The awards and recognition have started to come in for the Mount Pleasant Tiger basketball team after finishing their season ranked No. 4 in class 5A with an overall record of 34-1. In addition, they released the District 15-5A All-District teams, and superlatives had black and gold written all over them.
Joey Chism was named Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his nine years as head coach of the Tigers. Chism led the charge taking his fourth district championship and a ninth straight trip to the postseason. During the season, the former Tiger standout surpassed 200 victories; his overall record now stands at 225-73 (.755) since taking over in 2014.
The Tigers’ two-headed monster at the guard position of Kelcey Morris and Payton Chism took Co-District MVP honors with scoring averages of 13.0 ppg and 13.2 ppg, respectively, accounting for 43% of Mount Pleasant’s points. Morris put up career highs this season in points (442), field goals made (183), steals (87), and field goal percentage (52.9%). He set his best scoring mark three times this season with 23 points against Texas High twice and Pine Tree. Morris also set his assist mark with nine against Corsicana and had a career-high six steals against Whitehouse.
Chism continued his substantial contributions as he had done the past four seasons, and his consistency helped him set four new Tiger Basketball records. The four-year starter set new career records for three-point makes (188), free throws made (392), steals (325), and assists (452). This season Chism had game highs of 25 points versus Longview, seven rebounds five times, ten assists versus Putnam City West, six steals against Porter, and four three-point makes five times.
Newcomer of the Year honors was given to freshman guard Carter Chism after he posted averages of 8.0 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game, 2.6 assists per game, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 31.8% from behind the arc. Chism was fourth on the team in scoring (272) and second in three-point makes (42) in his rookie season. Season highs included 16 points versus Whitehouse. In addition, four three-point makes twice vs. Tyler and Forney, six assists versus Texas, and seven steals in the Tigers’ first-round playoff game versus Porter.
The rest of the Tiger starters earned first-team All-District honors, with junior Kai Price and sophomore Reggie Webster landing on the squad. After winning newcomer of the year last season, Webster stepped up his game on both ends of the floor, coming in third on the team in scoring at 9.4 points per game and leading the Tigers in rebounding at 4.8 per game. He also averaged 1.6 assists per game and 1.2 steals and was second in free throw makes (68) and third in three-point makes (32). Webster had season highs of 20 points versus Pine Tree, nine rebounds versus Princeton and Bullard, five assists versus Marshall, five steals vs. Porter, and three three-point makes versus Tyler. Price held down the paint for the Tigers, using his athleticism to swat a team-high 32 blocks while averaging 6.7 points per game and 3.9 rebounds, along with 1.2 steals per game. Price shot a team-high 65.1% from the field and had season-highs of 16 points versus Corsicana, ten rebounds versus Forney, and five steals versus Princeton.
Senior Kyler Smith received 2nd team All-District for his contributions off the bench. Smith brought energy and enthusiasm to the floor, where he scored 76 points and pulled down 104 rebounds. Smith was also second on the team in charges taken with 14. In addition, Smith had season highs of seven points versus Bullard and eight rebounds versus Tyler, and he took three charges in a game versus Longview.
Honorable Mention went to senior Xavier Hills. Hills was a Tigers defensive specialist, providing speed and explosion off the bench. Hills scored 105 points, pulled down 94 rebounds, with 43 steals and nine blocks on the season, and guarded the other team’s best player many times. His season highs were 10 points against Adamson, 12 rebounds versus Pine Tree, and four steals versus Tyler Legacy.
The Tigers had three student-athletes maintain at least a 92 average during the season to qualify for Academic All-District. Senior Luke Hampton, senior Payton Chism, and freshman Carter Chism performed on the court and in the classroom to earn the award.