This is the third of five stories unveiling the 2023 Bosshardt Realty All Area Basketball Teams. Click here to read about the Small School girls team and the Big School girls team. Go to our All Area girls basketball team landing page by clicking here. Go to our All Area boys basketball team landing page by clicking here.
For the fifth consecutive year, there was a new boys basketball state champion in Class 1A.
And for the first time in program history, the Williston Red Devils brought home a state title.
Two players from that championship team -- guard Greg Maxwell and forward Kyler Lamb -- along with the Class 1A Player of the Year, highlight the 2022-2023 Bosshardt Realty All Area Boys Basketball first team for the small schools (1A and 2A).
A panel of local sportswriters and coaches chose the All Area teams from Mainstreet’s eight-county coverage area. All 44 players and coaches will receive commemorative plaques to recognize their accomplishments.
Maxwell struggled with only three points in the 1A state semifinals, a 54-37 win against Franklin County.
However, the senior responded with a game-high 22 points and eight steals in the state championship game as the Red Devils (25-7) defeated Chipley, 58-49, to give the area its only state title in boys hoops this year.
“He turned out to be one of most exciting, outstanding basketball players I’ve coached in over 26 years,” said Williston coach Jim Ervin.
It was his all-around game according to Ervin.
“He led us scoring (19.1 ppg), rebounding (6.4) and assists (4.1) so he brought a lot to the game,” Ervin said. “As the season went on, he became more of a team leader and more about team than himself.”
Maxwell, the nephew of former Gator and Houston Rockets guard Vernon Maxwell, finished runner-up in the voting for the Class 1A Player of the Year.
“Towards the end of the season he came to me and said, ‘Coach, we’ve got a vision and a goal and we’re going to win the state title,’ and when he came to me, with about five or six games left in the season, I knew it was going to happen because he has that type of talent,” Ervin said.
His teammate, junior Kyler Lamb (6’6), joined him on the first team after finishing second on the team in scoring (13.4 ppg). He led the team in blocks with 38 in 29 games played.
“Probably the most unselfish kid I’ve ever met on and off the basketball court,” Ervin said “He’s probably one of the top five kids I’ve ever coached as far as a human being. He meant so much to us as a versatile player at every spot this year.”
Lamb, who shot 46% from the floor, scored 12 points, grabbed six rebounds, had three assists and two steals in the title game.
“He can really shoot the basketball,” Ervin said. “His length, he rebounds, he can block shots, when you have that type of talent on the offensive end, and you’re that unselfish, it makes you a real weapon.”
Hawthorne (11-7) was able to get back to the Class 1A final four thanks to the play of sophomore C.J. Ingram, who scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds in a 49-46 loss to Chipley in the state semifinals.
“C.J. led us in scoring (21.6), rebounding (8.3), assists (2.1), steals (3.3) and blocks (1.0),” said Hawthorne coach Greg Bowie. “That shows you how versatile he is and how valuable he is to the team. Just put him on the floor and he will impact the game in a variety of ways.”
“He's a matchup problem for a lot of players because he can handle the ball, pass, shoot and defend,” Bowie said. “He's mentally tough, has a positive attitude and plays at an elite level. I'm not surprised because he works extremely hard. His junior and senior season will be nothing short of spectacular.”
Newberry, which just missed its first final four in program history, had two players on the team.
Senior Michael Moore made the first team after leading the Panthers in scoring (13.4 ppg).
“Michael Moore is a great scorer who wants the ball in his hands,” said Newberry coach Patrick Green. “Mike can shoot the 3 but is really hard to guard going to the rim. He is a four-year starter and has led our team in scoring his junior (10 ppg) and senior seasons.”
Teammate Mason Smith made the second team. The senior averaged 11.7 points and 2.9 assists per game. He also led the team at the free throw line (72%) and was second in 3-point field goal percentage (47%).
“Mason Smith can score in a multitude of ways,” Green said. “He is good at the rim but more dangerous from 3-point and mid-range area. He is a player that enjoys getting an assist just as much as he enjoys scoring.”
Rounding out the first team is junior Andrew Powell of Oak Hall, who led the Eagles (17-5) in scoring (15.8 ppg) for the third straight year and helped them finish with the third best winning percentage in school history and the school’s first 17-win season in 30 years.
“Andrew started as a freshman and has always been a tremendous shooter, but over the last three years he has continued to improve other parts of his game,” said Oak Hall coach Monte Towe. "He has become a very good rebounder, and a much better passer and ballhandler. He can create his own shots both inside and outside. He wants to be a great player and works as hard as anyone I’ve ever coached.”
Junior Brandon DeMartino of Fort White (15-9) made the second team after leading the Indians in scoring (17.7 ppg) and rebounds (6.1 rpg). He also led the team with 30 blocks in 24 games and shot 81% from the free throw line.
“Brandon is an impressive young man on and off the court,” said Fort White coach Elven Sheppard. “He is a big guard at 6'5 that can move, pass and handle the ball well. I'm certain he is a top five shooter in the state of Florida. He has played a ton of ball so he understands the game at a high level and has great basketball IQ.”
Rounding out the second team are senior guard Xavier Jones (14.5 ppg, 2.0 apg) of Trenton (14-12), junior guard/forward Eric Turner of Branford, who led the Bucs (17-9) in scoring and rebounds (12.7 ppg/9.2 rpg), and freshman forward/center Jon Adams of Chiefland (13.1 ppg/6.7 rpg), which lost to Williston in the regional semifinals.
BOYS – SMALL SCHOOL (1A-2A) (1st Team)
G – CJ Ingram, Hawthorne (Sophomore)
G – Greg Maxwell, Williston (Senior)
G – Michael Moore, Newberry (Senior)
F/C – Kyler Lamb, Williston (Junior)
F/C – Andrew Powell, Oak Hall (Junior)
BOYS – SMALL SCHOOL (1A-2A) (2nd Team)
G – Xavier Jones, Trenton (Senior)
G – Mason Smith, Newberry (Senior)
G/F – Brandon DeMartino, Fort White (Junior)
G/F – Eric Turner, Branford (Junior)
F – Jon Adams, Chiefland (Freshman)
Bell – Kaden Reed (Sr., G)
Branford – Cash Blalock (Sr., G), Micah Taber (So., G).
Bronson – Dylan Homan (Sr., G)
Dixie County – Ian Williams (Sr., F/C)
Fort White – Tafari Moe (So., G)
Newberry – Logan McCloud (So. F/C)
Oak Hall – Mike Peterson (So., G)
St. Francis Catholic Academy – Tyler Dey (Sr., G)
Union County – Thomas Williams (Jr., G/F)
Williston – Javon Brown (Jr., F), Jeythian Merced (Sr., PG)