All-County Basketball full of Star Power
Newton’s Notae, Chatman sweep County Player of the Year honors
Though there were several who could make a solid case for it, we found the two best players in the county walk through the same hallways at Newton High.
Newton senior J.D. Notae and Lady Rams junior Lexii Chatman were named The Covington News’ Players of the Year for the 2016-17 seasons, thanks in large part to their performance on highly successful teams in the state’s largest classification.
Notae’s steady hand and demeanor, accompanied with his penchant for scoring from virtually anywhere on the court helped the Rams to a 28-2 record and an Elite Eight finish in one of the most competitivep state tournament brackets we’ve seen in quite some time.
Newton was on pace for an undefeated regular season until a late slip-up against Shiloh, but Notae and company redeemed that setback by defeating the Generals in the Region 8-AAAAAAA championship game.
Meanwhile, Chatman, a junior twoguard, was to the girls’ squad what Notae was to the boys. A self-proclaimed shooter, Chatman provided much of the team’s offense that led the Lady Rams to a Region 8-AAAAAAA runner up finish and a state tournament appearance. The Newton girls finished with a 20-7 overall mark and 8-2 region record.
Even more than her scoring, Chatman entrenched herself as the unquestioned leader for the Rams’ 2016-17 season.
From pure point guards to slashing scorers, to three-point specialists and glass-eating post players, you can put this year’s The Covington News All-Newton County Teams up against anyone in Georgia, and they can compete, if not win.
That’s proven when you isolate the individual parts that make up this year’s all-county squad and see that they’ve been successful against some of the best talent Georgia has to offer.
This year’s all-area squad is rife with guard talent, including boys top player J.D. Notae, and first-team boys selections Ashton Hagans, Isaiah Miller and Keiodre Perry.
Hagans, as a sophomore, may already be the best pure floor general in the state, and considered one of the best in the nation for the class of 2019.
Miller is one of the most athletic ballers this area has seen in a long time. Meanwhile, guys like Perry and Des Dyer not only provide scoring punch and rebounding prowess – Dyer averaged a double-double for the season – they also play with a contagious heart-onthe-sleeve passion that teammates say make them a joy to be around.
And there’s depth too. Second team guys like Newton’s Darvin Jones and Josh Tukes could make cases for first team honors. Carnarcion Cosby and AJ Paschal almost helped will an up-and-down Alcovy squad into the second round of the playoffs, singlehandedly. And don’t forget about the honorable mention up-and-comers like sophomores Armani Harris and Colby Rogers and Torrie Crawford – quite possibly
players poised to be tomorrow’s stars. On the girls’ side, the talent is just as rife.
Girls Player of the Year Lexi Chatman is a shooter among shooters, and Jurnee Smith – thanks to a late season emergence – isn’t too far behind. Janelle Cook was a quiet star for the Lady Rams, and Eastside freshman Alysee Dobbs played with hustle and confidence beyond her years.
It’s a well-rounded, versatile bunch that gives a sizable sampling of just how good basketball in this area can be.
Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you our 2016-17 All-County Teams.
Newton’s Lexi Chatman, left, and J.D. Notae swept the Newton County basketball Player of the Year honors for the 2016-17 season.