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Chester leads DL Dream Team

Shannon Chester’s looks are deceiving. She smiles sweetly,speaks softly, carries a pack full of text books and dresses in thelatest style. She resembles a bright, Loyd Star high school seniorwho is ready to begin college.

By contrast, Chester is an intense competitor on the basketballcourt. She hustles on defense, handles the ball with authority,dribbles with quickness and shoots with accuracy. She wasinstrumental in Loyd Star’s successful campaign, leading the LadyHornets to the Class 2A state playoffs.

As a senior, the 5-foot-7 Chester averaged 13.2 points, 10.1rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.9 steals per game. Those numbers haveearned her the title of Miss Basketball and Most Valuable Player onThe DAILY LEADER’s 2009 All-Lincoln County Girls Team.

Joining Chester on the Dream Team are teammate Haley Sones,Bogue Chitto’s Kelli Howard, West Lincoln’s Julie Case,Brookhaven’s Kearra Collins, Enterprise’s Lacey Orr and BrookhavenAcademy’s Terah Winborne. The team was selected by DL sports staffmembers, with input provided by area high school and collegecoaches.

Asked about her basketball career, Chester said, “Time reallywent by fast. I enjoyed playing basketball at Loyd Star.”

The 18-year-old daughter of Patsy and Dennis Williams plans toattend Southern Miss and pursue a career in the medical field. Bornin McComb, her father is Sidney Chester.

A 4-year starter, Chester said the demands of basketball are achallenge, mentally and physically. “You have to think and pushyourself. You have to work hard every day.”

Her favorite position is point guard. Her favorite class inschool is chemistry. She maintains a 3.7 gpa.

Asked about her favorite college team, Chester said she likesNorth Carolina, UConn and Tennessee.

She played for Coach Billy Vaughn at Loyd Star the last twoseasons. She also played one season each for Jan Delaughter andLori Britt.

“It was nice playing for Coach Vaughn,” said Chester. “He has arelaxed and laid back style,” of coaching.

Vaughn said Chester and Sones helped Loyd Star post a 78-42record in 4 varsity seasons.

“Shannon is a leader for us,” said Vaughn. “That’s her bestquality. She leads more by example.”

Vaughn said he admires her intensity level during games.”Shannon is very competitive. She plays hard and she doesn’t wantto let anybody down.”

Haley Sones, a 5-10 senior, dominated the backboards and thrivedon hard, physical play. She averaged 15.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and2.8 blocks per game. She has signed a softball scholarship withCopiah-Lincoln Community College.

“Haley likes to block shots and she moves well for her height,”said Vaughn. “She shoots the ball well around the goal.”

Kelli Howard, a 5-10 senior, was a force on offense and defensefor the Lady ‘Cats. She averaged 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.7steals per game, helping Bogue Chitto to a 24-7 record andrunner-up in the Division 8-1A race.

“Kelli was a great leader for us and she had a good attitude,”said BC coach Christi Terrell. “She always gives 100 percent.”

Kearra Collins, a 5-7 junior, averaged 18.8 points and 4.1rebounds per game for the Lady Panthers as they labored through amajor rebuilding campaign, posting a 10-14 worksheet.

BHS third-year head coach Freda Craft says, “Kearra has a lot ofdetermination and desire. She can find the open shots.”

Julie Case, a 5-9 senior, averaged 10.5 points and 3.4 reboundsper game for Coach Lane Young’s Lady Bears. They won the Division8-1A crown and posted a 20-11 record.

“Julie has worked a lot on her own to become a better shooter,”said Coach Young. “She shoots the ball from 15-18 feet better thananybody in the county.”

Lacey Orr, a 5-9 junior, was a leader on offense and defense.She averaged 12 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals per game for theLady Yellow Jackets.

“Lacey works hard to get better,” said Enterprise coach JillNations. “She’s a good shooter and a strong rebounder.”

The Jackets finished 9-19 this season.

Terah Winborne, a 5-3 freshman sensation, was the stick thatstirred the drink for the Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougars. Sheworked mainly at point guard, scoring 10.3 points per game. Shealso averaged 3 steals, 2.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.

“Terah is exceptionally quick with her hands,” said BA coachBarry Gray. “She deflects more balls and gets more touches on thepress. She has great instincts and she understands the game.”

Gray’s young squad usually featured two freshmen, two sophomoresand one senior in the starting lineup. They posted a 36-7 record,winning the District 4-AA Tournament. They also finished runners-upin the South State championship and finished third in the statetournament. They reached the quarterfinals of the MPSA OverallTournament.

Honorable Mention

Bogue Chitto: Darcy Miller, Aneisha Dillon, Shelby Tobias.

Brookhaven: Amber Dickey, Shareeka Hill, Tiaerra Kelly, MaleysaBurnett.

Brookhaven Academy: Nicole Smith, Laura Beth Wright, AnnaKatelyn Mangold.

Enterprise: Tara Paden, Karla Beth Hux.

Loyd Star: Erica Smith, Leah Britt, Sarah Falvey.

West Lincoln: Tatianna Marshall, Hannah Knouse, Keri Easley.