Lampasas vs Waco Connally 4A Area Round Playoffs

Lampasas' Kyle Sims (1) drives the ball down the court against Waco Connally in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs Feb. 23 at the University of Mary Hardin–Baylor in Belton.

Kyle Sims did not receive an award. He earned it.

The Lampasas wing entered his senior season with an ability to score, using his driving ability to penetrate defenses for easy baskets.

By the end of his career, however, Sims evolved, according to Badgers head coach Aaron Nuckles.

“We really worked a lot on shooting,” Nuckles said, “and it paid off down the stretch, because he became a guy who could score off a kick-out, he could score on the perimeter and he could come off a screen and hit a pull-up jumper.

“As you go through the season, people start to play you different once they know what you want to do, so his ability to continue scoring in different ways was just huge.”

And Nuckles was not the only District 19-4A head coach to feel that way.

Sims was recently named all-district co-offensive player of the year, sharing the accolade with Burnet senior Cole Younger.

It was one of two superlatives for Lampasas. Additionally, Badgers senior Bryce Winter received the title of defensive player of the year, and much like Sims, the honor was not easy to capture.

“Bryce was always on the other team’s best ball-handler and its best scorer,” Nuckles said, “but he always found a way to take that guy out of the game.

“He wasn’t a big-number guy, but he just always played tough, and it was always against the other team’s top offensive threat.”

Liberty Hill sophomore Carson Perkins was named all-district most valuable player, while Burnet freshman Luke Kiser was named newcomer of the year.

Lampasas also had three seniors — Austin Martin, Phillip Blackstock and Xavier Nix — land on the first team.

The Badgers were the only team with more than two first-team selections.

“I thought everything turned out really well,” Nuckles said. “I was very pleased with the way we were represented.”

LADY BADGERS' MAGEE NAMED TOP NEWCOMER: After transferring from Ellison, Lampasas junior Jelecia Magee’s debut with the Lady Badgers was delayed by University Interscholastic League red tape.

The forward was cleared to play one game before district competition, but she still made an immediate impact, being crowned newcomer of the year.

“Her transition from playing on the junior varsity to varsity was very impressive,” Lampasas head coach Mark Myers said. “It’s a whole different level of play, but she always played hard.

“I felt like she deserved this award the whole time, but it was just a matter of whether the other coaches would vote for a junior.”

A pair of Magee’s teammates was also honored as Diane Hurst was placed on the first team and Kamri Corbin landed on the second team.

With the trio of juniors set to return next season, Myers feels the future is bright for the Lady Badgers.

“They’re going to make a real good core for us,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to next year.

“We had a good year this year, but we’re going to have a great year next year.”

Liberty Hill senior Sedona Prince was named most valuable player, while teammate Bethany McLeod and Leander Glenn sophomore Gabby Thomas spilt the defensive player of the year award.

Lady Panthers senior Kandyn Faurie and Burnet senior Marissa Escamilla were declared co-offensive players of the year.

SALADO LANDS 5 ON ALL-DISTRICT LISTS: The Eagles concluded their season with a pair of players receiving all-district recognition, while the Lady Eagles occupied three spots on the list.

Senior forward Anthony Young was placed on the first team for Salado, while teammate Jeremy Jarvis, a junior, landed on the second team.

For the Lady Eagles, sophomore Kaia Philen was a first-team selection, while freshman Amanda Cantu and senior Kayla Manning were each placed on the second team.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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