Warriors' Watts 'the whole package'
Weddington High’s girls basketball team posted the second best record in the school’s 13-year history in 2012-13.
The Warriors finished 21-7, placed second in the Southern Carolina Conference and won a state playoff game for the first time since 2004.
Weddington’s success was sparked by the play of sophomore star Stephanie Watts, a 5-foot-9 all-state point guard who led Union County in scoring at 22.1 points per game.
Watts also averaged 9.9 rebounds, 5.5 steals, 3.4 assists and 2.4 blocks.
For her standout season, Watts has been named Union County’s Player of the Year by The Enquirer-Journal.
“When you get a unique talent like Stephanie, it’s almost impossible to measure how much of an impact she can have on any given game or on a season,” said WHS coach Ryun Cook. “I just don’t think you’re going to see a talent like that in Union County very often. She’s a competitor.
Everybody notices the points and the stats, but she really cares about her team and her teammates. She’s a winner.”
Watts, who was voted Southern Carolina Conference Player of the Year as a freshman and sophomore, was excited to earn the honor as UC’s top player.
“I think it’s really cool considering how many good players are in the county,” said Watts. “The fact that I got it is really awesome.”
After breaking six school records as a freshman, Watts broke seven more as a sophomore, including most points in a season (598), most points in a game (50), most 3-pointers in a season (77), most 3-pointers in a game (8), most rebounds in a season (268), most steals in a a season (149) and most blocks in a season (64).
Watts also had a quadruple-double in a win over Cox Mill.
“One of the things that makes her so difficult to guard is she has the whole package,” said Cook. “She’s a big, strong guard that can finish with either hand. She has a quick first step and can blow by most defenders, but at the same time if her 3-point shot is on, it’s nearly impossible to take both away from her.”
Watts currently reports scholarship offers from West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Charlotte and East Carolina.
“I’m honesty just waiting it out,” said Watts of her college decision. “I haven’t really thought too hard about it.”
Joining Watts on the all-UC first-team are Porter Ridge’s Jada and Jasmine Huntley, Parkwood’s Emry Tsitouris and Monroe’s Asha Jordan.
Jada and Jasmine Huntley led the Pirates to a 26-4 record and an appearance in the 4A state semifinals.
Jada, a senior wing who has signed with Division II Catawba, averaged 12.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.8 steals per game.
Jasmine, a senior point guard, posted 15.5 points, 3.9 steals and 3.3 assists per contest.
The Pirates were regular season and tournament champions of the SCC.
“Between Jada and Jasmine, they have become this program,” said Porter Ridge’s Ina Thompson, who was voted UC’s coach of the year. “They have really set the tone and our success has lied in those two athletes.”
Parkwood’s Tsitouris, a 5-10 forward, ranked third in Union County in points (19.3) and first in rebounds (15.3) per game.
Tsitouris, who helped lead the Rebels to a 16-9 record, was one of just three players in the county to average a double-double.
Monroe’s Jordan, a junior guard, made the honorary squad after averaging 20.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game.
The Redhawks had Union County’s best overall record (25-2) and were regular season and tournament champions of the Rocky River Conference.
Parkwood freshman center Brittany Autry was voted the county’s newcomer of the year.
Autry averaged 11.4 points and 9.6 rebounds.
2012-13 All-Union County
girls basketball team
(as selected by The Enquirer-Journal)
Jada Huntley^Sr.^Porter Ridge
Jasmine Huntley^Sr.^Porter Ridge
Tonjai Everett^Jr.^Forest Hills
Shay Bivens^Jr.^Forest Hills
Amber Isley^Sr.^Central Academy
Savannah Fox^Jr.^Union Academy
Player of the year: Stephanie Watts, Weddington
Newcomer of the year: Brittany Autry, Parkwood
Coach of the year: Ina Thompson, Porter Ridge