Northside Christian duo headlines All-Acadia Parish basketball team
LEROY – In his time at Northside Christian, coach Byron Starks’ teams showed steady improvement year in and year out since joining the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
The 2011-2012 prep basketball season was no different.
Starks guided his squad to their second straight District 7-C title this past season and his squad made history by advancing to the Class C state quarterfinals for the first time even since joining the LHSAA eight years ago.
For their accomplishments, Northside nailed down the top two honors on the Crowley Post-Signal All-Acadia Parish Boys Basketball Team that was released today.
Starks landed the Coach of the Year honor while Ben Rogers was named the Most Valuable Player.
“This was really a great season,” said Starks. “We had goals at the beginning and after last season when we lost in the playoffs to Claiborne Christian, it kind of left a bad taste in our mouth. We were all committed over the summer to working hard and giving our very best and this season, the kids came out and gave it all they had.
“Our motto was ‘leave it all on the floor’. We don’t always have the most talented kids that come through our program but we have some hard workers and they gave me their best and this year was a great example of that.”
One of the hardest workers and most talented players for the Warriors was Rogers.
The 6-foot-3 senior guard helped lead the team to 23 victories and was selected to the All-District team for the third straight season.
“Ben was always a hard worker,” said Starks. “Whatever it takes, gym-wise, he was there. Whether it was shooting, ball handling, working on his free throws, he was there. And he wasn’t a vocal leader all the time, but he led by example through his hard work and dedication.”
Rogers, who was a co-captain of the squad along with Josh Wheeler, averaged 22 points in leading the Warriors to the District 7-C title. He also averaged five rebounds and 4 assists per game as a shooting guard.
“Ben was consistent night-in and night-out,” said Starks. “He always had a presence on the court whether it was on offense or defense. He always had ways of bothering the opponent at times and he was always pretty much in their game plan. A lot of teams keyed on him and were physical with him. And, surprisingly enough, in some of those games, he was enable to endure that.”
For Starks, who has coached a number of very skilled and athletic players during his coaching career, Rogers ranks highly.
“I’ve had a number of guys that I’ve coached that were very talented,but they didn’t have the work ethic or the commitment to the overall program and the team like Ben does,” said Starks. “He’s one of those guys that you hate to see graduate. He’ll be greatly missed by me as a coach and I’m pretty sure by his teammates as well.”
Joining Rogers on the All-Acadia Parish squad is Crowley High’s Dorris Senegal and Midland’s Andrew Hains at guard. The forwards are Rayne’s Lacy Granger and Midland’s Alan Vondenstein.
Senegal and the Gents survived a rocky start to the season and won nine of their final 11 regular season games en route to winning their third straight league title. On the season, the senior averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals per game.
Vondenstein and Hains each played key roles in Midland winning their fourth straight district title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Class B playoffs.
Vondenstein, a 6-foot-2 junior, averaged 14.4 points and grabbed eight rebounds per game while Hains scored 6.7 points and had 2.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 steals.
Granger, the District 5-3A MVP, led the Wolves to a share of the league title with Northwest. The senior averaged 19.7 points, and had 82 rebounds and 28 steals on the year.
Honorable mention’s on this year’s team include Crowley’s Andre Mills and Damon Malbrough, Midland’s Darren Arceneaux, Chase Vincent and Michael Primeaux, Rayne’s Michael Henry, Dannie Harmon and Ian Pappillion, Church Point’s Chance Roy; Iota’s Andrew Bellon and Kaegan LeJeune and Northside’s Joseph Trahan, Nick Gotte and Josh Wheeler.