We’re one step closer to finding out this year’s Mr. Basketball and Miss Basketball winners as the Kentucky Lion’s Eye Foundation revealed the finalists for each award Friday morning.
Twenty boys and 18 girls made the final ballot, which was to be released to voters — coaches, members of the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches and select members of the media — later on Friday. Ballots will be accepted until Feb. 24 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Every region or co-region player of the year earned a spot on the final ballot for Mr. and Miss Basketball; the winners will be announced March 14 during a ceremony at the Lexington Center prior to the KHSAA/Whitaker Bank Boys’ Sweet Sixteen.
Paul Laurence Dunbar star Taveion Hollingsworth, who’s signed with Western Kentucky University and has been considered the frontrunner for Mr. Basketball since leading the Bulldogs to their first Sweet Sixteen title last season, was named boys’ 11th Region Player of the Year by the KABC. He’s averaging 27.8 points and seven rebounds and this week became Lexington’s all-time leading boys’ scorer.
Princess Stewart, a Franklin County senior who’s signed with Xavier University, took 11th Region Player of the Year honors for girls. She’s averaging 15.7 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Flyers, who are favored to make their third straight appearance in the St. Elizabeth Healthcare/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet Sixteen.
Butler star Jaelynn Penn, who’s signed with Indiana University, appears to boast the strongest Miss Basketball résumé. She’s averaging 14.6 points (on 57.3 percent shooting) and 7.2 boards for the Bearettes, who have won two state titles in her time with the team and could repeat as champs this season. Penn was honored as co-player of the year in the 6th Region along with Bullitt East star Lindsey Duvall, a Louisville signee.
In the 12th Region, Boyle County’s Emmie Harris — the school’s all-time leading scorer — and Southwestern’s Peyton Gover were honored as girls’ and boys’ player of the year, respectively.
The 4th Region will have five total individuals in contention for awards — Pedro Bradshaw (Russellville), Tavin Lovan (Franklin-Simpson) and Terry Taylor (Bowling Green) on the boys’ ballot and Elli Bartley (Glasgow) and MacKenzie Coleman (Metcalfe County) for the girls’ award. The 2nd Region named two boys’ players of the year, University Heights’ Travion Hollowell and Christian County’s Jalen Sebree.
The 15th Region also recognized two players of the year on the boys’ side: Lawrence County’s Tim Dalton, who has scored more than 3,000 points and grabbed over 1,000 rebounds in his career, and Magoffin County standout Trenton Russell.
Boys’ Region Players of the Year
1st: Chris Vogt, Graves Co.
2nd: Travion Hollowell, University Heights; Jalen Sebree, Christian Co.
3rd: Zach Hopewell, Apollo
4th: DeAndre “Pedro” Bradshaw, Russellville; Tavin Lovan, Franklin-Simpson; Terry Taylor, Bowling Green
5th: Tony Jackson, North Hardin
6th: Jaylon Hall, Doss
7th: Clivonte Patterson, Ballard
8th: Joe Griffin, South Oldham
9th: Cole VonHandorf, Covington Catholic
10th: Jake Ohmer, Scott
11th: Taveion Hollingsworth, Paul Laurence Dunbar
12th: Peyton Gover, Southwestern
13th: Peyton Broughton, North Laurel
14th: Torell Carter, Letcher Co. Central
15th: Tim Dalton, Lawrence Co.; Trenton Russell, Magoffin Co.
16th: Hayden Roe, West Carter
Girls’ Region Players of the Year
1st: Hannah Langhi, Marshall Co.
2nd: Alisha Owens, Henderson Co.
3rd: Lily Grimes, Breckinridge Co.
4th: Elli Bartley, Glasgow; MacKenzie Coleman, Metcalfe Co.
5th: Jada Stinson, Elizabethtown
6th: Lindsey Duvall, Bullitt East; Jaelynn Penn, Butler
7th: Tonysha Curry, Manual
8th: Kaylee Clifford, Trimble Co.
9th: Allison Johnson, Beechwood
10th: Whitney O’Mara, Mason Co.
11th: Princess Stewart, Franklin Co.
12th: Emmie Harris, Boyle Co.
13th: Jordan Brock, Harlan
14th: McKenzie Flynn, Estill Co.
15th: Ali May, Johnson Central
16th: Maggie Jachimczuk, Russell