KINGSPORT -- Dobyns-Bennett bid a fond farewell to seven seniors Tuesday night at its basketball banquet at the First Baptist Church.
The group of seniors helped the Indians post a 29-4 record during the season, sweep through the Big 9 Conference unbeaten for the first time in 25 years and win District I, Region I and Sectional titles before falling to Red Bank in the state quarterfinals, 68-62 last Thursday.
"We didn't seal the deal when we had a chance at state,'' said coach Charlie Morgan, "but they gave great effort.''
Morgan said he still can't watch the tape of the game.
"Maybe I will this summer,'' said Morgan.
The three leading scorers from the team return, but the seven seniors take size with them that will be hard to replace.
Among those graduating are 6-10 Bronson Flack, 6-6 Darren Riggs, 6-5 Marshall Hardy and 6-3 Reed King. Also graduating are guards Adam Lytle, Tremell McGue and Jerry Long.
The Indians do return Jordan Edwards, who is 6-6 and growing, for next year. Ben Riggs, Darren's younger brother, will also give the Indians some size, along with Adam Dennison, who is in the 6-3 to 6-4 range.
Leading scorer Justin Sylvester, a junior guard who led the team with a 10.8 ppg average and 3.7 rebounds, is back along with point guard Jamel Williams, who averaged 8.9 points and 5.1 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Edwards averaged 8.6 points and 4.7 rebounds, while guards Dustin McConnell and Todd Halvorsen averaged 5.7 and 5.5 points, respectively. The only other varsity returnee is Darius Davis, a sophomore, who will be readied to back up Williams at the point.
D-B had seven different players score 18 or more points in a game this season with Edwards scoring 30 and Sylvester 29 the highest. Flack had a high game of 24, Hardy scored 20, Williams and McConnell 19 each and Riggs 18. Halvorsen had a high of 13 points.
In all, D-B boys' teams combined for a 64-10 record this season with the freshmen going 23-2 and winning both the season and tournament titles in the Big 9, while the JV was 12-4. Chris Sensabaugh was a member of both teams and could help the Indians depthwise next season.
No MVP was named. Instead, Morgan chose to give awards in different categories. The winners were as follow:
Academic Award: Derek Stout
Most Improved Academically: Adam Lytle
Most Rebounds: Marshall Hardy (5.3 per game)
Most Assists: Jamel Williams, (5.1 per game)
Most Charges Taken: Marshall Hardy (19)
Best Defender: Justin Sylvester
Best Free Throw Shooter: Hardy & Todd Halvorsen (85 percent)
Hardest Worker: Marshall Hardy
Best Sixth Man: Jordan Edwards and Bronson Flack
Wes Moricle (good attitude) Award: Jerry Long
Most Improved: Darren Riggs and Todd Halvorsen
Best Hustler: Tremell McGue
Best 3-point Shooter: Dustin McConnell (34 of 99, 34.3 percent)
Best Attitude: Reed King