They led their teams all the way to their respective state championship games — and Virginia’s coaches took notice.
Gate City’s Luke Ervin and Wise Central’s Hayley Wyrick were named the Virginia High School Coaches Association Division 2 basketball players of the year on Monday.
Ervin, a senior, led the Blue Devils to the district regular-season and tournament titles, the Region D championship and a runner-up finish in the state tournament.
The Division 1 player of the year was Altavista’s Darius Johnson.
Joining Ervin and Johnson on the all-state first team were Raheem Lockley of Middlesex, Markell Williams of William Monroe, Caleb Tanner of Floyd County, Isaiah Phillips of Radford and Juan Thornhill of Altavista.
Among the players making the VHSCA all-state second team were Castlewood’s Reid Edmonds and Virginia High’s Nick Howard. Tyler Vernon of Union was awarded an honorable mention.
Radford’s Rick Cormany (Division 2) and Altavista’s Mike Cartalero (Division 1) were named coaches of the year.
Wyrick, a senior, shared the D-2 honor with Stephanie Cheney of George Mason after leading the Lady Warriors to the district season and tournament titles, the Region D crown and the state championship game. Central finished the season with a 28-2 record.
East Rockingham’s Jessica Lam was the Division 1 player of the year.
Sophomore Logan Reynolds joined her Lady Warriors teammate on the first unit. Morgan and Jordan Gose, Gate City’s junior twins, also were voted to the top squad.
Other first-teamers were Lam and Madison Comer of East Rockingham, Stephanie Cheney of George Mason and Chilhowie’s Danielle Catron.
Clintwood’s Kayla Mullins, just a freshman, made the second team.
East Rockingham’s Paul Comer (Division 1) and Floyd County’s Alan Cantrell (Division 2) were the coaches of the year.
In addition to the VHSCA honors, Wyrick, Patrick Henry’s Kasey Uecker, George Wythe’s Kristin Atwell, Ervin, Gate City’s Andy Arnold and Abingdon’s Mack Owens were selected to play in the East/West All-Star game in Hampton in July.
All-Star Senior Challenge on tap
For the fifth year, the FCA is hosting the Virginia vs. Tennessee All-Star Senior Challenge, with this year’s showcase game for high school basketball players set for Saturday, March 23 at Sullivan Central in Blountville.
The girls team from Southwest Virginia is coached by Patrick Henry’s Tommy Thomas. The Southwest Virginia boys are coached by Wayne Rasnick of Virginia High.
Coaching the Northeast Tennessee girls are Gary Surcey of Sullivan Central and Barry Wade of Tennessee High. The NET boys coaches are Sullivan East’s John Dyer and Tennessee High’s Roby Witcher.
The girls tip off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:30. Each game includes a 3-point shooting contest, while the boys’ matchup also will feature a slam dunk contest.