Courtesy of Dairy Farmers High School Awards
GAINESVILLE (March 16) -- Oakleaf High girls basketball guard Kaylah Turner and St. Johns Country Day School point guard Taliah Scott both earned their Class 6A and Class 2A players of year awards, respectively, and are now on the list as finalists for the Dairy Farmer's Girls Basketball Miss Basketball Award denoting the best player in Florida.
Ironically, Turner and Scott were former teammates at Oakleaf High School three years ago under coach Fred Cole and pushed the Knights to a first-ever Final Four finish.
Two years later, both players upped their game with Turner leading the 2023 Lady Knights and Scott leading the Class 2A St. Johns team to a Final Four finish as well as Clay County had an astounding three girls basketball teams; Ridgeview the third, make it to their region finals. Ridgeview, in Class 5A, lost to Daytona Beach Mainland in that region final.
The seven individual class finalists for the 2023 Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Basketball and Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year have been announced following balloting by a statewide panel of high school girls’ basketball coaches and prep media members.
Every finalist was the leading vote-getter in their classification, making each one the Player of the Year or Coach of the Year in their class. The two winners will be announced following a final round of balloting by coaches and media.
The seven finalists for the 2023 Miss Basketball Award:
Trinity Turner, Dr. Phillips, Junior, Guard, Class 7A Player of the Year. Turner led her team to its second straight state title, averaging 20.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 4.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.
Kaylah Turner, Oakleaf, Senior, Guard/Forward, Class 6A Player of the Year. Turner, with an an relenting presence at half court with her steals to layups ratio keeping the Lady Knights at a high pace of play, led her team to the Class 6A Final Four by averaging 22.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 5.7 steals per game. Turner has signed with Alabama A&M.
Anovia Sheals, Mainland, Junior, Forward, Class 5A Player of the Year. Sheals led her team to the Class 5A state title averaging 19.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.
Emma Risch, Palm Bay, Senior, Guard, Class 4A Player of the Year. Risch led her team to the regional finals by averaging 23.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Signed with the University of Notre Dame.
Janessa Williams, King’s Academy, Senior, Forward, Class 3A Player of the Year. Williams led her team to the state Final Four by averaging 16.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Signed with Long Island University.
Taliah Scott, St. Johns Country Day, Senior, Guard, Class 2A Player of the Year. Scott, with a second Final Four visit in her final three years of high school basketball, led her team to the state Final Four by averaging 36.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.9 steals per game. The McDonald’s All-America signed with the University of Arkansas.
Trinidy Harris, Wildwood, Sophomore, Class 1A Player of the Year, led her team to a Class 1A state runnerup finish by averaging 22.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 4.2 steals per game.
The seven finalists for the 2023 Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year:
Anthony Jones, Dr. Phillips, Class 7A Coach of the Year, led his team to a 30-1 record and its second straight Class 7A state title. In 15 years at Dr. Phillips, Jones has compiled a 300-133 record with five state championships (2011-13 and 2022-23).
Oliver Berens, St. Thomas Aquinas, Class 6A Coach of the Year, in his sixth year as head coach at Aquinas, Berens led his team to a 24-8 record and its third straight Class 6A state title. He has a record of 126-40 at Aquinas with a state runnerup finish in 2019.
Brandon Stewart, Mainland, Class 5A Coach of the Year, led his squad to a 21-8 record and the Class 5A state championship, ending American Heritage’s five-year title run. In four years at Mainland, Stewart has posted a 68-33 record.
Al Honor, Lake Highland Prep, Class 4A Coach of the Year, led his squad to a 25-6 record and a fourth straight Class 4A state title. In 12 years at LHP, he has a 293-37 record with six state championships and eight Final Four appearances.
Ochiel Swaby, Miami Country Day, Class 3A Coach of the Year. The two-time state Coach of the Year led his squad to a 25-7 record and the Class 3A state title. In 19 years at MCD, Swaby has compiled a 424-122 record with eight state championships.
Andy Sarasty, Faith Christian, Class 2A Coach of the Year
The school’s boys’ basketball coach added the girls’ coaching job in the preseason and led the team to a 16-11 record and the school’s first state title after it finished as the 2022 state runnerup.
Cornelius Ingram, Hawthorne, Class 1A Coach of the Year. Ingram, who coach the school’s football team to its first state title last fall, led his basketball squad to its second state title in the past four years (2020). In six years he has compiled a 115-32 record.
Also nominated for their class players of year were, in Class 6A, Eris Lester, junior guard for Orange Park High; and Oakleaf High coach Fred Cole, who earned a second Final Four ticket in three years.
In Class 5A, Ridgeview High's junior forward Nia Blocton was nominated with an 11.6 points per game and 12.7 rebounds per game resume. Ridgeview coach Tyler Miller, who put the Panthers into the region final against eventual champion Daytona Beach Mainland, was nominated for coach of year.
In Class 4A, Keystone heights senior forward Dezaray Bright was nominated with a 12.5 points per game and 14.0 rebound per game average. Keystone Heights High coach Jessica Carter was nominated as a coach of year.
In Class 2A, St. Johns Country Day School coach Yolando Bronston, Final Four finish, 19-6, was nominated for coach of year.
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