In his senior season, Deric Shelton was the bane of coaches around the state of Oklahoma.
So it only seems natural that they would choose to honor the end of the 6-foot-3 Plainview forward's career.
Shelton, along with a select group of fellow seniors, was named an All-State player by the Oklahoma Coaches Association on Tuesday.
"It's just a great honor for all the hard work I've put in throughout the season and offseason to pay off," Shelton said. "This was a goal I set early, and something I wanted to achieve."
Shelton is following in the family footsteps; his father, Bobby, was an All-State honoree his senior season as well, and the love for the game clearly passed from father to son.
"Deric is one of those kids that absolutely loves basketball and has a passion for it; it shows when he plays," Plainview coach Jeremy Stewart said. "It's not just his athletic ability, it's his leadership."
As a senior for an Indians squad that finished the year at 21-5, Shelton averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game. He displayed a remarkable all-around consistency that made him a threat from anywhere on the floor.
"The last two years, we had to play him inside a little more," Stewart said. "But this past year, over the offseason, he really developed that inside/outside game to be a more balanced player.
"There's no doubt he was the glue for this team."
It was time well spent, according to Shelton. He called this season his favorite as a player and this year "one of the best of my life."
"I gave up football for this year, so I could give all I had to basketball," Shelton said. "So I think (being named All-State) helps make that more meaningful."
In addition to being an All-State selection, Shelton was also named to the OCA Small School West All-Region 5 team, along with Wilson's Blayke Hunziker and Curtis "C.J." Ramsey.
Hunziker and Ramsey were the cornerstones of a program turnaround for the Eagles, who went from a combined eight wins in the three years before their arrival to 75 wins during the duo's four years on campus, including this season's 22-4 campaign.
"Both of them are exceptional athletes, exceptional basketball players and exceptional people," Wilson coach David McGuire said. "They dedicated themselves to our program to turn us around."
As point guard, Hunziker averaged 16.2 points per game, while dishing out 4.0 assists and grabbing 2.1 steals per contest.
"He brought his game every night and was exceptional despite seeing double and triple teams," McGuire said.
Ramsey, a 6-7 mismatch, took advantage of his size often for Wilson, finishing the year averaging a double-double (15.6 ppg, 10.2 rpg and 4.1 bpg).
Page 2 of 2 - "C.J. really grew into his size and was just dominant this year," McGuire said.
Dickson senior sharpshooter Jacob Lindsey was named to the OCA Large School West All-Region 5 squad. Lindsey posted averages of 25 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
He was also one of the best shooters in the state, hitting 38 percent from 3-point range and 81 percent of his free throws.
"He definitely deserves all the recognition he gets," Dickson coach Chuck Ryan said. "Besides being a great player, he's that much greater of a person."
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