All-County Boys Basketball
Newnan senior repeats Player of the Year honors
by Doug Gorman
There has always been a little bit of trickery to the way Newnan High senior basketball guard Doniel Dean played the game.
Opponents were never sure if Dean was going to dribble right past them and into the lane for an uncontested layup, or pull up for a jumper.
More often than not during the 2013-14 season, they guessed wrong.
Dean’s 19.2 scoring average led the Cougars to a 20-9 season and a trip to the Class AAAAAA playoffs where they beat Coffee at home in the first round before falling to Luella on the road to end their season.
It earned him his second straight Newnan Times Herald Player of the Year honor.
Dean is also a two-time all Region 3-AAAAAA member and this past season was named an All-State honorable mention.
Now, he will take his basketball talents to the next level after committing to Georgia Highlands College, a two-year junior college program.
The sharp-shooting senior helped Newnan get hot at the right time with a huge upset of regular-season champ Westlake in the Region 3-AAAAAA tournament.
Newnan dropped a heartbreaker to Douglas County in the finals of the region tournament, but it was good enough to give them a chance to play at home in the first-round of the Class AAAAAA state tournament.
It the third straight time a Newnan standout garnered Player of the Year honors, a streak that began with Immanuel Griggs’ honor following the 2011-12 campaign.
Dean and Griggs, who earned his third straight All-County selection, were part of a senior class that began their careers at Newnan with a 3-win season before helping reinvigorate the program.
“Our seniors meant so much to this program,” Newnan head coach Rod Ladd during last season. “They have been here through the good and bad times.”
In Griggs’ final varsity season, the 6-foot-8 center averaged 13.2 points per game, pulled down 11.1 rebounds and also had 2.3 blocked shots per game. He plans to attend Columbia State College in Tennessee.
A third Cougar senior, Diamond Jones, also earned a place on the all- county team after averaging 10.8 points per game while now headed to Atlanta Metro State.
Joining the trio among All-County honors are East Coweta’s Jeremy Farmer and Northgate teammates Aldrickus Evans and Wendall Watson.
At East Coweta, Farmer provided balance during a season that saw the Indians struggle for three wins, yet battle at times to put a scare into opponents including rival Newnan during the regular season.
As a senior, he averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Northgate, which went through a coaching transition that saw the promotion of Maurice Smith to head coach, was led by Watson and Evans.
A senior, Evans averaged 11.5 points and 3.1 assists per game while Watson, a junior, posted double-digit point totals throughout the year including a game-high 16 against Whitewater.
This year’s honorable mentions also included Viking senior center Alex Rutherford, who had a game-high 21 points in a victory over East Coweta.
Three Newnan players, senior Chris White, junior Isaiah Houston and sophomore Jannson Williams also were named honorable mentions.
The group was joined by East Coweta teammates Zhakeer Jervey and Zach Walker were named honorable mention for the Indians.
2013-14 All-County Boys Basketball Team
Player of the Year
G Doniel Dean Newnan Sr.
19.2 points per game, All-State honorable mention, All-Region 3-AAAAAA
G Aldrickus Evans Northgate Sr
C Immanuel Griggs Newnan Sr
F Jeremy Farmer East Coweta Sr
G Diamond Jones Newnan Sr
G Wendell Watson Northgate Jr
Honorable Mention: East Coweta —Zhakeer Jervey, Zach Walker, Jr.; Newnan — Isaiah Houston, Jr. Chris White Sr., Jannson Williams So.; Northgate —Alex Rutherford, Sr.