For the second straight year, Santa Fe (Alachua) played deep into the basketball postseason and was rewarded with two players selected to the All Area boys big school team.
Last year the Raiders came within a double overtime loss of claiming the Class 4A state championship. Senior Ernest Ross graduated and left to play for North Carolina State and long-time Santa Fe head coach Elliot Harris retired after the run to the title game, but one star returned in junior guard Don’trell Jenkins and he leads the Mainstreet Daily News All Area team.
Jenkins averaged 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.7 steals in helping the Raiders to a 16-8 record, including their second consecutive District 4-4A title and a dominating playoff win over Gadsden County (Havana) before being eliminated by eventual 4A state runner-up Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) in the region semifinal round. Last year, Mainstreet selected Jenkins to the All Area 2021 first team.
“I believe the number one quality an athlete can have is heart,” said first-year Santa Fe coach Glen Banks. “You have to want it with every fiber in your body and Don’trell eats, sleeps, and breathes this game. He is the ultimate teammate and player.”
Banks could also rely on junior center Mason Brown who scored 10.8 points a game and added 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per contest.
“Mason is dedicated and hard working,” Banks said. “He is a game changer anytime he is on the court. He creates a mismatch because he can play any spot on the court. He also leads the team in rebounds and blocked shots.”
Joining the two Santa Fe athletes on the All-Area first team is another player who led his P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) team to the postseason—freshman guard/forward Patton Pinkins. Pinkins was among the scoring leaders in the area with 18.3 points a game and 4.6 rebounds a contest as the Blue Wave (18-10) just missed out on a District 2-3A title, losing by one point to Providence (Jacksonville), but qualified for the state playoffs.
“Patton is a well-rounded, high (basketball) IQ player that plays beyond his years and his ceiling is very high to become a D1 Power 5 conference player,” P.K. Yonge coach Boderick Johnson said. “He impacted the team this year only as a freshman and led our team in scoring. He has a team-first attitude and his teammates gravitate around him.”
Buchholz senior guard/forward Daryus Boyd was named to the All-Area football team a few months ago and is a member of the big school basketball first-team as well. Despite an up-and-down 13-14 record and loss in the District 3-6A semifinal in Blake Golden’s first year as head coach, Boyd was definitely a standout for the Bobcats. Boyd led Buchholz in scoring with 15.3 points per game and was second for the Bobcats in rebounds and steals, snagging 4.1 and 1.6, respectively, a contest.
“Daryus is a player that lives for the big moment,” Golden said. “He’s extremely tough, extremely smart and really helped our program get back on the map this season.”
Rounding out the first team is Gainesville High junior guard/forward Theo Stephens. The Hurricanes just missed out on the postseason despite a 17-10 mark and trip to the District 3-6A championship game. Stephens was the only double-figure scorer for Gainesville at 17.7 points per game while racking up 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.5 assists a contest while playing for another first-year head coach in Mike Barnes.
“Theo took a big step forward from his sophomore to junior year,” Barnes said. “He became a more well-rounded player and consistently showed up and performed each and every game. Whenever we were in tight games and needed a big play to be made, he rose to the occasion and more often than not was successful in those situations.”
The second team is led by two choices from Columbia (Lake City) in junior guard Isaac Broxey and senior forward/center Marcus Peterson.
After a trip to the Final Four in Lakeland in 2020, the Tigers missed the playoffs in 2022 with a 13-13 record for coach Steve Faulkner, but Broxey had a huge junior season, averaging nearly 17 points a game to lead Columbia and adding 2.3 assists a contest.
“Isaac really came into his own this year,” Faulkner said. “His experience as a starter his sophomore season propelled him into a stellar junior campaign becoming our go-to guy. His toughness and ability to get a bucket when we needed it were crucial to our success this season.”
Peterson, who has signed to play football at the University of Cincinnati, also shined on the court in his senior year, nearly averaging a double-double with 13 points and 8.2 rebounds to go along with 2.5 assists per game. Peterson made the 2021 All Area basketball team and the 2021 All Area football team.
“Marcus has been a staple of the Columbia High School boys basketball program for the last four years,” Faulkner said. “As a four year varsity player, he compiled 890 career points and 715 career rebounds while being a part of back-to-back district champions and the school’s first appearance in the Final Four in 52 years. Marcus’ leadership, competitiveness, and sheer will to win are irreplaceable.”
Joining the two Columbia players on the second team is Gainesville junior guard Seth Childers. Childers played for The Rock (Gainesville) in 2021 returned to the Hurricanes this season, and averaged 8 points and 3 and a half rebounds while leading the Hurricanes with nearly five assists a game. But Childers tore his ACL and missed the final month of Gainesville’s season.
“Seth had an immediate impact on our team this year,” Barnes said. “He was our main ball handler and was instrumental in keeping the team focused and together during games and throughout the season. He led our team in assists per game, steals per game and assist-to-turnover ratio.”
The final two members of the second team are Buchholz senior forward Hayden Findley and Eastside junior guard Ben Davis.
Findley averaged nearly eight points and seven rebounds for the Bobcats.
Despite only winning four games, Davis averaged 11.3 points along with 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game.
“Ben had a great year,” Eastside coach Herman “Pop” Williams said on his coach nomination form. “He was a team leader and he executed plays.”
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.
BOYS – BIG SCHOOL (3A-6A) (1st Team)
G – Don’trell Jenkins, Santa Fe (Junior)
G/F – Patton Pinkins, P.K. Yonge (Freshman)
G/F – Daryus Boyd, Buchholz (Senior)
G/F – Theo Stephens, Gainesville (Junior)
C – Mason Brown, Santa Fe (Junior)
BOYS – BIG SCHOOL (3A-6A) (2nd Team)
G – Seth Childers, Gainesville (Junior)
G – Ben Davis, Eastside (Junior)
G – Isaac Broxey, Columbia (Junior)
F – Hayden Findley, Buchholz (Senior)
F/C – Marcus Peterson, Columbia (Senior)
Buchholz: Aamari Reaves (Sr., G)
Columbia: Amare Ferrell (Jr., G)
Eastside: Calvin Cooper (Sr., G)
Gainesville: S.J. Westbrook (Jr., F), Vontrell Hankinson (Jr., F-C)
P.K. Yonge: Jordan Richardson (So., G), Randall Robinson (Jr., F)
Santa Fe: Kyren Washington (Jr., F), Braylon Guyden (So., G)
This is the fourth in a five-part series on the 2022 Mainstreet Daily News All Area Basketball Team, sponsored by Smith Law Firm (girls teams) and Smith Asset Management Company (boys teams). Click here read about the small school girls, big school girls and small school boys teams.