'Cats, Lady 'Cats well-represented on All-Region Team

Shane Thomas, The Valdosta Daily Times, Ga.
·3 min read

Feb. 23—VALDOSTA — The Valdosta High basketball program placed several players on the Region 1-6A All-Region Team Monday.

On the girls' side, sophomore center Essence Cody was named Region 1-6A Co-Player of the Year, splitting the award with Lee County's Jakailyn Poole.

Cody has done it all for the Lady 'Cats (13-8, 5-2 Region 1-6A) all season, averaging 15.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, 5.7 blocks and 3.3 steals per game. To put Cody's dominance into context, she has posted double-figures in scoring and rebounding 16 times each this season, including her current run of 10 straight games with double-digit rebounds.

Cody has 13 double-doubles and three triple-doubles this season.

Senior team captain Gavonia Horton earned Region 1-6A Second Team All-Region honors, while sophomore Jashari Wilson was recognized as an honorable mention.

On the boys side, eight Wildcats were recognized led by senior guard Dorrien Douglas. Douglas was named Region 1-6A Offensive Player of the Year after leading Valdosta to a 19-5 record and a 5-1 mark in region play.

The 6-foot, 174-pound guard averaged a team-best 15.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 steals for the 'Cats, while making a team-leading 38 3-pointers.

Douglas' senior backcourt mate, Stanley Haliburton Jr., earned Region 1-6A Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors.

This season, Haliburton led the team in steals with 52 and assists with 73, while shooting 80 percent from the free throw line.

Freshman Kylan Fox was the team's lone First Team All-Region selection. In his first year on the 'Cats varsity team, Fox averaged 6.7 points and 5.5 rebounds at center, while shooting a solid 54 percent from the floor.

Senior swingman Melvin Smith, junior sharpshooter Aaron Williams and junior big man Jacarrius Peak each made the Second Team All-Region squad, while senior forward Ty'Addrian Newsome and junior guard Cameron Edmonds were honorable mentions.

Smith averaged 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, while tying for the team lead in steals per game with 2.3. Smith also shot 44 percent from the field, 33 percent from 3-point range and 75 percent from the free throw line this season.

A valuable piece off the bench for the 'Cats, Williams finished second on the team behind Douglas in 3s made with 28 and put together solid all-around numbers this season (8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals in 24 games).

Peak, who primarily plays on the Valdosta High football offensive line, finished fourth on the team in rebounding average with 4.1 per game. The 6-foot-3 center scored a season-high 11 points three times this season, while pulling down a season-high eight rebounds against Brooks County Jan. 2.

Both the 'Cats and Lady 'Cats have earned state playoff berths, with the Lady 'Cats facing Lovejoy on the road Tuesday at 6 p.m., and the 'Cats opening at home against Tucker Wednesday night at 6.