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Elite scorers shine on boys all-county team
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There are a lot of traits needed to be an elite basketball player, but none is greater than being able to put the ball in the basket.
Each member of the Southern Standard All-County fifth- and sixth-grade basketball team can score in bunches, especially prolific scorers Jesse Jones and Wesley Jennings.
The two high-scoring guards join Dibrell’s Jaeden Pyburn, Irving College’s Luke Martin and Morrison’s Brayton Kelsey to form the first team.
Jones, a guard for Eastside, was the only player to average double figures for the season as he finished at 10.6 points per game.
Jones had nights where he was unstoppable offensively. Jones posted the highest scoring game of any elementary player on Nov. 10 when he lit up Boyd for 22 points in a Bulldog win. For the year, Jones finished with seven double-figure games.   
Jennings was a key contributor on an undefeated Warren County Middle School team. Jennings narrowly missed the double-digit mark with 9.5 points per game and had one 20-point game to his credit.
Jennings scored 20 points when the Pioneers downed Dibrell early in the year and went on to finish with six double-figure games.
Though scoring was Jennings’ best attribute, coach Anthony Lippe praised his guard for his teamwork and character.
“Beside being a very talented athlete and competitor, Wesley cares most about how we play as a team,” said Lippe. “That’s a rare trait to have. He’s been everything I’ve needed him to be this year.
“Wesley is a kid who has tremendous character and leadership.”
Pyburn is the third guard who made the first team as he was the driving force behind Dibrell’s 7-5 season.
Pyburn played primarily at point guard, but he was also used to spot up for open jumpers to stretch opposing defenses.
Pyburn’s breakout performance came Nov. 7 when Dibrell and Eastside burned the nets in the league’s highest scoring game of the season. The Wildcats won 51-25 behind 17 points from Pyburn.
Pyburn also had a great game in the final night at the current Dibrell gym. In the last game of the regular season, Pyburn hit a game-tying shot in the fourth quarter against the Pioneers, but Warren County pulled away to win by four. It was the second smallest margin of victory for the Pioneers this season.
Martin was the third and final player who had a 20-point performance in a game this season.
The Tigers top forward scored 21 points against Warren County Middle School, but Irving College ended up losing by three.
For the season, Martin finished third in the league in scoring with 8.4 points per game. Martin also was among his team’s leaders in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.
It was the all-around game Martin possesses which impressed Irving College coach Noah Medley.
“Luke has done everything we have asked him,” said Medley. “He hustles, runs hard and gets rebounds. He knows his role and plays it well.”
Kelsey was an often-overlooked performer on a solid Morrison Eagle squad. Kelsey didn’t lead his team in scoring, but he did do all the little things that made coach Kyle Cannon a believer in his post’s ability to impact games.
“Brayton is very smart on the court and has improved tremendously as the season went on,” said Cannon. “He never gives up and has become a solid post.”
One of the more sturdy posts in a league dominated by guard play, Kelsey had a knack for collecting tons of rebounds and showed a scoring touch when called on.
Kelsey’s best game came against Boyd on Nov. 1. With top guard Ethan Smith sidelined, Kelsey led his team with 14 points as Morrison won by 15.
Five more elementary players were selected to the Southern Standard All-County second team. Those players are, Warren County Middle School guard Cole Estes, Irving College guard Chance Hobbs, Dibrell guard Lee Randolph, Centertown post Kadin Cope and Boyd center Joshua Argo.