PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Ooltewah’s versatile senior was among the area’s top scorers, averaging 21.6 points per game as the Owls went 27-5 and advanced to the state tournament for the first time in 32 years. He totaled 323 3-point goals and 1,641 points in his three-year career. He also usually defended the opponents’ top perimeter scorer. “Everybody knows that Jervon is a 3-point shooter and it was a luxury to have him as a weapon,” Ooltewah coach Jesse Nayadley said of the Lee University signee. “When teams put emphasis on stopping him, we scored the same amount of points because he was doing other things to help the team win.
“If I played us, I’m taking him away, too: He hits three or four 3s and the game’s over. He’s a great weapon and has been a luxury to have, there’s no question about it.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
The fifth-year Ooltewah coach started to doubt his team just before the district tournament, after the Owls hit a late-season lull. That started to change after a lackluster victory over White County in the Region 3-AAA tournament. A team meeting preceded a big win over Cookeville, followed by defeats of Bradley Central and LaVergne that sent the Owls to the program’s first state tournament in 32 seasons.
“With a lot back from the year before, we were expected to have a good team, which at times added a little more pressure to the games,” said Nayadley, who took Notre Dame to the state tournament three times before he was hired at Ooltewah. “I think the fact that we were picked to be good was wearing on us and we might have been exhausted mentally, but we challenged them and they responded.
“Being named coach of the year is an honor. We had enough talent, but we as coaches have to get the talent where it needs to be. We as a coaching staff had to do a good job of keeping the kids corralled. The award is a great team award because it’s a reflection of all of us — the players, coaches and just everybody involved with the program.”
-He averaged 20.9 points and 7.6 assists a game in helping the Indians reach a Class AA state sectional.
-He averaged 23 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks for a state-tourney team.
-The Auburn- Montgomery recruit posted averages of 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists a game.
-His 18 points and 10 rebounds a game helped the Red Raiders reach the Division II-AA state semifinals.
-He helped the Hustlin’ Tigers return to the state tournament by averaging 24.7 points and 10.4 rebounds.
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