KF’s Miller top ‘dog among Suffolk honorees

Published 8:53 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Coaches around the region made King’s Fork High School sophomore forward Amesha Miller an All-Region 4A South first team selection.

She tied for the most votes with Woodrow Wilson High School junior guard/forward Taylor Edwards and also was the lone Suffolk girls’ basketball player to receive a Virginia High School League Group 4A all-state accolade, making the second team.

King's Fork High School forward Amesha Miller recently garnered more impressive accolades, despite only being a sophomore, making the all-region first team and the all-state second team.

King’s Fork High School forward Amesha Miller recently garnered more impressive accolades, despite only being a sophomore, making the all-region first team and the all-state second team.

After an extra round of voting, Nansemond River High School junior forward Aneka Yelverton was officially named to the all-region second team. Joining her on that team was Lady Bulldogs senior guard Imani Lewis, while Lady Warriors junior center Sabre Clegg received regional honorable mention.

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The selection “was very special for me,” Miller said, thinking about being a sophomore regional honoree among a sea of upperclassmen. “I think they saw my drive, that I didn’t let my age get to me.”

“I wasn’t really surprised,” King’s Fork coach Maurice Fofana said, noting the conference Player of the Year usually makes the all-region first team, and Miller was in that situation this year. “I’d have been more disappointed if she wouldn’t have made it.”

Fofana said the voting coaches put some emphasis on a players’ performance in the regional tournament. Though Miller only played one regional game, a 63-62 home loss to eventual state runner-up Midlothian High School, she led her team with 20 points.

During the regular season, she averaged 18.9 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks per game, despite eventually facing special defenses.

Having 16 double-doubles and being a top-five scorer in the area contributed to Miller making the all-region first team, Fofana said.

When she discovered she had made the all-state second team, Miller said, “I was really surprised.” Fofana was not, however, given her acclaim at the regional meeting.

She was one of only three sophomores in a group of 16 all-state honorees.

This is the first year Miller has received any all-conference, all-region or all-state accolades.

Aneka Yelverton followed up her all-region second team honor last year with another this year, but Nansemond River coach R. Calvin Mason Sr. noted there is reason to see that differently.

This year, “Aneka was actually tied for the last spot on the first team,” he said, later adding, “The coaches had to re-vote to break that tie.”

Only eight players could move on and be eligible for all-state consideration, and the eighth ended up being Monacan High School sophomore guard Alex Parson.

As to why Yelverton received so much voting support, Mason said, “I thought her overall basketball game improved this year,” noting her scoring average went up and her defense got a little better.

“She led the (Hampton Roads area) in threes this past year,” he later added. “She had 61.”

She averaged 16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals this year and shot 40 percent from three-point range.

Fofana was surprised and excited to see Imani Lewis make the all-region second team.

“It was great for her to be able to go out for her senior year with making second team all-regional, first team all-conference,” he said, as Lewis had never before received recognition at any of these levels in her career.

She averaged 15.8 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks per game during the regular season. She had 16 points in the conference tournament semifinal and 11 points and 10 steals in the final.

“Imani was pretty consistent throughout the year,” Fofana said.