All-Big Country Preps Boys Basketball Superlatives: Edgar, Jones, Delgado and Gray claim top honors

Here are our superlative award winners for the 2021 All-Big Country Preps boys basketball team. For the rest of this year’s boys basketball selections, click the links below.

The Big Country may have had more talented players this basketball season, but none were more reliable or productive than Cisco’s Layne Edgar. 

And in averaging 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 steals and four assists per game for a Loboes team that advanced all the way to the Region II-2A title game, the senior guard nails down our All-Big Country Preps Player of the Year honor for the 2020-21 season.

“Layne had an incredible year,” Cisco coach Kevin Hearne said. “Layne was our leader on and off the floor. He made big play after big play and in the biggest games.”

Edgar was one of several talented guards for the Loboes this year, but in a season that saw Cisco hit hard by injury and illness, he was the a rare constant amid near-constant roster shuffling.

All he did despite those challenges was help keep a shorthanded CHS squad on track through the early portion of its schedule and in position to make a run once the Loboes got healthy and back to full strength in district play and the playoffs.

Those contributions were not overlooked by Hearne, who credits Edgar with much of the success his team had in going 20-4 and coming within seven points of a state tournament berth.

“He is an even better kid (than he is a player) and pours his heart and soul into everything he does,” the Cisco coach said. “I cannot say enough good things about Layne — he is a big reason why we were able to win a district title and make it to the regional finals.” 

A big man with range extending to the 3-point line is a dangerous weapon. And Brock’s opponents learned that firsthand this season.

With an advanced post game and a reliable perimeter jump shot, junior forward Nathan Jones made life miserable for those tasked with guarding him, averaging 19 points to go with 9.8 rebounds per game.

Those numbers and the skills with which they were achieved have earned the Eagles’ 6-foot-5 standout our All-Big Country Preps Offensive MVP award, putting a fitting bow on a season that took BHS all the way to the Class 3A state semifinals. 

“Nathan was pretty much good for 20 points and double-digit rebounds every game,” Brock coach Zach Boxell said. “He was a force on both ends of the floor. He helped get us to be the district champs, Region I champs and earn a trip to the state semifinal game.”

Jones, an efficient scorer, shot 65.2 percent from the field, including 35.3 percent from 3-point range. And you couldn’t stop him by fouling him either, as he made his free throws at a 76.6 percent clip.

Ballinger’s Jonathan Delgado is an excellent offensive player, which makes his defensive reputation all the more impressive.

Averaging 16.5 points per game with the ability to shoot from the outside and finish at the rim, Delgado could have allowed that to be his defining feature and still have been a quality player.

Instead, he chose to be a lockdown defender as well — a decision that has earned him our All-Big Country Preps Defensive MVP award.

In addition to what he provided on offense, Delgado hauled in 5.5 rebounds and tallied an eye-popping 5.6 steals per game, claiming District 6-3A defensive MVP honors in the process.

Delgado was a significant reason for the success of a Ballinger squad that finished 21-5 and reached the area round of the playoffs. His contributions on both ends will be missed next season. 

When you lead a team that reaches the state semifinals in scoring as a freshman, you can probably expect some accolades at the end of that season. 

Such is reality for Eula forward Clayton Gray, who is our All-Big Country Preps Newcomer of the Year after bursting on the scene for the Pirates in his first year of high school.

Gray, who helped Eula finish 21-10 and make a surprise run to the Class 1A state tournament, finished the season with averages of 13 points, 5.3 rebounds, two steals and 1.3 assists, establishing himself as a player to watch over the next three seasons.

“Clayton had to play a significant role for the Pirates from the very beginning as we were missing players throughout the year,” EHS coach Josh Fostel said. “He was an inside and outside threat for us, and did a great job defending as the tallest player on our team.”

Gray, who stands 6-feet tall, was often matched up with larger players, but he remained productive on both ends despite that. With an advanced and diverse skill set for his age, he should only get better as he gets older. 

ALL-BCP ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM

STARTERS

  • Lane Dollar, guard, So., Anson
  • Dalan Rasberry, guard, So., Dublin 
  • Jakob Hataway, guard, Jr., Brownwood
  • Clayton Gray, forward, Fr., Eula
  • Raheem Ashford, post, Jr., Coahoma

RESERVES

  • Ryan Reed, guard, So., Cross Plains
  • Adam Hill, guard, Fr., Albany

Josh Fostel will be the first to tell you that this year’s Eula team was not most talented he’s had in his time at the school. The Pirates were small — even by 1A standards — and had no individual player average more than 13 points per game.

But what the Pirates were was a team in every sense of the word.

They played excellent team defense — a hallmark of Fostel’s program at EHS — and when they needed a big bucket, they got it, seemingly from a different source every game.

It’s that quality that made the Pirates a special team that, as a whole, that was greater than the sum of its parts. And as the coach responsible for building that cohesion, Fostel earns our Coach of the Year award for the 2020-21 season. 

Through injury, illness and loss of longtime scorekeeper and community pillar Mary Mosley, the Pirates faced unprecedented challenges this year. They excelled despite them, finishing 21-10 with a 58-56 loss to eventual state champion Texline in the Class 1A state semifinals.

It was a remarkable season from a gritty bunch and represented what may well have been the best coaching job yet in the decorated career of one of the Big Country’s most successful coaches.

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