Heritage’s Jayden Gardner and Leesville Road’s Alex Hunter were named the Cap-8 Conference boys’ co-players of the year. Enloe’s Brianna Lee won girls’ player of the year.
Leesville girls’ coach Ben Daniels and Millbrook’s Chris East, who led his team to a 4A title on Saturday, shared coach of the year honors; Millbrook’s Scott McInnes was the boys’ coach of the year.
Gardner, the Huskies’ sophomore forward, led the conference in scoring (20.3 points per game) and rebounding (10.9). He was the second Heritage boys’ basketball player to reach 500 career points and once tallied career-highs of 31 points and 16 rebounds in a game this season.
Gardner was also an integral part of Heritage’s first victory over five-time Cap-8 champion Millbrook, which was eliminated by Garner in this year’s playoffs.
Alex Hunter was the Leesville boys’ leading scorer, having many 20-point outings in league play.
The Pride advanced in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs with a win over Clayton. Hunter drained a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to give his team an early edge, which ignited a 21-0 Leesville run.
Heritage also got past the first round, taking down Southeast Raleigh, before falling to Leesville. The Pride were eliminated by 4A runner-up Cary in the third round.
Lee led the Enloe girls with 14.1 points a game and 7.7 rebounds. She shot nearly 60 percent on the year.
East led the Millbrook girls to an undefeated record in Cap-8 play, including a conference tournament championship. Millbrook was No. 2 seed in the 4A east girls’ bracket and did not lose to an in-state team this year after taking down previously undefeated Northwest Guilford, 46-45, for the 4A title.
Daniels helped Leesville to a second-place finish in conference and was at the helm of a team that gave the Millbrook girls fits in the Cap-8 tourney.
McInnes’ crew won the regular-season and league crown this year and was seeded third in the playoffs. The Wildcats boys had entered the postseason with one loss on the year.
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan
Boys’ Cap-8 all-conference
Co-players of the year: Heritage’s Jayden Gardner and Leesville Road’s Alex Hunter
Coach of the year: Millbrook’s Scott McIness
F Faison Brock, senior, Millbrook
G Jordan Whitfield, junior, Millbrook
F Trejon Jacob, senior, Millbrook
G Tharon Suggs, senior, Broughton
G Jarren McAllister, sophomore, Heritage
G Taj Thompson, senior, Sanderson
F Johnathan Mebane, junior , Leesville Road
F Ben Zemonek, senior, Leesville Road
G Demetrius Everett, junior, Wake Forest
F Aaron Burress, senior, Wakefield
G John Burwell, senior, Millbrook
G Colton Reed, junior, Heritage
G Aaron Gottfried, senior, Broughton
G Thayer Thomas, junior, Heritage
F Jeremy Robinson, senior, Broughton
F Xach Gill, junior, Wake Forest
F Vince Friedman, senior, Sanderson
G Tyler Green, senior, Enloe
G Niquan Cousins, senior Enloe
Girls’ Cap-8 all-conference
Player of the Year: Enloe’s Brianna Lee
Co-Coaches of the Year: Leesville Road’s Ben Daniels and Millbrook’s Chris East
G Dazia Powell, junior, Millbrook
G Kai Crutchfield, junior, Millbrook
G Katie Wadsworth, senior, Broughton
G Alissa Smalls, sophomore, Heritage
G Kelly Funderburk, senior, Leesville Road
G Jada Peeples, freshman, Wakefield
F Cydney Johnson, freshman, Heritage
C Lauren McNamara-Clement, junior, Leesville Road
G Jada Miller, sophomore, Wake Forest
C Zairya West, junior, Millbrook