 games next year. You’ve got to win at least 20, and you’ve got to defend that undefeated streak in district.’”
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org