SCPrepNation's Upper State Awards

We hand out honors to the top basketball players and prospects who participated in this weekend's South Carolina Upper State basketball championships. Some players rose to the top while others showed why they are already ranked so highly. Come inside for a breakdown of the award winners and highest stock risers for boys and girls hoops in action at Clemson this weekend.

AAAA Girls MVPs
Dorman: Ashlen Dewart
South Pointe: Chelsea Douglas & Ashawna Bost

Dewart Analysis: Dewart, a 2009 prospect, dominated against South Pointe. At 6'3 she's imposing inside. Once she gets position down on the low block it's almost as good as over. She'll either convert the bucket or go to the line and shoot it at a good clip there too. Given her size she rebounds well and Colleges will give her a look and if she gets her conditioning up another level she's got D1 potential written all over her.

Douglas Analysis: Douglas has the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the bucket. She continuously got to the bucket against the Cavaliers and showed the ability to find the open teammate when the opportunity presented itself. Just a sophomore she'll be a player we keep a close eye on in the class of 2010.

Bost Analysis: Bost, a 5'11 post prospect, runs the floor very well. She often outran her Dorman counterparts down the floor and got some easy buckets in transition being rewarded for her hustle. She's not a physical force like Dewart but her game is in fact the opposite. Bost will outquick you and outwork you on the block. She hustles and gets it done. A 2009 prospect, Bost should get some looks from colleges due to her athletic ability and hustle.

AAAA Boys MVPs
Spartanburg: Zycorrian Robinson & Omar Sanders
Wren: Sebastian Koch

Robinson Analysis: Zycorrian isn't big at 5'11 but he plays with great heart and comes through in the clutch. He's displayed it all year long and Friday night's game was no different. Wren brought a huge crowd but Robinson knocked down big bucket after big bucket to help keep Wren at bay. He is very quick and can get into the lane when he wants. So if you press him he'll go bye you and if you lay off of him he'll bury a three-pointer with consistency. (He had 6 3-pointers on Friday night) While some question his height he's simply a player that maximizes his abilities and wants the ball with the game on the line.

Sanders Analysis: Omar is a tweener. He plays in the post for the Vikings but he may be forced to play small forward at a larger school or power forward at a smaller college. Regardless he's worked on his game to showcase the ability to do either. He established his presence early on with a number of blocked shots against the Golden Hurricanes. He also worked the glass in a big way too. With a few buckets in the first half he saved his best work for the 2nd half. In the fourth period he helped the Vikings hold off Wren by scoring 12 points. He had a big three-pointer at the top of the key which shocked many in the crowd because of his size. Sanders when he's on is a tough matchup. Sometimes he loses confidence in himself if he doesn't get it going fast enough but if he gets off to a quick start opposing teams are gonna have a tough time dealing with him.

Koch Analysis: No Koch wasn't the high scorer for Wren but his overall abilities were on display Friday night. He had 13 points including 3 three-pointers. His floor vision dazzled many in attendance as he found teammates with some nice passes early and often. Koch also helped out in a big way on the boards for the Golden Hurricanes. For Wren he plays at the small forward position but he quickly moved to the point guard/forward spot. At 6'6 he's an intriguing PG prospect. In all honesty he's capable of scoring more points but with a pass first mentality and all-state teammate Johnny Bozymowski getting a lot of shots it just doesn't allow for him to be the focal point offensively. He should add some more weight as his body continues to mature but he's definitely one of 2009's best prospects especially with next year being his turn to be the centerpiece of Wren's squad.

A Girls MVPs
Hunter-Kinard-Tyler: Shalika Smalls
Christ Church: Erin Carter

Smalls Analysis: Shalika Smalls simply put on a show early Saturday. She went off to the tune of 38 points! Christ Church defenders couldn't slow her down as she continuously got into the lane and finished in the championship game. While most of her damage did come from those drives to the basket she also showed a pretty nice jumper from the perimeter too. If there was one weakness we saw it was her work at the free throw line where she went 6-11. Regardless her performance on Saturday was one of the best offensively we've seen in girls hoops in the last few years. Smalls is just a junior so she will be a player to keep a close eye on in the 2009 class.

Carter Analysis: Erin Carter got to work early on the block for Christ Church. She isn't the biggest post player but uses great fundamentals and plays with toughness. It took all of one period of play for us to realize that she was indeed a player. She has some nice moves down on the block and powers up nicely for her size. She creates space for herself with her moves and finishes nicely down low. The area where she really excelled is on the boards. We didn't keep official counts but unofficially she had at least 12+ rebounds. She runs the floor pretty well too. Just a sophomore, Carter has a very nice all-around game and is clearly one of the best 2010 prospects in the state.

A Boys MVPs
Calhoun County: DeAndre Guinyard & Alshon Jeffery
Dixie: Yavario Smith

Guinyard Analysis: Guinyard got off to a quick start hitting a couple of shots. He then spotted up behind the arch and knocked down some three-pointers. He thrived being the point man in Calhoun County's trapping defense and got a few steals leading to quick layups. He finished with a team-high 22 points. Guinyard is a junior and will be back next year to help power the Saints offense.

Jeffery Analysis: Jeffery emerged 2 years ago on the hoops recruiting radar. He's getting more interest for his football abilities these days but he's still got potential as a roundball player too. The first thing that sticks out about him is his court vision. He made a few passes that were just too quick and unexpected for a few teammates but would've lead to some great plays/finishes. As one of the biggest players on his team he helped out on the boards but his future should he play college hoops is probably as a small forward. His ballhandling was off on Saturday as he had a number of turnovers to traveling. It will be interesting to see if he chooses to pursue one sport or both on the next level.

Smith Analysis: Yavario Byrd was one of the few bright spots for Dixie in their matchup against Calhoun County. Dixie struggled dealing with the Saints trapping pressure defense but Byrd was the exception to the mantra set by Calhoun County's defense. He broke the press by himself quite a few times and drove to the bucket with authority. He either finished or got fouled leading to a 10-14 performance from the charity stripe. A very nice looking 2008 prospect who finished with a game-high 23 points.

AA Boys MVPs
Southside: Robbie Dreher
Keenan: Ryan Norris

Dreher Analysis: We were the first to tell you about Robbie Dreher over a year ago and Saturday's performance may have been his most complete one that we've seen to this point. Known as a deadly 3-point shooter Dreher displayed that the rest of his game has come full circle. His ballhandling has improved since last season as he constantly took his defenders off the dribble and got to the bucket. The mid-range jumper was working and when he got fouled he converted each and every time (8-8 from the stripe). Dreher has grown another inch and has added some strength/muscle to his frame. He skied for some nice rebounds in traffic as well. Already holding a couple of D1 offers Dreher's stock continues to rise. Another good showing on the AAU circuit this offseason and we expect more major D1 programs to step up their recruiting efforts. His best bet will be to continue working on his ballhandling and explosiveness to be able to showcase the ability to play both guard positions if needed. Make no mistake about it though he flourishes as a shooting guard. His recent performances will definitely shake up the installment of our 2009 player rankings as he's on the rise once again.

Norris Analysis: Norris and the Raiders ran into a buzzsaw called the Southside Tigers but that didn't stop Norris from putting forth a nice effort. He did a great deal of his work in the second half finishing with 12 points. 2009 prospect will lead Keenan against next year as they lose only 2 seniors. Things are looking up for the Raiders despite the tough loss.

AA Girls MVPs
Keenan: Santera Grooms
Broome: Tamyra Bell

Grooms Analysis: Grooms got off to decent start but really got it going in the second half. She got in the passing lanes and got some easy buckets as Keenan applied full court pressure causing a number of turnovers. Grooms capitalized on her opportunies and ended with a game-high 18 points.

Bell Analysis: Tamyra Bell is a player we saw a couple of times while checking out two-time AA Player of the Year Seneca Turner. Did I mention that Bell is just a freshman? Yes she played varsity as a 8th grader last year and caught our attention then but she's improved and added new dimensions to her game. The first thing that stood out about her was her intensity and effort on the defensive end. She's very active and gets after it which is something college coaches love. Bell isn't shy about shooting the rock either. When Turner left with an injury in the 3rd period it was obvious she was the go-to player on the perimeter for the Centurions. Bell ended the game with 14 points (including 4 from behind the three-point arc). She's an early challenger as one of the top girls prospects in the Palmetto State for the class of 2011. With Turner graduating this year it'll be interesting to see how she handles the pressure of being one of the focal points for Broome.

AAA Boys MVPs
Greenville: Mike Davis & Scott Dameron
Chester: Jermarcus McClinton

Davis Analysis: Mike Davis the basketball player is surprisingly good. We still think his future lies on the gridiron as a defensive end/linebacker but man Greenville went along for the ride early on Davis' shoulders. The junior post was slick on the baseline powering up inside against the Chester defense. He used his blend of strength and surprising quickness to get Greenville out to the early lead. Davis isn't the tallest player but he's effective on the block. We were surprised by his hoops talent honestly and it just shows his overall athletic abilities. The 2009 prospect had 15 points and a number of big rebounds for the Red Raiders.

Dameron Analysis: Dameron was the glue for Greenville when Chester made a run at them. He won't pass the look test with many at first but once he got going his game speaks volumes. Dameron does a little bit of everything for the Red Raiders. He may not do it all spectacularly but he's consistent and good at just about every aspect of his game. He's a solid ballhandler as he wouldn't crack to Chester's defensive pressure on him but he made some huge buckets from all over the court. He showed the ability to finish inside uses good angles and the basket as a shield to thwart Chester's Donald Sims a few times who was having a personal block party down low. Dameron also drained 2 big three-pointers at key moments in the game to keep Chester out of reach. Like we said before, he's not flashy but he gets the job done. He's simply one of those guys you love to have on your team that always finds a way to come through.

McClinton Analysis: McClinton did everything in his power to keep Chester in the game. He scored on an array of baskets and ended the night with a game-high 26 points. McClinton shot it well from deep and managed to find a way to get inside and finish as well. The senior prospect went all out and left it all out on the court for his Chester squad.

AAA Girls MVPs
J.L. Mann: Ashley Holliday
Blythewood: Ashleigh Edwards

Holliday Analysis: Ashley Holliday came off the bench and lead the Patriots with 12 points. She knocked down 3 three-pointers in the second period which seemed to drain the life out of the Bengals. Holliday shoots it with confidence and doesn't hesitate. A 2009 prospect Holliday's role with the Patriots will continue to grow as they roll towards a chance at a 3rd consecutive AAA state title.

Edwards Analysis: Edwards was a one-woman wrecking crew as the Bengals fought back valiantly in the second half. She had a game-high 17 points and knocked down 5 three-pointers. The Bengals relied on Edwards' shooting from deep but their rally fell short after falling behind by so many in the first half. Edwards is a 2009 prospect that we will be keeping tabs on.

Biggest Stock Risers
Erin Carter (Christ Church Girls): This young lady had a whale of a performance. In terms of sheer talent in a overall prospect she's got a lot of upside. A 2010 prospect depending upon how much she grows she's got a chance to earn scholarship offers. Right now she's probably undersized to play the post on the next level but if she works on her ballhandling she could be a very nice small forward. It's still too early to tell but she's definitely a prospect worthy of much more attention.

Shalika Smalls (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler Girls): Wow is the word that come to mind when thinking about the show she put on. 38 points is something but considering that she scored from almost everywhere in different fashion it was amazing. A 2009 prospect who should at least be getting looks from mid-major programs looking for a guard capable of getting it done.

Marquis Sloan (Greenville Boys): Sloan didn't have a big-time performance on Saturday night but you could see the nuances of his game that give him such a bright future. He's a 2010 prospect with plenty of time to continue working on his craft. A capable scorer who may want to continue to work more on his ballhandling skills if he doesn't grow beyond his current 5'11 size.

Melinda Brimfield (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler Girls): Brimfield is just a freshman but she played like a seasoned veteran on Saturday. Brimfield runs well and at 5'9 she may not be done growing. She had 19 points and a bunch of rebounds in HKT's winning effort. Along with Broome's Tamyra Bell they are the early leaders as two of the top prospects in the 2011 girls class.


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