By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
After four years of starting for the Pacers, Enid senior Courtney Chelf’s high school basketball career came to a close Thursday.
So did Jemarcus Jackson’s, Deon Parker’s and six other Enid basketball seniors who wrapped their final seasons with an awards banquet at Enid High School.
“I thought I’d be here for a long time, and it just flew by so fast,” Chelf said. “I can’t believe I’m a senior, and now I’m done.”
Chelf earned the Pacers’ offensive player of the year award after averaging a team-high 18 points. She also received the Vernon Yates award “for excellence on and off the court.”
Sophomore Haven Bay won the team’s defensive player of the year award after averaging 1.5 steals and 4.8 rebounds as a point guard. Abby Lee was named the Pacers’ most improved player after averaging 9.4 points and 8.9 boards, and Grace Enmeier received the Denny Price award for leadership.
The Pacers finished 17-6 on the season, starting 17-3 before a three-game skid to end the season in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year with an upset loss to Mustang.
“We’re definitely going to miss Courtney,” said Pacers coach Robb Mills. “She’s been around this program as long as I can remember … We have a lot of seniors coming back. The future looks really good.”
Chelf scored 25 points in her final game in a Pacers uniform and is likely to play at the NCAA Division I level, but hasn’t determined where.
“I’m excited for whatever the future brings to me,” she said.
Deon Parker was named the Plainsmen’s offensive player of the year after scoring 7.6 points per game and starting all year at point guard.
“He was one of our leading scorers all year, and he did a major job handling the basketball,” said Plainsmen coach Ryan Wilkinson. “People don’t realize how hard it is being a point guard and what that entails.”
Aaron Austin was named the defensive player of the year, Mike Walker was the Vernon Yates award winner and Michael Majors was recognized as the Plainsmen’s most improved player.
Jackson received the Denny Price leadership award after a season in which leadership proved a tall task, Wilkinson said.
“We had some hard-headed guys this year,” he said.
After finishing 8-14, the Plainsmen will go on without six seniors next season, including most of the 2012-13 varsity rotation.
“This is a pretty happy-go-lucky group,” Wilkinson said. “Not that it’s easy to see seniors go, but when they’re upbeat, positive, and maybe don’t walk away feeling like they have regrets, it’s easier to see them go.”