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MPHS – Basketball

Tiger Basketball Earns 15-5A District Honors

Mount Pleasant Basketball | News | by Drew Barkley

The Mount Pleasant High School boys’ basketball team wrapped up their season last Friday, completing another successful year capped by their third straight trip to the regional tournament. Several players earned district honors for the performance during the regular season, with more postseason honors expected on the way.

Junior Payton Chism earned Offensive MVP honors, his third straight district superlative award. Chism led the Tigers in scoring at 15.9 points per game, assists (3.6), steals (3.4), three-point makes (53), free throw makes (101), and charges taken (20). The junior guard boosted his game to 18 points per game, 5.3 boards, and two assists in the playoffs. Chism scored 20+ points in seven games this year, including 34 points at Sulphur Springs. He notched two double-doubles on the season and was just a few stats away from a triple-double on several occasions, including a record-setting nine steals versus Braswell. The sharpshooter also scored his 1000th career point midway through the season.

Senior forward Will Hills earned Co-Defensive MVP, his second straight Defensive MVP award. Hills anchored the Tiger defense with his rebounding prowess (7.4 rpg) and shot-blocking ability (1 bpg) around the rim. He also averaged 9 points per game and was third in steals at 1.5 per game. Hills led the team in double-doubles with three and posted season highs of 18 points versus Jefferson and was one off a Tiger record with 16 rebounds versus Texas High.

Freshman starter Reggie Webster made a significant impact down the stretch for the Tigers and caught the attention of district coaches earning the Co-Newcomer of the Year award. Webster averaged 5.8 points per game on the year, but that number jumped to 8 points per game after the Christmas break. The freshman phenom led the Tigers in free throw percentage at 68.9%, was second on the team in three-point makes (28), and third in three-point percentage at 29.2%. His best performance was a 19-point outburst versus Bryan Rudder during the Franklin tournament, one of seven games in double digits.

Junior guard Kelcey Morris took the keys to the offense this year and earned 1st Team All-District with his performance. Morris was the only other Tiger to average double figures at 10.7 per game and the second leading rebounder at 3.9 per game. In addition, he led the team in assists (3.6) and was second on the team in steals at 2.3 per game. Kelcey scored 18 points against Sulphur Springs and McKinney Boyd and notched a point-rebound double-double against Bryan Rudder.

A duo of Tigers earned 2nd Team All-District as seniors Edward Wilder, and Elijah Morris played crucial roles in the Tigers’ success. Wilder, a defensive specialist, wreaked havoc on opposing ball handlers. He averaged 5.6 points per game and 1.1 steals, finishing fourth on the team in that category. The highlight of his season was a 19-point, 4-steal game versus Braswell. Morris split the year as a starter and instant offense off the bench. He finished fourth on the team in three points makes (16) and sixth overall in scoring, averaging 5.2 per game. His best performance was versus Navasota, where he drained three shots from deep and put up a season-high 15 points.

Honorable Mention went to junior Kyler Smith and sophomore Kai Price. Smith took a while to round into form as he recovered from a football injury but provided crucial physicality around the rim. He was second on the team in charges taken (10), showing his willingness to sacrifice his body for the team. His best games came against Marshall and Pine Tree, where he put up 10+ points and eight rebounds in both games. Price started for the Tigers early but solidified a defensive role off the bench as the season progressed. His length and leaping ability gave teams fits as he led the Tigers with 27 blocked shots. Kai had a season-high 9 points versus El Paso and four blocks versus Royse City.

Six Tigers earned Academic All-District for their performance in the classroom during basketball season. Payton Chism, Kelcey Morris, Kyler Smith, Ervin Mickens, Elijah Morris, and Reggie Webster all earned their honor as they prioritized everything it takes to be a student-athlete.

The Tigers ended their season with a 24-10 mark, the third-highest win total under head coach Joey Chism. Mount Pleasant returns five players off this year’s team as they look to make another push for a state title.

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