All-Parish basketball teams released
Ascension Parish saw many tremendous performances by their basketball players and teams this past season. Five of those squads made the playoffs, and many athletes made all-district teams.
Now, it is time for the Weekly Citizen to unveil its All-Parish basketball teams for both boy’s and girl’s basketball.
The East Ascension boy’s basketball team was the class of Ascension in 2015-16. Under second-year head coach Barry Whittington, Jr., the Spartans experienced a superb turnaround—improving from 13-17 to 27-6.
East Ascension made a run to the state semifinals—where they lost to eventual state champion Natchitoches Central. It was the Spartans’ first trip to the Top 28 since 2013. It was Whittington’s second time there. He reached the semifinals with Donaldsonville two years earlier.
Five Spartans made the All-Parish team in guard Le’Aaron Cain, forward Bilal Frank, point guard Jimel London, guard Koye Ruffin and forward Justin Harris.
The East Ascension girls also returned to the playoffs after a resurgent 2015-16.
After finishing just 6-19 last season, the Lady Spartans improved to 14-12 this year and made the playoff field. They were eliminated by top-seeded Mandeville in the opening round.
Two Lady Spartans made the All-Parish team in forwards Alynzia Morris and Sharan Turner.
The St. Amant boys made their first playoff appearance in three years after finishing with a 19-15 record. They lost to Natchitoches Central in the first round.
Three Gators made the All-Parish squad in forward Kameron Kelson, point guard KJ Franklin and guard Carter Templet.
The Donaldsonville boys made the playoffs despite a rough first season in the new-look District 6-3A. The Tigers fell to sixth-seeded Carroll in the opening round.
Guard Braxton Bernard and forward Jacoby Simon both made All-Parish.
The final playoff team from the parish was the Donaldsonville girls. They went 17-10 during the regular season and upset 13th-seeded Winnfield in the opening round of the postseason.
They were eliminated by eventual state runner-up Parkview Baptist in the second round.
Donaldsonville guards Janira Collier and Mya Chatman and forward Kaylynn Foster all made the All-Parish team.
All-Parish First Team (Boys):
Point Guard - Kaleb Winchester (Ascension Catholic)
Guard - Le’Aaron Cain (East Ascension)
Guard - Braxton Bernard (Donaldsonville)
Forward - Kameron Kelson (St. Amant)
Forward - Bilal Frank (East Ascension)
Sixth Man - Jimel London (PG) (East Ascension)
All-Parish Second Team (Boys):
Point Guard - KJ Franklin (St. Amant)
Guard - Koye Ruffin (East Ascension)
Guard - Carter Templet (St. Amant)
Forward - Jacoby Simon (Donaldsonville)
Forward - Justin Harris (East Ascension)
Sixth Man - Jacoby Stewart (G) (Ascension Catholic)
Most Valuable Player - Le’Aaron Cain (East Ascension)
Best Defensive Player - Bilal Frank (East Ascension)
Coach of the Year - Barry Whittington, Jr. (East Ascension)
All-Parish First Team (Girls):
Point Guard - Ne’Kyla Williams (St. Amant)
Guard - Jamilyn Robinson (Ascension Christian)
Guard - Janira Collier (Donaldsonville)
Forward - Rae’Shaun Melancon (Ascension Catholic)
Forward - Vanessa Thomas (St. Amant)
Sixth Woman - Alynzia Morris (F) (East Ascension)
All-Parish Second Team (Girls):
Point Guard - Kyra Harleaux (Dutchtown)
Guard - Kelsie Baker (Dutchtown)
Guard - Mya Chatman (Donaldsonville)
Forward - Sharan Turner (East Ascension)
Forward - Tyler Smith (Dutchtown)
Sixth Woman - Kaylynn Foster (F) (Donaldsonville)
Most Valuable Player - Janira Collier (Donaldsonville)
Best Defensive Player - Vanessa Thomas (St. Amant)
Coach of the Year - Dennis Chandler (East Ascension)