Asheville – Nine males and seven females are WNC basketball all-stars from Buncombe and Henderson county public high school teams and are also among many locals earning all-league honors.
Only graduating seniors from schools across western North Carolina are chosen for the WNC honor. These all-stars are split into Blue and White squads as usual. Normally they play in a girls’ contest, then in a boys’ game. The games were not held due to lingering pandemic precautions.
The most heavily represented local male squads are those of North Buncombe Hawks and leaguechamp T.C. Roberson Rams with three players each. They are Hawks Cody Lominac (16.1 ppg, 11.4 reb.), Bryce Payne (13.7 ppg., 9 reb.) and Walker Corbin (13 ppg.) and Rams Quinton Harris (15.6, 6.4 reb.), Spencer Cable (11.4 ppg.) and Luke Ward (10.5 ppg.).
Harris is the player of the year in the Western Mountain Athletic Conference (WMAC).The others are also all-WMAC
Joining those six on the Blue squad are all-WMAC A.C. Reynolds’ Malaki Carter (10.2 ppg., 5.6 assists) and Alex Taylor of East Henderson. More than half — eight of 14 — of the Blues are from the two most local counties.
Hendersonville’s gutty, all-purpose guard Carson Redden is the sole local on the senior-only White squad. Redden averaged 9.2 points. 3.8 steals, 3.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds in this latest season.
His backcourt teammate Keenan Wilkins (23.8 ppg.) is the Mountain Six (M6) player of the year for his sophomore campaign. Rising senior Dwight Canady (22.3 ppg.) and recent grad Alex Lemmens (7.5 rbg.) were also all-M6 along with Redden and East’s Taylor. Marvin Featherstone is M6 coach of the year for leading HHS to an unbeaten mark until falling in the state title game.
Other All-WMAC Choices
All-WMAC stars are the aforementioned WNC stars and these players: North Henderson’s Brayden Corn, Jaylon Croft, Zach McDaniel and Micah Pierce; Asheville’s Theo Antinori, Liam Cates and Bradley Spagnola; Reynolds’ Rakease Passmore, Deshawn Stone and Asher Cunningham (honorable mention/HM); Enka’s Chase Bowell, Ian Clinkscales-King and Jacob Tiller; West Henderson’s Nick Pate and Lucas Kachilo (HM), Roberson’s Matthew Pethel and Braden Blakely (HM), Erwin’s Nolan Lusk and Johnny Peay, and NBHS Hawk Chad Clark. Tuscola had the other three.
Passmore made a sensational splash by averaging 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds as a Rocket freshman.
Carver, Other Female Stars
Roberson had the most all-league male players of local programs with five Rams. League champion Enka and TCR each had five all-WMAC females.
Enka has the local girls’ program with more than one WNC all-star. WMAC Player of the Year Emily Carver and Lady Jet teammate Ashanty Lee are on the White squad. Carver tallied 22 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals and 3.5 assists per game. Joining them are Asheville’s Emma Smith and Erwin’s Briah Frisbee.
The Blue squad has East Hendersons Sontee Moore, North Buncombe’s Scotlyn Eubanks and Ashleigh Bethea of Roberson.
All of those players are all-conference along with these all-WMAC selections: Roberson’s Lauren Snedecor, Tymber Thompson, Riley Waites (HM) and Ryann Hernandez (HM); North Buncombe’s Samantha Davis, Karlyn Pickens, Pressley Laws and Cheyenne Cable (HM); Enka’s Hadleigh Dill, Bentley Chockley and Hannah Daves; North Henderson’s Lexie Gunter, Taniyah Cash and Linnea Harris (HM); Reynolds’ Julie Janus, Hailey Sprinkle and Landyn Stewart (HM); Asheville’s Evangelia Paulk and Aleysha Hill, West Henderson’s Kera Putnam and Emilia Cashman (HM), Erwin’s Emme Ducker, and a pair from Tuscola. Lady Knight Cash was in ninth grade and is among the rising stars.
Pickens averaged 16.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocks. The rising senior is rated softball’s number one returning high school pitcher. Paulk is also a fluid-moving six-footer with versatile talent on the hardcourt. She averaged nearly 20 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals for AHS then 15 points in travel ball this summer. The rising junior also stars in volleyball.
Still another tremendous six-foot athlete is Enka’s Dill. She averaged 16.6 points and 10 rebounds while strong Hadley added 14.8 points per game. Those two are poised to carry on Lady Jet success.
The WMAC basketball coaches of the year are the Lady Rams’ Laura Foster and the NBHS Hawks’ Chuck Robinson.
All-M6 locals are Ellie Bowen of HHS and East’s Moore.