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April 1, 2014

VaPreps 6A All-State Hoops Teams

VirginiaPreps.com is proud to release our sixth annual All-State Basketball Teams. Unlike the past years when we chose four teams of First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention Team in Group AAA, we are now choosing a First Team and Second Team for all six of the classification in the first year of the new VHSL realignment.

A total of five players are picked on First Team with a Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. After all, a regular basketball starts five, and so does ours. And just like most teams, we go with seven guys on the bench to make up the Second Team, although not one member on any of the six squads was a reserve.

So what are the factors that go into the choices that are made? All are made by me with no consultation of the coaches simply because that's what the VHSCA Teams are designed for in my opinion. However, we try to study individual statistics (some supplied by coaches upon request) as well as factor into the equation team success and overall impact. Once everything is weighed, we try to blend it all together and make the best choices possible, even though there's no perfect team or right and wrong picks.

It's never an easy process because there are always many deserving players who don't get recognized on First or Second Team. A lot of difficult picks had to be made yet again with some back-and-forth on a few of the final spots as usual.

Without further ado, here's the VirginiaPreps.com 6A All-State Basketball Teams for the 2013-14 campaign with bios on each player. . .

6A First Team:
Marco Haskins - Colonial Forge - Jr.
Darius Bolstad - Landstown - Jr.
Eric Bowles - W.T. Woodson - Jr.
Trevor Blondin - Battlefield - Sr.
Dorian Johnson - Herndon - Sr.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marco Haskins (Colonial Forge)
COACH OF THE YEAR: Jason John (Colonial Forge)

6A Second Team:
Chris Orlina - Woodside - Soph.
Brandon Kamga - South Lakes - Jr.
Marcell Haskett - Kecoughtan - Jr.
Will Gregorits - Lake Braddock - Sr.
Christian Kirchman - Patrick Henry-Roanoke - Sr.
Nigel Ribeiro - Western Branch - Jr.
Tyler Peterson - Tallwood - Sr.

VirginiaPreps.com 6A First Team All-State:

Marco Haskins, Colonial Forge, Jr. (Player of the Year)

An unselfish star that cares more about winning than his own personal statistics, Haskins was a major reason why Colonial Forge was able to win 25 consecutive games on their way to capturing the school's first ever state title in basketball. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard rose to the occasion in a number of big games, such as the 72-68 win over Landstown in the 6A-South Region Championship when he finished with a team-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor and 5-for-9 from three-point territory.

For the season, Haskins raised his level of play significantly as the Eagles went from not evening reaching regionals to win a region title and state title behind his 16.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game. In addition, he shot 41.7% from the field, sank 39.5% of his three-pointers with 60 makes from deep, and had success at the charity stripe by going 105-of-138 (76.1%). To no surprise, he took home Conference, Region and State Player of the Year trophies.

Following a tremendous junior year filled with individual accolades and team accomplishments, Haskins will go into his senior season with 1049 career points after scoring 451 this past year.

Darius Bolstad, Landstown, Jr.

For the first time since 2005, the Landstown Eagles played in both a State Championship and Region Championship game, largely possible because of the presence of the 6-foot-8 center Bolstad. The Conference 1 Defensive Player of the Year displayed excellent hands and footwork on the interior all season long; successfully bouncing back from an injury that kept him sidelined last summer to lead Landstown to 23 wins and a perfect 12-0 mark in conference play.

Bolstad tabulated 465 points, 279 rebounds and 104 blocks for averages of 16 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game while overcoming foul trouble on occasion. Few players were as efficient either, which made him an easy choice for First Team All-State by the VHSCA and First Team All-Region in 6A-South. He made 189-of-290 shots (65%) and hit on 82-of-138 from the foul line (63%).

Eric Bowles, W.T. Woodson, Jr.

Named Player of the Year in the Patriot Conference or Patriot District in back-to-back seasons as an underclassman, Bowles was often times the best playmaker on the floor when the Cavaliers went to battle. His play at the point guard spot was very instrumental in Woodson winning a regional tittle for a second year in a row and punching their ticket to the State Final Four for a second straight time.

Bowles averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game in nearly 28 minutes a contest as Woodson won 21 games. He made 51% of his shots inside the arc and went 104-for-178 at the free-throw line (58%), consistently using his quickness to attack defenses off the dribble. In a 47-36 win at Green Run in the Sixth Annual VirginiaPreps.com Classic Presented by Cox Sports, Bowles took home the MVP trophy with 18 points on 6-of-8 from the field, 5-for-6 at the foul line, six boards, four assists and two steals with only two turnovers.

Trevor Blondin, Battlefield, Sr.

Set to play his College Basketball at Division II Seton Hill in Pennsylvania, Blondin was named the Conference 4 Player of the Year and an All-Region First Team selection in 6A-North as well as First Team All-State by the VHSCA. The 6-foot-4 small forward averaged 20.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and two steals per game while shooting 52% inside the arc, 38% from beyond the arc and 82% at the foul line.

Blondin was the catalyst for a Bobcats team that went 21-6 overall and went on a 15-game winning streak this season, where he elevated his play and numbers, averaging 26.9PPG, 8RPG, 6APG and 2SPG during the team's hot stretch. He also was chosen as MVP in the Sixth Annual VirginiaPreps.com Classic in their 61-57 win over Landstown, where he scored 28 points on 8-of-16 shooting to go with seven boards, four assists and three steals.

Dorian Johnson, Herndon, Sr.

The 6-foot-4 senior swingman had quite a decorated career for a Hornets team that was ranked #1 in the state in Group 6A much of the season, finishing 23-3 overall and reaching the regional semifinals after capturing the Conference 5 regular season and tournament crowns. One season after Will Ferguson was the Northern Region Player of the Year for Herndon, Johnson earned Conference Player of the Year honors as well as First Team All-Region in 6A-North and All-State by the VHSCA.

Described by Coach Gary Hall as an unassuming player, Johnson put up a team-high 19.4 points per game to lead a balanced Hornets scoring attack that featured five guys who averaged more than 12 points a contest. He showed moderate improvement in his outside stroke, connecting on 48 three-pointers, while being money at the free-throw line with 106 makes on 130 attempts (81.5%).

Coach of the Year: Jason John, Colonial Forge

From 5-18 two seasons ago to 27-1 overall, John's Eagles of Colonial Forge had a historic ride, winning their first ever conference, regional and state titles for the Stafford area school. In fact, a Stafford area school had never won a State Championship in VHSL Boys Basketball until John's junior-oriented bunch got it done this year.

Defensively, Colonial Forge held seven teams under 40 points, and in the playoffs, their offensive production increased greatly. The Eagles averaged 62.7 points per game prior to the start of regionals, but in their final five games they put up 75 points a contest. Four of their last five victories in the postseason were decided by eight points or less.

VirginiaPreps.com 6A Second Team All-State:

Chris Orlina, Woodside, Soph.

Only a tenth grader, Orlina dazzled for a Woodside team that won 21 of its next 22 games after starting just 1-2 overall. The 6-foot-5 forward with an offer on the table from ODU earned Monitor-Merrimac Conference Player of the Year and First Team All-State by the VHSCA as well as First Team All-Region in 6A-South with averages of 20.2 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game. Through two years on varsity, he's scored 847 points and led Woodside to a pair of regional playoff appearances with regular season and conference tourney titles this past season.

Brandon Kamga, South Lakes, Jr.

The 6-foot-4 guard who holds a bevvy of Division I offers already validated his status as one of the top basketball players in the state from the Class of 2015 by helping lead the Seahawks to the regional semifinals and a 19-9 overall record after the team started the season 0-3. Named the Liberty Conference Player of the Year, Kamga averaged 19 points, 7 rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 134-of-206 from the foul line. He earned First Team All-State honors by the VHSCA and First Team All-Region in 6A-North.

Marcell Haskett, Kecoughtan, Jr.

Being recruited at the next level by Hampton University, Mount St. Mary's and a host of others, Haskett took the leap from third option to go-to guy for Coach Ivan Thomas' Warriors after stars Rajay Bullock (Providence) and Greg Alexander (ECU) graduated from last year's State Tournament squad. The speedy point guard led the Peninsula District in scoring at 21.5 points per game with his finest performance coming in a regional quarterfinal loss to Landstown when he poured in a career-high 41 points. As the year went on, his outside shot got better, and as a result, Kecoughtan won 17 games.

Will Gregorits, Lake Braddock, Sr.

Named MVP of the Patriot Conference 7 Tournament, Gregorits sank the game-winner with four seconds remaining in the Bruins' Championship win over W.T. Woodson, their third victory on the season over the reigning and eventual repeat Northern Region Champions. Without him in the lineup, a 23-5 overall record and the school's first State Final Four trip might not have been attainable. Also chosen First Team All-Region, Gregorits averaged 15 points per game and made 142-of-189 free-throws (75.1%).

Christian Kirchman, Patrick Henry-Roanoke, Sr.

Described by Head Coach Jack Esworthy as a coachable, team-oriented player, Kirchman certainly was the driving force for the Patriots during their 20-4 season that saw them reach the 6A-South Region Tournament semifinals. The Conference 3 Player of the Year and First Team All-Region performer averaged 20 points per game, leading the Patriots to wins in 18 of their next 19 games after a 2-2 start to the campaign. A three-year starter, Kirchman had a game-high 28 points in the regional semis vs. Colonial Forge as well as 29 points in the conference semis in a victory.

Nigel Ribeiro, Western Branch, Jr.

Leading the entire Hampton Roads area in scoring, Ribeiro averaged 24 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals per game on the season for a Bruins team that graduated four starters from the year before. With him at the forefront of their attack, Western Branch started the season 7-1 overall and made it all the way to #10 in the state in Group 6A in late December. In addition, Ribeiro managed to put up gaudy numbers despite constant double and triple teams throughout his junior year, plus having ball-handling responsibilities most of the time.

Tyler Peterson, Tallwood, Sr.

Playing in all 26 games for a Tallwood program that finished 17-9 overall and reached the regional playoffs for the tenth time in 11 years, Peterson was the main source of offense night in and night out. The Conference 1 Player of the Year averaged 17.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game while shooting 40% from the field and 36% from long range. Peterson piled up 447 points as a senior, going 157-for-228 at the foul line (69%) and converted 44 three-pointers, which was 35 more than he made during his junior year.

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 updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail [email protected], and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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