All-Area Girls Basketball team selections
Published 1:00 pm Saturday, May 6, 2023
Ta’Kyla Brothern, West Lincoln
A senior, Brothern again was a rugged, inside presence for the Bears (26-2) during her fourth and final year as a starter. A Region 7-2A All-Region selection, the 5-foot-9 Brothern averaged 8.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 steals, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocks per game in the paint for coach Alissa Adams. Popular with her peers as she was voted 2022 West Lincoln Homecoming Queen, Brothern is best known as “Moosy” by her friends and family.
Reagan Fortenberry, Brookhaven Academy
A junior, Fortenberry played with a fearlessness that served her Cougars (41-4) well on their run to the MAIS 5A state championship. A 5-foot-8 wing, she averaged 10.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 steals per game for coach Ron Kessler. An All-District selection who was also named All-South State Tournament, All-State Tournament and was picked to play in the first annual MAIS Futures Game, where she won MVP. A multi-sport star who was also picked for the All-Area Girls’ Soccer team.
Emma Gates, Brookhaven Academy
A senior, Gates was part of strong play in the paint that helped lift the Cougars (41-4) to the MAIS 5A state title. A 6-foot-forward who’s signed to next play basketball at Mississippi College, she averaged 10.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 blocked shots, 2.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game for coach Ron Kessler. An All-District selection that was also tabbed for the All-South State Tournament, All-State Tournament and MAIS All-Star teams.
Lillie Gates, Brookhaven Academy
A senior, Gates scored the go-ahead bucket to give her Cougars (41-4) a win over Leake Academy in a thrilling MAIS 5A state title game. The MAIS 5A Player of the Year, she averaged 10.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.3 blocked shots, 2.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game for coach Ron Kessler. A 6-foot forward, she’s signed to next play college basketball at Mississippi College with her twin sister Emma. A three-time All-Area selection.
Mary Claire Johnson, West Lincoln
A senior, Johnson plays the game with a mix of determination and poise as the main outside threat for a Bears (26-2) team that made the MHSAA 2A quarterfinals. A Region 7-2A All-Region pick, the 5-foot-7 Johnson averaged 10.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 1.2 assists per game for coach Alissa Adams. The primary outside threat for West Lincoln, Johnson has flexed her range from deep since her freshman season. A repeat All-Area selection, she’s also softball standout who’s signed to play that sport next year at Southwest Mississippi CC.
Me’leyjah Lyons, Wesson
A junior, Lyons has again been the motor that made the Wesson Cobras (14-12) get up and down the court in 2022-2023. A 5-foot-3 point guard, Lyons has already earned All-Area honors as a freshman and sophomore. Averaged 16.3 points, 5.7 rebounds 3.6 steals and 2.6 assists per game for coach Michelle Nunnery and a Wesson team that made the MHSAA 3A playoffs.
Tykiria May, Bogue Chitto
A junior, May is willing to do the dirty work inside for the Bobcats (14-10) on a regular basis. A 5-foot-9 forward, she averaged 9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game for coach Marc Howard. The younger cousin of Bogue Chitto senior forward Jay May, she played with a similar physicality as she battled in the paint and gave the Region 7-2A runners-up another dependable rebounder.
De’Mya Porter, Bogue Chitto
A junior, Porter once again was outstanding in the paint as a scorer, rebounder and shot blocker for the Bobcats (14-10). A 6-foot-2 center, Porter averaged 21.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game for coach Marc Howard. Already tabbed as an All-Are selection as a freshman and a sophomore, she’ll be one of the most highly recruited basketball players in southwest Mississippi during her senior season.
Leah Wilcher, Brookhaven High
A senior, Wilcher was a presence in the paint as she continued to develop offensively during her final season playing for the Panthers (26-5) A 6-foot-3 center, Wilcher averaged 8.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game for coach Preston Wilson. A Pearl River CC basketball signee and Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game selection, Wilcher also used her height on the volleyball court for Brookhaven High.
Angel “Cookie” Wilkinson, Brookhaven High
A senior, Wilkinson did what she has always done during her final season playing for the Panthers (26-5) — score the basketball. An All-Region pick who’s been tabbed for the All-Area team in the past, including being picked as MVP last season. A 5-foot-6 guard, Wilkinson averaged 18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 steals and 3.2 assists per game for coach Preston Wilson. Has signed a college scholarship to play basketball next season at Tallahassee Community College in Florida.