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Four District 1 players earn boys' all-state honors

Jeff Birchfield • Apr 22, 2020 at 1:00 AM

Three players from the Three Rivers Conference were named to the Tennessee Sportswriters Association (TSWA) all-state Class AA boys basketball team on Tuesday.

Sullivan South’s Ben Diamond, Elizabethton’s Nico Ashley and Sullivan East’s Dylan Bartley were recognized for their seasons. Kaleb Meredith of University High was selected for the Class A team.

Diamond, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, had an exceptional season, leading the Rebels to a school-record 30 wins. He averaged 18.5 points and four assists per game, while hitting 76 percent of his tries from the free-throw line. He was cool under pressure, hitting 10 free throws in a row in the fourth quarter in a sectional win at Alcoa.

For his efforts, he was named Northeast Tennessee player of the year by the Johnson City Press and Kingsport Times-News. He was also selected as Three Rivers Conference player of the year.

Ashley, a 6-4 senior guard, led the Cyclones in scoring at 21.8 points per game. Also a force on the defensive side, he led the team in blocked shots. He was a force throughout the season, leading the team in a 63-61 triple-overtime loss against Sullivan South in the District 1-AA championship game.

Bartley led the Patriots’ record-setting, 3-point barrage, hitting 3.2 per game as the team made 377 shots behind the arc overall. It was only part of the 6-foot-2 sophomore’s overall game as he averaged 23.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and two steals per contest.

Meredith, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, averaged a Northeast Tennessee 25 points per game for the Bucs. The University High star, who is committed to Tennessee for baseball, also averaged 6.4 rebounds and 2.9 steals a game.

In the postseason, he hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer in University High’s 62-60 victory over Hampton in the District 1-A championship. It gave him 2,000 points for his career. He followed that performance up with 38 points in a Region 1-A semifinal win over Jellico to put the Bucs in the sectional round.

Other Region 1 players named to the all-state teams included: Wes Maples of Sevier County and Micah Simpson of Morristown East in Class AAA, Reid Satterfield of Greeneville in Class AA and Trey Johnson of Cosby in Class A.

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