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Jehovah-Jireh’s John-Paul Ricks drives on Runnel’s Jack Kahn on friday night at Istrouma High.

John-Paul Ricks knew things would change after three seniors graduated. A new role and the determination to keep Jehovah-Jireh on a roll defined Ricks’ sophomore season.

“There were people who saw the guys we graduated … they were doubters,” Ricks said. “They didn’t believe we could win a title this year. We had to prove the doubters wrong. That was the motivation.”

Along the way, Ricks established himself as the top player in Class C. The 6-foot guard leads the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class C All-State boys basketball team.

Ricks, who averaged 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists per game, was selected as the Outstanding Player on the LSWA’s Class C team. He led Warriors to their third consecutive Division V select title.

Chloe Wilbanks of Class C champion Hicks was picked as the Outstanding Player for the girls squad. The 5-7 Wilbanks averaged 18.8 points, 6.5 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Plainview's Phillip George and Epps' Roger Stockton grabbed Coach of the Year honors. George, a former Family Christian Academy player, led Plainview to its fourth straight girls title game.

Stockton came out of retirement and led Epps to the Class C boys quarterfinals. He is former Louisiana-Monroe women’s coach.

Ricks, also the MVP of the Warriors’ title-game win over Runnels, is joined on the LSWA squad by teammate Brandon Harton Jr. A second-team selection, Harton averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds for JCA.

“My main role was to play defense because those seniors were the leaders last year,” Ricks said. “I knew I had to be a leader and be ready to take over and control the game when the team needed me. I’m proud of what we did together.”

LSWA CLASS C CHARTS

BOYS

First team

Name Player Ht Cl Avg

John-Paul Ricks Jehovah-Jireh 6-0 So. 24.0

Derrick Royal Summerfield Sr. 19.0

Austin Merchant Hicks 5-9 Sr. 10.3

Montonious Burrough Pleasant Hill 5-10 Sr. 22.0

Cooper Smith Hornbeck 6-4 Sr. 25.0

Second team

Name Player Ht Cl Avg

NaShaun Reddick Phoenix 5-9 Jr. 22.0

Clyde Williams Epps 5-11 Jr. 21.0

Brandon Harton Jr. Jehovah-Jireh 6-3 Jr. 19.0

Brandon McCurley Grand Isle 5-11 Sr. 25.7

Zach Parrie Ebarb 5-10 Jr. 26.5

OUTSTANDING PLAYER: JOHN-PAUL RICKS, JEHOVAH-JIREH

COACH OF THE YEAR: ROGER STOCKTON, EPPS

Honorable mention

Wayne Huckaby, Calvin; Grady Mitcham, Hornbeck; Blaine Perkins, Plainview; Johnny Nash, Atlanta; A.J. Mercier, Family Christian; Ken Wilson Kilbourne; Deonte Livingston, Summerfield; Keegan Foreman, Northside Christian; Roderick Dominique, Jehovah-Jireh.

GIRLS

First team

Name Player Ht Cl Avg

Chloe Wilbanks Hicks 5-7 Jr. 18.8

Abigail Pippen Plainview 5-9 Jr. 14.3

Millie Tanner Ebarb 5-8 Jr. 14.8

Malaysia Tate Summerfield 5-9 So. 18.9

Lauren Quinn Hicks 5-10 So. 23.5

Second team

Name Player Ht Cl Avg

Abbie Clark Starks 5-8 Sr. 25.3

Claire Dunnehoo Reeves 5-8 Jr. 17.1

Jamaya Jackson Gibsland-Coleman 5-7 Jr. 17.1

Gracie Young Johnson Bayou 5-9 Sr. 34.0

Kinsley Ashworth Plainview 6-0 Sr. 16.4

OUTSTANDING PLAYER: CHLOE WILBANKS, HICKS

COACH OF THE YEAR: PHILLIP GEORGE, PLAINVIEW

Honorable mention

Jade Bonner, Evans; Yasmine Robinson, Summerfield; Maddi Ford, Reeves; Ro’Shonna Powell, Atlanta; Payton Bates, Calvin; Lexi Rachal, Family Christian; Rivers Day, Hicks; Maykayla Clark, Hicks.

Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com