Leader on the court
Hawkins, Williams take top honors

Jamon Hawkins did a little bit of everything for the Newton boys basketball team during the 2008-09 season.

The 6-foot-1 shooting guard did more than just score in his senior year for the Rams. In fact, Hawkins led his squad in five different statistical categories and four of them were atypical of his position.

For those reasons, Hawkins is the Player of the Year on the Citizen's 2009 All-Area Boys Basketball Team.

Rockdale's Alvin Williams is the Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulldogs to the Class AAAA Sweet 16. In his first season at Rockdale's helm, Williams led the Bulldogs to a 20-9 mark and a runner-up finish in the Region 8-AAAA Tournament.

In the state playoffs, Rockdale won its opener against Murray County before falling to powerful Miller Grove in the second round.

Justin Jones (Senior, Heritage): Jones was a force on the boards for the Patriots, averaging an unheard of 15.9 rebounds a game. In fact, Jones' average is the best of any player during coach Ron Bradley's illustrious career. The senior also added 12.8 points per game.

Jonathan Gissentanner (Senior, Rockdale): Gissentanner averaged 12 points, six rebounds and two assists per game at small forward for the Bulldogs.

Derrick Henry (Sophomore, Newton): Henry made a big splash as a sophomore for the Rams, averaging an area-high 20 points a game. He also chipped in five rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals a contest. The small forward lead the Rams in scoring, field goals and free throws.

Jamon Hawkins (Senior, Newton): Hawkins capped off his career with another stellar season for the Rams, averaging 15.5 points, six assists, six rebounds and 2.5 steals a game. The senior's shooting paced the Rams in assists, steals, 3-point shooting, defensive rebounding and double-doubles.

Shakeem Mitchell (Senior, Heritage): Mitchell was the Patriots' top scorer, averaging 17.9 points a game. He also added 5.8 rebounds per contest.

Julius Giles (Senior, Rockdale): Giles provided the Bulldogs with consistent play at shooting guard, averaging a team-high 15 points a game. He also added five rebounds and four assists per game.

Neal Lattimore (Senior, Eastside): Lattimore was an offensive spark for the Eagles, averaging a team high 17.7 points a game while also chipping 6.1 rebounds per game.

Kevin Ware (Sophomore, Rockdale): Ware was a human-highlight reel for the Bulldogs while splitting time between shooting guard and point guard. The sophomore averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists a game.

Jeff Gillespie can be reached at jeff.gillespie@rockdalecitizen.com.

SideBar: All-Area team

· Player of the Year: Jamon Hawkins, Newton

· Coach of the Year: Alvin Williams, Rockdale

First Team

· Center: Justin Jones (Senior, Heritage)

· Forward: Jonathan Gissentanner (Senior, Rockdale)

· Forward: Derrick Henry (Sophomore, Newton)

· Guard: Jamon Hawkins (Senior, Newton)

· Guard: Shakeem Mitchell (Senior, Heritage)

· Guard: Julius Giles (Senior, Rockdale)

· Guard: Neal Lattimore (Senior, Eastside)

· Guard: Kevin Ware (Sophomore, Rockdale)

Honorable Mention

· Alcovy: Kevin Boyle, Jordan Butts, Devon Edwards, Jamieson Smith

· Eastside: Rashad Hill, Zach Johnston, Cameron Robinson

· Newton: Chuck Edwards, Tee Farley, Demetrius McCray

· Rockdale: Cordarryle Bethley

· Salem: Jonathon Slade