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April 7, 2014

Area lands trio of basketball All-Staters

Ada —    The much-decorated Aaliyah Blakley has gathered some additional awards after closing out a magnificent career for the Ada High School girls’ basketball team.

   Blakley was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association and Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association All-State Teams for 2013-14. She was picked for the OGBCA’s 10-member Middle East squad.

   “Aaliyah is the type of player every coach loves. She works hard every day, is a great teammate and has the desire to win. She has been a pleasure to coach the last couple of years,” said Ada head coach Christie Jennings, who guided the Lady Cougars to a berth in the Class 4A state tournament last month.

   Blakley finished the season averaging 16.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.3 assists. In addition, she totaled 21 blocked shots on the year. Blakley also earned several awards throughout the season, including being named most valuable player of the Bethel Tournament. She was chosen for the Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic All-Tournament Team in December and was honored as a 2014 Vype Magazine Top 100 Player in Oklahoma.

   “Aaliyah will probably be the first to tell you that she could not have accomplished this without her teammates. They did a good job of getting her the basketball so she could do those things,” Jennings said.

   Blakley closed out her Ada career with 1,405 points, the second-best all-time since the Lady Cougars have been playing 5-on-5 basketball.

   She has verbally committed to play basketball at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee next season.

   Jennings was named OGBCA East Coach of the Year after guiding the Lady Cougars to an impressive 21-6 record and a berth in the state tourney.

   “I was totally shocked and surprised and honored. It’s pretty neat to received an award like that from your peers,” she said. “I always thought it was an award where you had to win a state championship to ever be considered for, so I was really honored to receive it.”

   Jennings said the award was a credit to the hard work her players put in to achieve the success they had over the past two season.

   “It just goes back to my kids ... and what we were trying to establish the last couple of years. I’m the one that will get the ring for it, but they deserve it as much as I do,” she said.

   Also earning all-state honors was Latta High School’s Shelbey Parnacher, who was selected to the 15-member Small East Team after being an integral part of the Lady Panthers’ run to a Class 2A state berth.

   Roff High School’s Lauren Trimmer was picked as an alternate for the Small East Team, as was Holdenville’s Elizabeth Davis.

   Also, longtime Tishomingo High School coach Boyd Houser is an OGBCA Hall of Fame inductee.

   On the boys’ side, Latta High School’s Kade Hayes, who helped lead the Panthers to their second straight Class 2A state championship, was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association’s Small East squad.

   Hayes averaged 12 points, three rebounds and two assists per game while shooting 79 percent from the free-throw line and 45 percent from the floor for the 27-4 Panthers.

   “I’m extremely proud of him and proud for our team,” said Latta head coach Donnie Husband. “Kade will be the first to tell you that this is a team award and not necessarily an individual award.”

   Hayes, along with Panther teammate Brogan Cantrell and Konawa High School’s Zach Snow, was named to the 2014 All-Star by Class Small East boys 2A team.

   Asher’s Trisan Milburn named to the 2014 All-Star by Class Small East Class B girls team, while Trimmer was listed on the 2A team. Alexis Hill of Byng and Blakley are on the All-Star by Class Large East girls team.

   Stratford’s Vanessa Cothren and Cheyenne Weast were named to the Small West Class 2A All-Star squad.

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