Loyd Star’s Britt sparkles; named DL’s Mr. Basketball

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 5, 2004

Jared Britt is mainly recognized for his offensive skills. LoydStar’s senior guard can also rebound, dribble the basketball andmake nifty passes to his teammates.

Britt’s all-around basketball skills have earned him the titleof Mr. Basketball on The DAILY LEADER’s All-Lincoln CountyBasketball Team for the 2003-04 season. He averaged 27.3 points, 8rebounds and 5 assists per game as a senior, leading Loyd Star tothe Class 2A state playoffs.

Joining Britt on the DL’s Dream Team are Jasper Hall and RodneyDaniels of Brookhaven, Brooks Smith of West Lincoln, IrrieCatchings of Bogue Chitto and Cole Hodges of Brookhaven Academy.The team was selected by the DL sports staff, with input providedby high school and college coaches.

“This was probably the most fun team I played on,” said Britt.The Hornets were runners-up in the Division 6-2A race and placedsecond in the division tournament to powerful Hinds AHS. They wereeliminated by Bassfield in the opening round of the SouthMississippi playoffs.”

A southpaw, Britt also excels as a baseball player. He was namedthe DL’s Player of the Year on the 2003 All-Lincoln County BaseballTeam. He hopes to play baseball and basketball at Copiah-LincolnCommunity College.

Britt, 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, said he enjoyed the season.’Everybody hustled and never quit. I tried to show more leadershipthis year. I saw the court better.”

Longtime Loyd Star boys coach Gene “Moochie” Britt said Britt(no relation) is an outstanding player. “Jared is a greatball-handler and he takes the ball to the basket against biggerplayers.

“He plays great defense and he’s one of the best shooters in thestate. He’s a good team player, too.”

Jasper Hall, a 6-3 senior, led the Brookhaven Panthers inscoring and rebounding as they finished 14-16 under second-yearhead coach Ronald Hines. He averaged 16.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and2.4 steals per game.

“Jasper is a great shooter from the perimeter and he can takethe ball inside, too. He’s strong and quick,” said Hines.

Rodney Daniels, a 6-2 senior guard, was recognized for hisleaping ability and spectacular dunks. He averaged 10.2 points, 4.2rebounds and 2.1 steals per game for the Panthers.

“Rodney can defend and run the floor,” said Hines. “He’s a realgood leaper. He does all those good things you don’t see on thestat sheet.”

Irrie Catchings, a 6-4 senior center, was the go-to player atBogue Chitto. He averaged 22.8 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3 blockedshots per game as the Bobcats posted a 22-14 record underfirst-year head coach Jason Kennedy. They won the Division 7-1ATournament and advanced to the state playoffs.

“Irrie has been an absolute joy to coach,” said Kennedy. “Everytime we needed a big play this year, he came through. He wanted theball and made the big shot.”

Brooks Smith, a 6-2 senior guard, was a perimeter shootingspecialist. He averaged 15.8 points and 6 rebounds per game for theWest Lincoln Bears, leading them to a 12-14 record.

Smith often received double coverage, especially after guardTyler Smith went down with an ankle injury.

“Brooks is a smart player and there’s no limit to his shootingrange,” said West Lincoln second-year coach Lane Young. “He canshoot it.”

Cole Hodges, a 6-2 junior guard, averaged 14.7 points, 4.7rebounds and 4.8 assists per game for the Brookhaven AcademyCougars. Working at point guard, Hodges ran the show as the Cougarsfinished 34-5. They won the District 4-AA Tournament. They finishedthird in South State and in the AA State Tournament, advancing tothe MPSA Overall quarterfinals.

“Cole is an all-around player who led us in scoring and assistsmost of the time,” said Brookhaven Academy coach Dale Watts. He’s agreat shooter. He stays in the gym and works on his game.”