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March 20, 2013
AAA VaPreps All-State 3rd Team
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 Third Team All-State Hoops 2012-13
In 2012, the Wakefield Warriors lost by two in the opening round of the Northern Region Tournament. Their fortunes were much different in 2013, and the guy leading the way was Moore, a senior guard without any D-1 offers on the table. For the first time in eight years, Wakefield found its way to the Northern Region Championship game and the AAA State Final Four.
Moore provided scoring punch, both driving to the bucket and from behind the arc. On the year, he averaged 16 points per game, drained 58 three-pointers and connected on 101-of-145 free-throws (69.7%). All of that warranted him earning National District Player of the Year Honors and a First Team All-Northern Region selection.
Although it came in a losing effort, Moore showed just how lethal he was when he lit up W.T. Woodson for 37 points and six three-pointers in the Northern Region Championship, which the Warriors lost in overtime. His confidence rubbed off on his teammates, and Wakefield put forth quite a memorable season with a 25-6 overall record.
An undersized power forward, yet rugged in the post, Mealy often carried the Wildcats as they enjoyed the most successful season in basketball in school history. After a third place finish in 2011-12 in the Capital District, Armstrong entered this past season not even on the radar screen to contend for a regional or state title. As things turned out, Mealy's play had them competitive every time out.
Behind the Capital District Player of the Year, Armstrong went 24-4 overall and 12-2 in league play. They were one of only two teams all year with Benedictine, a private school, to defeat eventual State Champion Henrico. Mealy put up 23.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.2 assists and 0.5 blocks per game while shooing 66% from the floor and 67% at the foul line.
With Mealy battling the flu, he still managed to put up a double-double as the Wildcats rallied from double-figures down on the road to oust Central District Champ Matoaca in the regional quarterfinals to earn a spot to the regional semifinals.
Quite possibly the best sophomore point guard in all of Virginia, Bowles validated that thought during the playoffs when he steered the Cavaliers to their first Northern Region Championship in school history, assuming a rather large leadership role on a squad that featured eight seniors. To give you an idea of what the coaches think of him, he was voted the Patriot District Player of the Year, something seldom ever given to tenth graders.
From a pure statistical perspective, Bowles' scoring contributions weren't overly staggering at just 10.2 points per game to go with 58% shooting from the foul line (76-of-131). However, his ability to shift gears, rebound exceedingly well at the guard spot at 5.1 a contest, defend with 1.8 steals per game and distribute with 6.1 assists per game were more than enough.
Also named All-Northern Region First Team, Bowles simply served as a catalyst for a team that went 25-5 overall, won a second straight regular season district title and made it further in the postseason than ever before. In fact, in that State Final Four loss to Henrico, Bowles definitely held his own with 14 points and three assists against a tough backcourt.
Few sophomores, if any, around the Commonwealth dazzled as much as Williams did. After L.C. Bird saw its leading scorer in guard Robert Johnson transfer to Benedictine over the off-season, the Skyhawks were searching for go-to guy to step forward offensively and the First Team All-District selection Williams quickly became that in sparking a few comeback wins.
Bird went on to go 24-4 overall, win the Dominion District regular season Championship and tournament crown, and did so with eight sophomore on its roster, none as influential as Williams. On the year, he put up 18.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 47% from the field, 72% at the charity stripe (77-107FT's) and connected on 63 three-pointers to earn Second Team All-Central Region.
Even though his last outing of the season was one he'd like to forget when he went scoreless in a lopsided regional semifinal loss to eventual State Champion Henrico, Williams served notice to the rest of the state he's a force to be reckoned with for years to come. A handful of mid-high major D-1 programs are keeping tabs on him intrigued by his athleticism and smooth all-around offensive skills as a slasher from the wing.
Perhaps the single most improved player in the state this year at the Group AAA level, Smith's ascension from an integral part of the starting unit to a difference maker in the front-court had a huge positive effect on Henrico's as they went on to capture their first ever State Championship. Cut from the J.V. squad only a few years prior, Smith put up 16 double-doubles, doing so in all three of the Warriors' State Tournament victories.
As a senior, the 6-foot-6 forward averaged 14.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game for a team that closed the year on a 20-game winning streak. No performance for Smith might've been bigger than the one he had in the Capital District Tournament Championship vs. Armstrong when he yanked down a career-best 25 rebounds.
In helping Henrico post a record of 30-2 overall, Smith got noticed by more and more schools at the next level. He was also chosen All-Capital District First Team and Second Team All-Central Region.
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 email@example.com, 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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