ELKINS -After a season of dominating his opponents in the paint, Lewis County senior John Riley was named Big 10 Conference boys basketball player of the year Monday by the league's coaches. Several other local players were also named to the All Big 10 Conference squad.
Riley averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds and scored 20 or more points in 15 of 23 games. He also posted double-figure rebounds in 17 contests.
"I remember when I called Johnny up to varsity," LCHS coach Charles Simms said. "We had just played the first two games his freshman year and I had three seniors quit. I had to bring him up and he responded by notching double-doubles in his first 12 games."
The Inter-Mountain file photo
Lewis County High School senior John Riley was named the Big 10 Conference boys basketball player of the year.
Riley finished his career with the Minutemen with 1,867 points and more than 1,100 rebounds.
While the individual honor is nice, Simms said Riley acknowledges the role his teammates played in earning the accolades.
"At our awards banquet, Johnny told the guys the award is a reflection on them," Simms said. "He knows he couldn't have done it without them."
Riley's teammates, Joe Nichols and Skylar Carlton, were both selected to the second team All Big 10 Conference team.
Elkins senior Logan Phillips was named to the first team, while teammate Colby Gainer was named to the second team.
Phillips finished his career with more than 1,000 points for the Tigers.
"There aren't a lot of players who earn this honor," EHS coach John Lawson said. "There are 13 teams in the league, so to have two players named to the list says a lot.
"Logan was a unanimous choice first-team selection, so that says he earned a lot of respect from the league coaches and the players. Hands down, he is one of the best players in the
"Colby was also a big key to our success. He doesn't back down from anybody. The better the competition, the better he plays," Lawson said.
Robert C. Byrd was the only school with a pair of players selected to the first-team, with juniors Devonti Birch and Justin Noble earning the honors.
Birch averaged 15 points and five rebounds per game, while Noble averaged12 points and nine rebounds.
Bridgeport junior John Wilfong was also a first-team pick, after averaging 22 points and guiding the Indians to the Class AA quarterfinals.
Preston senior Jimmy Galusky, who led the conference in scoring at 27 points per game, was a first-team
A pair of sophomores earned first-team honors in Fairmont Senior guard
Tavon Horton and East Fairmont center Nick Greely.
Greely averaged 17 points, while Horton led the Polar Bears with 13 points per game.
North Marion senior Chase Banker averaged 15 points per game.
Rounding out the second team were Spencer Lively (Preston), Chase Robey (Bridgeport), Darhius Nunn (Fairmont Senior), Cody Opron (North Marion) and Chris Smith (Grafton).
Robert C. Byrd's Bill Bennett was chosen as coach of the year, after guiding the Eagles to a 24-1 record and Class AA runner-up finish.