By: Chris Long and Joel Bryant
Cap-8 Conference officials announced Friday night that Heritage’s Jayden Gardner has won co-Conference Player of the Year accolades. The sophomore forward splits the recognition with Leesville Road’s Alex Hunter.
At 6 foot 6, Gardner was a menace for opposing teams all year long. He averaged 20.3 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game- both easily the top numbers in the conference. His high motor and ability to rack up stats have made him one of the most talked about high school basketball players in the central part of the state. This season Gardner has racked up 542 points and has become the all-time leading scorer in school history with 822 career points.
“It’s a great accomplishment. I am really proud of how far I’ve come and I hope to improve further in the future,” Gardner said. “I would like to thank Coach Brill for all he has done to help me and my teammates for being by my side and always pushing me to get better.”
Gardner is not the only Husky to get recognition from Cap-8 officials. Jarren McAllister was also named to the first team all Cap-8 after the conclusion of Friday night’s championship game at Broughton. McAllister is top 5 in the conference in assists and steals as well as the second leading scorer in school history with 571.
The Husky women did got go not without recognition either. Sophomore Alissa Smalls was named to the Cap-8 first team all-conference and Freshman Cydney Johnson to the second team all-conference. The young duo has combined for over 679 points this season. In her first year on varsity, Johnson also averaged 7.4 rebounds per game. Smalls, in her second year with the program, averaged 12 points per game and led the conference in steals with 4 steals per game.
All four of these Huskies should have at least one more game at home on Tuesday night in the first round of the state playoffs. Both teams are expected to take the number 2 seed from the Cap-8 into the state playoffs.
The following players also received All-Conference honors selection:
- Thayer Thomas
- Colton Reed
- Alana Brown
- Alcenia Purnell