Three from Suffolk make all-region team

Published 9:21 pm Friday, March 30, 2012

Area coaches gathered recently to select the All-Eastern Region Basketball Teams for the 2011-12 campaign. Among those recognized were three Suffolk standouts.

Nansemond River point guard Dontrell Brite and King’s Fork power forward Zach Johnson both were selected Second Team All-Eastern Region. Also, Nansemond River guard Shannon Evans was chosen Honorable Mention All-Eastern Region.

Named Eastern Region Player of the Year was Hampton junior guard Anthony ‘Big Cat’ Barber, who led the Crabbers to their first state title since 1997. Behind Barber, Hampton rallied from nine points down in the fourth quarter to eliminate Nansemond River in the Eastern Region Tournament quarterfinals, and then two nights later edged King’s Fork in overtime during the regional semifinals.


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Johnson averaged 15.9 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks per game while shooting better than 60 percent from the field. The 6-foot-5 forward for the Bulldogs has signed to play his Division I College Basketball at West Point for Army. He led King’s Fork to an 18-9 record, marking the Bulldogs’ sixth consecutive winning season.

“Zach does all the dirty work and has been a great weapon for us,” King’s Fork coach Josh Worrell said. “He hustles on every play, doesn’t give up on anything and is just a hard-nosed player that will keep fighting until something good happens. He’s one of those kids that’s not happy with where he’s at and continues to work to get better. We’ve been fortunate to have a kid like him.”

The stellar backcourt of Brite and Evans spearheaded Nansemond River, which posted a 21-5 overall record. Each played a key role in the Warriors’ postseason success as they’re the only team Eastern Region team to make it to the Norfolk Scope and the regional quarterfinals three in years in a row.

Brite averaged 13.5 points, 7.8 assists, five steals and four rebounds per game for the Warriors.

“Dontrell had two very good years with us and improved his overall game,” Nansemond River coach Ed Young said. “He’s one of the fastest and quickest players in the region, maybe second only to Barber, and will be sorely missed, since he was the prototype point guard for our system here at Nansemond River. He’s one of the top five point guards I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching in my 23 years, and he should get even better at the college level.”

Evans put up 19 points, five rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.6 steals per game.

“Shannon has improved each year of his career and became one of the better shooters in school history, ending up with over 900 points,” Young said. “We really saw growth in his game over the off-season, and that carried over during the season. He improved more so on the defensive end, where he had struggled up to this point. I think he, too, will have a good college career.”

Following is the All-Eastern Region Team as voted on by the coaches:

First Team:

  • Anthony ‘Big Cat’ Barber – Hampton (Jr.)
Rashun Madison – Norview (Sr.)
Aaron Bacote – Bethel (Sr.)
  • Mark Hall – Green Run (Sr.)
  • Chris Williams – Oscar Smith (Sr.)
  • Troy Williams – Phoebus (Jr.)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Anthony Barber – Hampton

COACH OF THE YEAR: Walter Brower – Hampton

Second Team:

  • Zach Johnson – King’s Fork (Sr.)
Jamal Ferguson – Maury (Sr.)
Dontrell Brite – Nansemond River (Sr.)
Taj Owens – Great Bridge (Sr.)
  • Devin Patterson – Norcom (Sr.)

Honorable Mention:

  • Josh Fortune – Kecoughtan (Sr.)
  • Avion Jones – First Colonial (Sr.)
Shannon Evans – Nansemond River (Sr.)
  • Rajay Bullock – Kecoughtan (Jr.)
D.J. Roberson – Landstown (Sr.)
Tim Marshall – Landstown (Sr.)