The 6-foot senior standout averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds per game and was chosen Wednesday as the Johnson City Press/Kingsport Times News girls player of the year on the 31st annual team.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Courtney Whitson, 6-0 Sr.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Scottie Whaley, Science Hill
Alasia Smith, Science Hill, 5-11, Jr.
Jeila Greenlee, Science Hill, 5-7, So.
Harper Russell, Cherokee, 5-9, Sr.
Abbey Crawford, Sullivan Central, 6-1, Jr.
Jaycie Jenkins, Daniel Boone, 5-11, Jr.
Adrienne Henegar, Happy Valley, 5-7, Sr.
Myah Parlier, Unaka, 6-0, Sr.
Bayleigh Carmichel, Daniel Boone, 5-10, Sr.
Kaylen Shell, Elizabethton, 5-11, Jr.
Mollie Leslie, Sullivan South, 5-6, Sr.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Peyton Sams, Sullivan Central, 5-6, Jr.
MOST PROMISING UNDERCLASSMAN
Hayley Grubb, Sullivan East, 5-9, Fr.
Dobyns-Bennett went 28-8 this season and made it all the way to Class AAA sectional behind the consistent play of Whitson.
A McDonald's All-American nominee, Whitson was passed over for Tennessee’s Miss Basketball honors. She finished as the Lady Indians' all-time leading scorer with 2,456 points. She scored 835 points this year for 23.2 points per game.
She also averaged 10 rebounds per game and finished as D-B's single season and career rebounding leader.
Science Hill was expected to be good this season, but Whaley helped the Lady Hilltoppers reach another level.
Finishing 31-4, Science Hill reached the Class AAA state tournament before bowing out against Oak Ridge in the quarterfinals. It was Science Hill’s first state berth since 2013, and it came despite Whaley flooring a roster loaded with underclassmen.
Smith averaged a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds per game. She also led Northeast Tennessee with four steals per game. And although stats aren't available, she was likely among the area leaders in deflections.
She became a post matchup nightmare for opponents as the season went along.
Greenlee averaged 11 points per contest during the regular season, but elevated her game when the postseason arrived. Before she was finished, the guard had become a state-level threat, especially on the offensive end of the court.
It was a good year for Cherokee and Russell was a big reason for it. The guard averaged 20 points and two steals per game while helping Cherokee post 18 victories.
Sullivan Central knew where the basketball needed to go, and that was into the post to find Crawford. She was a force for the Three Rivers Conference champions, averaging 17 points and nine rebounds per contest.
Jenkins was a true do-it-all player for the Lady Trailblazers in a 20-win season. The swing player averaged 15 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 4.0 steals, and also hit 31 3-pointers in the regular season while connecting on 71 percent from the free throw line.
Happy Valley relied on the steady scoring of Henegar, who averaged 17 points per game. The guard also averaged two steals per game and was second in the area in the regular season with 68 3-pointers and 80-percent shooting from the free throw line.
It was a tough season for Unaka, but Parlier was a force night in and night out. The post player averaged close to a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds per game.
Carmichel, a guard, was one of the area’s best scorers with 15 points per game while also finishing the regular season third in 3-pointers (57) and fourth in free throw percentage (78.0).
Elizabethton had one of the few players in the area to average a double-double in Shell. The swing player totaled 14 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Lady Cyclones, who came to life late in the season and won the District 1-AA title.
Sullivan South hit its stride late in the season and made it to the region semifinals behind the overall play of Leslie. The guard averaged 12 points and three assists per game.
Sullivan Central had a standout defensive player at the guard position in Sams. She was among the Northeast Tennessee leaders with three steals per game.
Just a freshman, Grubb caught the area by surprise. The swing player averaged 14 points and nine rebounds per game.