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March 20, 2013
VirginiaPreps.com is proud to release our fifth annual Group AAA All-State Basketball Teams - - First, Second, Third Team and Honorable Mention selections - - for the 2012-13 campaign. In fact, it'll be the last AAA All-State Basketball Teams for us or anyone given that there will be no Group AAA next year with the VHSL going to a new conference re-alignment plan next year.
So what are the factors that go into the selections that are made? All are made by me with no consultation of the coaches simply because that's what the VHSCA team is for in my opinion. We study individual statistics, team success, and overall impact. Once everything is weighed, we try to blend it together and make the best choices possible, even though we know there's no perfect team or right and wrong picks.
This is no easy process because there are SEVERAL really fine players that didn't get recognized on First Team, Second Team, Third Team or even Honorable Mention. A lot of difficult picks had to be made, especially on the Player of the Year front as there was no clear-cut favorite this year with a few individuals sticking out. There was a lot of going back-and-forth on those names before ultimately arriving at a decision.
Here's how the choices are broken up. We select five players on First Team, five on Second Team, five on Third Team and five for Honorable Mention, making it a total of 20. Below is the complete list with bios.
VirginiaPreps.com Honorable Mention All-State Hoops 2012-13
Regarded as a top-notch defender and more than capable offensive weapon at the point or off-guard position, Talley was apart of more wins than any senior class in Henrico's basketball history.
After putting up just over 10 points per game as a junior on balanced attack that got to the State Tournament Final Four, Talley's productivity only increased during his senior season. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
Speedy from one end to the other, Talley was recognized among the best players in the '804' area code when he was recognized All-Capital District First Team and Second Team All-Central Region. Furthermore, his class graduates having gone 92-22 in four seasons, including 58-5 with back-to-back State Tournament appearances, capped with district, regional and state titles.
Playing at I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, a program that won back-to-back State Championships in 2011 and 2012, means there are expectations for the players that walk through the hallways and that's to live up to the lofty standards set before them. A backup on those title teams, Trent made a name for himself the past couple of seasons, capturing Eastern District Player of the Year honors as a senior.
From his 30-point effort on Senior Night against Lake Taylor to handing district rival Maury four of its five losses on the season, Trent stepped up on a number of occasions. For the year, he averaged 19.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Those numbers went up in the postseason when he averaged 22.5PPG.
With the streaky and explosive Trent at the forefront of their attack, Norcom recovered from a mid-season slump and went on to win the Eastern District regular season title as well as their sixth league tournament banner in seven years.
Headed to play his College Basketball at the Division I level at Navy, Fong didn't have a senior season that disappointed by any means. Some wondered just how good the Indians would be without Marcus 'Smoke' Knight, who was the 2011-12 Northwest Region Player of the Year and a First Team All-State performer. But Fong and teammate Curtis Lovitt formed one of the best backcourts around.
Following up their region title and State Tournament appearance, Gar-Field went on to post a 22-5 overall record and make it to the regional quarterfinals, where they were ousted by Stonewall Jackson. Fong's offensive exploits enabled the Indians to win another share of the Cardinal District regular season title and the tournament crown.
To close out his career, Fong made 103 three-pointers as a senior, bringing his total to 169 over the past two seasons, more than any other AAA player during that span. As a senior, he averaged a team-high 18 points per game and converted an extremely impressive mark at the free-throw line of 85-of-94(90.4%).
Small in stature with a lion-sized heart, Banks led the Patriots to an 11-0 start and the four-year varsity player had yet anther tremendous season on the hardwood. He followed up a junior season in which he was chosen the Western Valley District Player of the Year and Honorable Mention All-State by VirginiaPreps.com with a record-setting senior campaign.
Banks averaged 20.2 points per game this season to go with 3.1 assists a contest and 84 made three-pointers, which was 15 more than what he had a season ago. With 1511 career points, the 5-foot-6 Banks will graduate as PH's all-time leading scorer, breaking the old mark set by Chuck Kepley in the 1980's.
In the regional playoffs, Banks poured in 25 points in a loss to Battlefield as the Patriots closed the season 18-7 overall. He earned All-Western Valley District and All-Northwest Region honors for a third straight year.
For years, the George Washington Danville Eagles have produced their share of standout players who have gone on to excel at the next level and help the program continue its winning ways. This season with a first-year Head Coach, the Eagles soared thanks in large part to a pair of D-1 talents leading them in the backcourt in Jarod Williams and Thomas, who was selected as the Western Valley District's Player of the Year.
Somewhat of a feast or famine case during his junior season, Thomas raised his play in the off-season and carried over to his senior year in which he put up steady numbers of 16.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game in less than 25 minutes a contest.
Thomas' athletic gifts and presence on the floor was a major reason why GW averaged 87.4 points per game, tops among all Group AAA schools in the state of Virginia. As a result, the Eagles finished with a record of 22-3 overall, capturing regular season and tournament titles in the Western Valley District before bowing out to Battlefield in the regional semifinals.
Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related info and updates. To contact Matthew, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to listen to High School Sports Talk every Saturday from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1 and watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report
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