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BOYS BASKETBALL ALL-STARS This group dribbled, passed and shot the best

Friday, May 14, 2004

Sebring's Brian Clark was selected Coach of the Year.
School/grade: Fitch, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: McDonald's All-American nominee, third team All-Ohio, first team NEO, first team Federal League, North/South Ohio All-Star, All-Ohio/Pa. All-Star. Scored 828 career points, with 478 this past season and a game-high 32; handed out 235 career assists and made 243 career steals.
Name a person who has been a positive influence in your athletic career: My dad, who taught me that hard work pays off. My mother, who shows strength and keeps fighting when the going gets rough; this impacts me deeply. You see, she has cancer. Gary Conroy, because throughout the years he has instilled in me how to be the best. Anthony Camuso, for enhancing my basketball career through AAU.
Best memory from this season: Beating North Canton Hoover in the district semifinals and the opportunity to play alongside my brother, Tyran Eargle.
Something that people would be surprised to learn: That I was born in Frankfort, Germany. Many may be surprised to know that basketball wasn't my first love. It was soccer during my younger years.
School/grade: Fitch, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Averaged 18 points and four rebounds per game.Best memory: Beating undefeated Hoover and the way everyone felt after the game.
Surprised to learn: I am a shy guy.
School/grade: Canfield, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Two-time first team All-Metro Athletic Conference, second team NEO, honorable mention All-State. Set school record for career rebounding (561) and averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds per game as a senior.
Positive influence: Coaches John Cullen and Bob Tinkey. They have taught me many skills that have helped me become successful at what I do. They are excellent teachers of the game.
Best memory: Our comeback win against Boardman. We were down nine with less than three minutes to go. We ended up winning by four.
Surprised to learn: Even though I am not very good, I am a big fan of bowling.
School/grade: Howland, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Averaged 13.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, and shot 80 percent from the free throw line, 42 percent from 3-point range and 38 percent from the field. Named first team All-MAC, second team All-Trumbull County. Set school records in 3-pointers in a game (7), in a season (64) and in a career (81).
Positive influence: Dan Campana, who was my seventh-grade assistant coach. Then, he was my coach. Now, he is my friend. He opens the middle school gym all the time so we high school players can play together for fun. Dan Campana has devoted so much of his time to basketball in Howland. Thank you, Camper.
Best memory: Beating Kennedy on Feb. 20. Every year, this game could be named the biggest rival in Trumbull County. We got the best of JFK this year. In this game, I achieved my career high in points (26) and broke the school record for 3-pointers in a game with seven. It is great to leave Howland High School and say that you beat JFK in your last competition.
Surprised to learn: Every Sunday morning I sing tenor in the church choir at Howland Community Church. I am the youngest member of the choir by at least 15 years.
School/grade: Poland, junior.
Statistics/accomplishments: 20.2 points and three assists per game. First team All-State Division II, first team All-Northeast Ohio Inland District/Player of the Year, co-Player of the Year in the Metro Athletic Conference.
Positive influence: Coach Ken Grisdale, because he has been there for me throughout the past three years. He has understood what was best for me and our team to succeed. He has let me develop the way we think is best for me.
Best memory: Winning another MAC championship. This one was special because these have been my friends I have been playing with since I was in fifth grade. Now that we're all back playing together makes it even more special.
Surprised to learn: If you know anything about my family, we've been brought up with basketball since we were very little, but you would think my mom would know something about it. Well, she knows nothing about the game.
School/grade: Liberty, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: A captain for the Division II district champions, he was named first team All-TAC-8, first team All-Trumbull County, first team All-Northeast Ohio Inland District and special mention all-Ohio.
Positive influence: My mother has really provided me with everything I need.
Best memory: Beating Poland.
School/grade: Hubbard, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Averaged 15 points per game. Named first team All-TAC-8, second team All-Trumbull County, third team All-Northeast Ohio Inland District. Broke school's 3-point record, 65 in a season.
Positive influence: Ever since my early childhood, my father has been one of the most influential people in my life. He is always encouraging me to do my best and play with my heart. He always influenced me to be the best that I can be.
Best memory: When I scored 27 points on seven 3-pointers against our archrival, the Brookfield Warriors.
Surprised to learn: When I was a sophomore, I didn't even play a minute of varsity, and my junior year I was the only player on the varsity roster to play all 88 quarters of the season.
School/grade: Niles, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: He averaged 23 points, five assists and four steals. He shot 85 percent from the foul line and 50 percent from behind the 3-point arc. He received first-team honors for Trumbul County, the Metro Athletic Conference and all-Northeast Ohio, and was second-team all-Ohio.
Positive influence: My parents for getting me started in basketball.
Best memory: Surpassing 1,000 points for my career.
Surprised to learn: At 6-2, I am by far the tallest member ever in the Jones family. Thank God for my mom.
School/grade: Liberty, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Team captain, 11 points per game, district championship.
Positive influence: Coach Burt Stellers, head basketball coach for us. He is a positive influence due to the respect he shows his players. He treats us as equals and does nothing but help us in any way he can. He communicates very well with us, and having a coach that everyone likes, respects and feels close to, helps to make us want to perform to the best of our abilities.
Best memory: Cutting down the net after winning the district title.
Surprised to learn: I'll be going to Arizona State University in the fall.
School/grade: Sebring, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: 14 points, 8 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game. First team All-Ohio, NEO Inland District Player of the Year, first team All-Tri-County League, Mahoning Valley Coaches Association all-star team, Ohio High School Coaches Association North/South all-star.
Positive influence: My dad because he taught me to play basketball and has helped me throughout my entire career.
Best memory: Winning our regional championship game and qualifying for Columbus. Also getting to play in Columbus.
Surprised to learn: I'm the class valedictorian.
School/grade: Jackson-Milton, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: First-team all-Inter-County League, first-team all-Northeast Ohio, third-team all-Ohio, scored 1,000 career points, leading scorer in the ICL (19 point average), 10 rebounds per game.
Positive influence: My dad because I can always talk to him and get advice..
Best memory: Senior night against Southington.
School/grade: Lisbon, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Averaged 21.9 points, 3.6 assists, 3.1 steals and 3 rebounds per game. Shot 48 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range. Scored 481 points in the season and 1,439 for career. Named first team All-Ohio, Columbiana County Player of the Year, Northeast Ohio Inland District Player of the Year in Division III.
Positive influence: My brother, J.D. Smith. Ever since I can remember, he let me tag along with his friends and himself. He is 7 years older, so growing up I was playing against older, better people. He has always talked to me about basketball and taught me many things. He lives in Columbus, but after every game I would call him and we would talk for hours about the game. My mom is always there for support, and she always shows much love for me. My girlfriend Katie is my No. 1 supporter. She always makes me feel better after a tough game. She is very special to me.
Best memory: Scoring 47 points against Crestview for my dad. He died at the age of 50, and I wanted to score 50, but my 3-pointer at the end didn't fall. He was watching me as he does all the time, and he is very proud.
Surprised to learn: My two favorite players are Latrell Sprewell and Rafer Alston. People are surprised when I tell them about Latrell, but I like him for his intensity and playing style and also what he has done with his second chance. Rafer is a NYC playground legend known as "Skip to my Lou." He is very athletic and hardworking and I admire his attitude towards the game. He now plays for the Miami Heat.
School/grade: Woodrow Wilson, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Averaged 18 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.25 blocks per game. Shot 50 percent from the field, 48 percent from 3-point range and 73 percent from the free throw line. Scored career-high 40 points against Beaver Local. Named NEO honorable mention, first team All-City, Al Beach Classic All-Star, Frank Bubba Classic All-Star.
Positive influence: My mom because she has always provided information for me to use to get better. She has always pushed me to be the best.
Best memory: Our home opener against Beaver Local. I scored 10 points in the first half and 30 in the second half, for a total of 40 points. I didn't know I had scored that many points until we were in the locker room.
Surprised to learn: I really don't like to watch basketball, but I love watching football.
School/grade: Western Reserve, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Averaged 15.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. ICL Player of the Year, first team All-NEO Inland District, special mention All-State, first team All-Mahoning County, selected to Al Beach Classic and Frank Bubba Memorial all-star games.
Positive influence: My parents, Jeff and Nancy, because they are always there at my games and supporting me, and are always around when I need advice.
Best memory: Winning the ICL championship and beating Jackson-Milton in the trophy game.
Surprised to learn: I really like hunting and fishing, and just about anything else dealing with the outdoors.
School/grade: Cardinal Mooney, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: First team All-SVC, first team Division III NEO-Inland District, third team All-Ohio, three-year letterman.
Positive influence: My father, Joe, for teaching me everything I know about basketball. He was always willing to play a game or rebound for me when I practiced.
Best memory: Beating Ursuline in the district semifinal for the third time. Also, defeating Warren Harding at home and clinching a share of the SVC title.
Surprised to learn: I ride horses with my dad and brother in Montana.
School: Sebring, fifth season.
Statistics/accomplishments: 88-30 overall record at Sebring. Team went 24-2 this past season, marking the third straight season in which it has won 20-plus games, and was ranked third in the final Associated Press state poll. Won back-to-back Tri-County League championships, its fourth straight sectional title and third straight district title. Advanced to the state's final four. Overcame inexperience and a tough schedule. Defense held the first 25 opponents to fewer than 50 points, averaging a school/league-best 41.7. All seven varsity lettermen had a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Positive influence: My wife and family sacrifice a lot to support me. She is an awesome mother and gives me the freedom to enjoy basketball. My father, who always kept me near good people, so that by example, I had "big shoes" to fill. Coach Rick Brook and coach Tim King for the seven years of knowledge I gained as an assistant.
Best memory: A combination of great performances by players -- like when, after going almost three minutes in the second quarter without him against Lisbon, David Scarpitti came out and ignited the run to win the game. And great performances by the team -- like our 20-0 third-quarter shutout of Columbiana, avenging our only regular-season loss. And most notably, the tears of joy our fans shed, from first row on the floor to the last row in the arena when we won the regional in Canton, and when taking the floor at the Schott in Columbus.
Surprised to learn: I absolutely love to travel with my family to zoos, museums, beaches and parks. I also like to take in musicals, and I enjoy cooking. I have an awesome zucchini bread recipe that won a blue ribbon at the Canfield Fair.