ALL-DISTRICT BASKETBALL

Dean earns district MVP; six total Lady Jackets selected

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After a 21-12 record going 11-3 in district including a bi-district victory, six Mineola Lady Yellowjackets took home All-District honors for their performances during 12AAA Region II basketball season.

The six Lady Jackets were headlined by sophomore point guard Sabria Dean who won district MVP. Dean reached double-figure scoring in all 14 district games.

Standout sophomores Jessiah Riley and Megan Brewington earned First Team selections as two of only five underclassmen to make the 13-player first team. Three Lady Jackets were also awarded with Second Team All-District honors including senior Vanessa Spurgeon along with sophomores Tiara Stephens and Kelsey Brewington.

First-year Head Coach Tony Riley was also awarded by the district as Co-Coach of the Year along with Edgewood’s Head Coach Chris Lewis whose team won the district’s number one seed.

The Lady Jackets had a turnaround season this winter as they increased their district win total by four games and also won their first playoff game in nearly 20 seasons.

Riley said all the credit for the team’s success goes to the players buying in to his system and defensive mindset.

“My girls did a tremendous job buying into what we were doing and it paid off by not only making the playoffs but winning the first round which hasn’t been done in about 20 years,” Riley said last week via text.

The Lady Jackets became one of the district best defensive teams as they regularly held their opponents under 50 points per game.

Riley, who was a college basketball star at Western New Mexico University from 2009-2012 said his first year as head coach was aided by the quality of individuals that he had this season.

“I’ve been blessed to be around such a great group of girls who want to win and that are very competitive. With this being my first year as a head coach, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career with a great group of girls,” Riley said.

After a season that saw the Lady Jackets improve tremendously in just over a year, the team should be even better this coming winter, as the team is only losing one starter and one bench player from their current roster.

Riley says he’s looking forward to getting back to work with his team and hopes to build on the team’s success.

“We will start by putting the time and work in the gym this summer.  After this successful season I think the girls actually realized how good they really can be and they are already getting themselves set up to go to camps this summer to work on their game. So hopefully with them putting in the work and getting better this summer, it will carry over to the season and we can pick up where we left off,” Riley said.

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