After becoming one of only two basketball teams covered by the Wood County Monitor to make the UIL area (second) round, the Alba-Golden Panthers boys’ basketball team received multiple post-season awards as a trio of seniors were voted on First Team All-District.
Shawn Davis, Mike Hartin and Dyllon Shuttlesworth headlined the Panthers’ post-season award recipients, while sophomore and first-year varsity player Zane Smith earned Newcomer of the Year in the district.
Also honored this post-season for A-G was senior Dawson Kirk who earned Second Team All-District honors.
Davis, Hartin, Kirk, Shuttlesworth and Smith all played vital roles on the Panthers squad that went 24-12 overall and earned a 9-5 record in district play.
Davis and Hartin both were vital at the guard position for Head Coach Jeff Mason this winter as the team’s best shooters and ball handlers. Both guards showed a consistent ability to be able to penetrate opposing defenses and make shots from three-point range as well.
Shuttlesworth and Kirk cleaned the glass as the team’s two leading rebounders and the two proved to match each other’s styles seamlessly in their high-low post offense.
Smith had a breakout season as a first-year varsity player and arguably became the Panthers’ best overall defender. Smith showed an ability to guard a variety of positions from small guards to taller post players. Smith was key in A-G’s 1-3-1 zone defense as he often played the top positions using his long wingspan to disrupt offenses.
Head Coach Jeff Mason said he was extremely happy for his players and viewed the 2017-2018 season as a step in the right direction for the A-G basketball program.
“Our boys did a great job this year. The boys did everything and more that I asked of them. We had a great senior group. Mike Hartin did a great job of handling the ball, Shawn Davis’ three-point accuracy, Dyllon Shuttlesworth’s scoring in the paint and Dawson Kirk with great defense and rebounding.” Mason said in an email last week.
Mason and his team will have a tough task next season trying to replace the 2018 senior class. “All (the seniors this year) are pieces of the puzzle that we will have to replace next season,” Mason said.
Forwards Tom Mitchell and Jon Michael Chadwick were listed as Honorable Mentions in district and will have increased roles next season for the Panthers.