When a three-way tie atop a district occurs, the postseason accolades are likely to spread among the trio of schools.
That is what happened during the 2016-17 girls basketball season, as each of Ellison, Killeen and Waco Midway had a player earn a District 8-6A superlative.
After each went 12-2 with a win and a loss against one another, Ellison senior Madison Hattix-Covington, Killeen senior Jacen Moore and Midway senior Barbara Benson were awarded league MVP, defensive player of the year and offensive player of the year, respectively.
The fourth accolade, newcomer of the year, went to Copperas Cove freshman Madisen Honea.
Hattix-Covington averaged 16.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game. The 6-foot guard also shot 39 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line.
“She left it all on the court every night she competed,” Lady Eagles head coach Sherry McKinnon said of the Virginia Commonwealth signee. “It’s an honor that she did what she did for the team, produced and helped us win the district championship this year. I’m very proud of the way she played for us this season.
“The MVP is just the icing on the cake for the four years she played for us here at Ellison.”
For McKinnon, there was a certain comfort and a sense of calmness in knowing Hattix-Covington was taking the floor for her team.
“Madison was pretty consistent in that she was going to get hers,” McKinnon said. “We knew the opponent was feeling the same way, and they knew what she was averaging and what she was going to do, pretty much. With every conversation she had with another player, she was letting them know what we needed in any given game situation.
“I was really confident that she was going to do what she needed to do in order for us to be successful. She’s going to be missed, and I believe VCU is getting a very quality player and an even higher-quality person.”
Moore averaged 9.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 2.4 steals per game for the Lady Kangaroos, and she was an imposing presence in the paint defensively.
“Everyone knew Jacen was going to be one to clean up on the glass,” Killeen head coach Jennifer Graham said of the 5-11 post. “A lot of players would also go into the paint offensively and hesitate. I think it was very clear – a lot of people would adjust their shots when they saw Jacen in there.
“Jacen is also a very smart player. I think there was only one time this season she fouled out of a game. Fouling out only one time this season in 34 games, that’s a huge accomplishment, and I hardly ever had to take her off the floor.”
While Hattix-Covington and Moore are currently on top of their game, Honea is still blossoming as a player.
Despite having just one year of varsity experience, the guard has already made an impression, according to Copperas Cove head coach Eldridge McAdams.
“When I nominated Madisen,” he said, “the other coaches were like, ‘Oh, she’s the shooter,’ and coach McKinnon said, ‘Oh, she’s the one that was hitting from halfcourt against us.’
“They definitely knew of her.”
The following is the complete list of 8-6A first- and second-teamers:
Shianne Johnson, Sr., Killeen; Alexus Scharkley, Sr., Killeen; Cierra Penn, Soph., Killeen; LaPraisjah Johnson, Sr., Ellison; Gemma Alhambra, Sr., Ellison; Cielo McClain, Jr., Ellison; Janaiya Davis, Jr., Midway; Chelsey Harris, Sr., Midway; Shea Isaac, Sr., Midway; Cammie Moore, Sr., Belton; Keilee Burke, Jr., Belton; Makayla Gatewood, Sr., Shoemaker; Charlene Shepherd, Jr., Shoemaker; Cadye Nelms, Jr., San Angelo Central.
Kiara Johnson, Sr., Shoemaker; Hannah Martin, Sr., Belton; Elisa Priddy, Soph., Belton; Megan Burge, Soph., Central; Tay Dosson, Jr., Central; Feliziana Davis, Sr., Ellison; Aujunnae Smith, Jr., Ellison; Madison Griffin, Soph., Copperas Cove; Chyanne Chapman, Sr., Copperas Cove; Caleyah Burrell, Jr., Midway; Kayla White, Sr., Midway; Dakota Smith, Sr., Harker Heights; Kiara Young, Jr., Harker Heights; Manesha Knox, Jr., Killeen; Jaida Burkes, Jr., Killeen.