By Charlie Chitwood
To say that Tristen Dowell’s first season in Jefferson as the new boys’ basketball coach went pretty good is the kindest of understatements.
Dowell’s 2016-17 version of Bulldog basketball rolled through District 16-3A in undefeated fashion and piled up 25 victories en route to a Class 3A-Region II Area Playoff appearance before bowing out to Mt. Vernon. All 11 players on the Bulldog roster for that final game were recognized recently when the all-district squads were released.
Junior post Grayson Early was named the loop’sMost Valuable Player after leading his new team to a 25-8 overall record. Dee Mitchell – another junior who transferred with Early from Avinger’s state championship squad – was named the District Offensive MVP while Dowell was selected by his peers as the 16-3A Coach of the Year.
Those superlatives paved the way for Jefferson to have four players named the 16-3A First Team, as Cameron Hicks and Kepha Luster also garnered enough respect to be named among the very best of the eight-team district.
Senior Tanner Murphy – in his first and only year of varsity basketball – joined Curtis Henry on the 16-3A Second Team while Honorable Mention taps went to Kylan Thomas, Eric Gipson, Taylor Smith, Todd Polver and Jaron Kelly.
The district’s other superlative…
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