O’Neill won third player of the year honors; all-conference elections announced – Washington Daily News

O’Neill won third player of the year honors; elections for all conferences have been announced

Posted at 16:44 Monday March 13, 2023

The postseason accolades keep rolling in for Southside senior Ka’Nya O’Neill.

The Coastal Plains Conference coaches named her the league’s player of the year for the third straight season after she averaged 29.3 points, 12.1 rebounds and five steals per game for the 25-7 Seahawks.

O’Neal finished her career as one of 13 girls in North Carolina high school basketball history to record more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds and 18 reboundsthousand among the state’s all-time leading scorers with 2,426 points and 28thousand among the top picks of 1,079.

Her season also included a school-record 56 points at Northside in January.

“She’s been a pleasure to coach and it’s been great to see her grow and mature over the last four seasons,” coach Milton Ruffin said. “She was our captain and my coach on the floor. She knew when to take over a game and always tried to get her teammates involved. She made my job much easier”

Seahawks junior De’Najah Warren and sophomores Lily McLean and I’Kiriya Minor also made all-conference.

“Lily has been a great addition after not playing last year, I’Kyria has given up on offense to protect the other team’s best player, and De’Naja has improved her game in all areas,” Ruffin said. “They all played a huge role in us getting to the fourth round of the state tournament.”

Mariah Jones and Olivia Jane (OJ) Cahoon represented Northside on the girls all-conference team as the Panthers finished third in the conference at 18-7.

“Maria and Ojay earned their recognition by working hard on the court,” said coach Michelle Leathers. “Maria scored and took responsibility to make plays wherever she was needed, whether it was scoring the point or posting up. She was our leading scorer with over 20 points per game. OJ was able to get the ball to the post, wing or forward, as well as score, make interceptions and rebounds. They also played with great respect and love for the game.”

On the boys side, the Panthers and Seahawks each had two picks.

Senior Manvonte Deloach and junior Tequan (Tater) Moore represented Southside, while juniors Griffin Johnson and Tate Gibbs were selected for Northside.

“Tate was a real stud playing with his back to the basket for us,” coach Jared Adams said. “He had good moves inside and he was good on the ball as well. Griffin was a strong rebounder and defender and made a huge interception that helped us beat Lejeune.”

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